UK-based WordWeb Software has released WordWeb Free 7.0, a major new version of its universal spellchecker and thesaurus tool for English-speaking Windows users. When running, users can look up definitions for words as well as alternatives such as synonyms from any application by holding the [Ctrl] key as they right-click the word in question.
Version 7.0 offers new and revised definitions and related words, along with updated audio pronunciations. One-click integration with other programs has also been improved, along with support for 64-bit systems and Windows 8.
The program is incredibly simple to use – during installation, users get the option of choosing a portable installation if they wish. Once set up, launching WordWeb places an icon in the Notification area of the Taskbar from where the program can be triggered manually or its settings tweaked.
It’s designed to be used, however, in a context-sensitive fashion within any installed application on your PC. By right-clicking a word while holding the [Ctrl] button, or by simply pressing [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [W], users can view a definition of the currently selected word using WordWeb’s own built-in dictionary, or switch to the Web Resources tab to download links to various online sources, which currently include Wikipedia, Wiktionary and WordWeb Online.
As well as viewing a definition of the word – with options for nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs, users also gain access to a number of spelling and thesaurus tools arranged across a series of tabs. Misspelled words only provide access to the Nearest tab – click the Spelling drop-down list for a series of suggested spellings, or use the list to pick the correct word.
If the word already exists in the dictionary, then additional context-sensitive options are also displayed, including synonyms, type of, and parts. Users can then select a word and click Replace to edit the original text.
WordWeb also has a toolbar where users can manually search for words, browse through a list of previously checked words and even have the word read back to them using Windows’ own default speech tool.
Version 7.0 also adds keyboard hotkeys for Bookmark menu items for quick and easy retrieval of favourite words, plus it automatically detects support for the latest third-party Concise Oxford and Merriam-Webster dictionaries in third-party programs. This is in addition to revising the dictionary, updating audio pronunciations (over 5,000 are available in the free version) and improving one-click compatibility with other programs, particularly on 64-bit systems.
WordWeb Free 7.0 is available as a free download for PCs running Windows XP or later. It initially functions as a 30-day trial before reverting to the free cut-down version, which is restricted to non-profit educational establishments and users who take no more than two commercial plane flights a year. WordWeb Pro can be purchased for $19, with additional word lists and dictionaries also available.