Frequently asked questions


The installation of the plugins fails.

Some users reported the following problems:

The installation cancels with an error (eg. a script could not be executed).

  1. In most cases repairing the permissions with the Disk Utility will solve this problem.

There‘s no volume visible in the installer.

  1. Rebooting the system should solve this problem.

The installer claims that my system does‘t match the system requirements but I definitely have Leopard.

  1. If neither a reboot or repairing the permissions with Disk Utility will solve this, the only known solution is to reinstall the Combo-Updates from Apple.

Why is there no Tiger version (10.4) of the dictionary plugins?

Apple has improved the dictionary a lot in Leopard. Also creating own dictionaries has been simplified. Before Leopard I should know about Objective C and Xcode but that‘s a sealed book for me. Apple introduced with Leopard the Dictionary Development Kit which can‘t produce dictionaries for Tiger. Thanks to the DDK I just have to prepare a simple XML-File.

Are there more dictionary plugins planned (eg. German-French)?

There are some more plugins available from different developers. I‘ve collected some links at the Dictionary Plugins page.

In principal it is possible to create plugins for every language. My small python script is a good base for that. The problem is that I need free sources which I‘m allowed to use. Without a downloadable file I can‘t create a plugin. Don‘t hesitate to contact me If you know some good resources.

With DictUnifier you can also convert StarDict dictionaries by yourself. There are a lot of large dictionaries available, even for German.

How to check the version of a plugin?

Just go to the Front/Back Matter page using the Go menu. There you can see if a new version is available (Neue Version verfügbar!).

Will there be dictionaries for the iPhone?

Not from me. I don’t have the knowledge to develop something for the iPhone. There are now some Dictionary Apps for the iPhone but they use a different file format.

Why does the dictionary lookup not work in Firefox or other applications (old MS Office version)?

The global lookup hotkey (⌃⌘D) works only in native Mac OS X applications (Cocoa). Firefox and some other applications are based on different technologies and only look like a native Mac application. For Firefox there exist some add-ons like Look Up in Dictionary or Mac OS X Dictionary Add-On, which add a special command to the context menu.

Is it possible to disable the update notification or hide the footer?

Yes, just go to the preferences of Since OS X 10.7 you hace to disable and reenable the plugin to see the changes, because OS X creates a special cache for dictionary plugins, which is not refreshed by just changing the settings.

Why are the plugins delivered as a install package?

Installing dictionary plugins could be done by just copying the plugin into /Library/Dictionaries. But that only works for the first installation. If you want to update and overwrite a plugin the Finder will abort copying because of open files. The install packages kills all dictionary processes before copying the plugin file, so you don‘t have to bother to do it by yourself.

When showing an entry I‘ll only get an empty page.

This happens if you have renamed the dictionary inside You can‘t use the character <.

Look up in Dictionary will always open new Dictionary windows.

Since Snow Leopard the command “Look Up in Dictionary” eg. from Safari opens separate windows for every word. The following Terminal command will configure the Dictionary to behave like in Leopard, so the look up will reuse the existing Dictionary window.

defaults write DictionaryLookupEnabled -bool NO