Tips and Tricks

Get the most out of the Visual Thesaurus

Here are some useful tips that will help you get the most out of the Visual Thesaurus:

Email a Friend

Now you can email your favorite word map to a friend (or to yourself). Simply open the Visual Thesaurus, search for your favorite word, and press the "Email" button.

You will email an image of exactly what is on your Visual Thesaurus display, so feel free to arrange the screen to your liking. Drag words around, turn off nouns or verbs, or right click (or Command-click on the Macintosh) on a word to expand that area of the display further.

Print a Poster

Did you know that you can now print from the Visual Thesaurus in two different formats? Here's how: Open the settings panel by clicking on the "Settings bar" at the top of the Visual Thesaurus. Click on the word "Printing" in the list on the left (If the word "Printing" does not appear, then you are using a version of Java that does not support printing. Click here to read how to upgrade).

Select from one of the two printing formats by clicking on the words below each icon. Click the "Apply" button and after the settings panel closes, click the "Print" button in the toolbar.

Use keyboard navigation when you misspell a word

When you misspell a word, the Visual Thesaurus makes it easy to select a word from the word suggestions panel. Type "freind" (purposely misspelled) into the search box and press the "look it up" button. Notice that the word suggestions panel opens automatically. Use the up and down arrow keys to navigate the selections in the list. Press the "Enter" key to select a suggestion from the list.

Go back to the previous word, without using your mouse

Try pressing the "Ctrl" and the left or right arrow key on your keyboard to navigate through your history. "Ctrl-left-arrow" takes you back to the previous word, and the "Ctrl-right-arrow" returns you to where you were.

Mouse Wheel Tricks

If your mouse has a "mouse wheel", you can do some pretty neat things with it in the Visual Thesaurus. Hover over the display and roll your mouse wheel up and down while holding down the "Ctrl" key. Now try doing the same thing while pressing the "Alt" key or the "Shift" key.

Don't have a mouse wheel and feel left out of the action? Try holding down "Ctrl" key and pressing the up or down arrow keys. Now try pressing "Ctrl-Alt" and using the up and down arrow keys. "Ctrl-Shift" also works.

Note: The mouse-wheel portion of this tip will only work for users using the latest version of the Java Plugin (1.4+).

Reset your settings

Did you just mess up all your settings trying those cool mouse wheel tricks? It's easy to reset them. Just press "Ctrl-R" and your settings will revert back to the last applied settings. Do you fear that you really messed things up? Pressing "Ctrl-Shift-R" will reset your settings back to the "factory" defaults.

Import an image of the Visual Thesaurus into your presentation or document

Hold down the shift key and click your mouse down anywhere in the white area of the Visual Thesaurus (not on a word or a meaning). While holding the mouse button down, drag your mouse into your word processor or presentation program. Voila!

Note: This tip will only work for users using the latest version of the Java Plugin (1.4+).

Drag a word into the Visual Thesaurus

Did you know that you can easily look up a word without typing it into the Visual Thesaurus? It's easy. With the Visual Thesaurus open, highlight a word in your word processor or web browser, that you would like to look up. Click on the highlighted word and, holding your mouse button down, drag it over the Visual Thesaurus window and let go. That's all there is to it!