Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary & Thesaurus Arlington VA

Dictionary software is a perfect addition to anyone' s desktop and Merriam–Webster' s Collegiate Dictionary & Thesaurus is the best. Whether you are composing your master thesis or just trying to solve the daily jumble in your local paper in Arlington, this program puts at your fingertips 225,000 words and more features than you can ever use. Learn all about it in this software review.

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Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary & Thesaurus

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TopTenREVIEWS - Gold Award - Awarded for excellence in design, useability and feature set

Writers, students or people who just like to write precise yet imaginative emails—Merriam–Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus is the perfect companion for all of your writing and reading endeavors. This “TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award” dictionary software provides instant access to the perfect word for any situation.

The most impressive aspect of this program is the number of ways that you can search for a word. Search by definition, synonyms, homophones, rhyming words and even by a particular year. And, if you’re not sure how to pronounce your new–found word, you can listen to the pronunciation.




Feature Set:  Excellent

This software has tons of user-friendly, practical features that will help you whether you’re writing an email, an important report or come across a word that you don’t understand. Merriam–Webster has more ways to find the exact word you are looking for than any other dictionary software. You can search for words that rhyme, words by definition, synonyms, words that form crosswords, homophones, and more. You’ll never be without a word.

Merriam–Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary & Thesaurus provides much more than simple definitions. This program also provides verbal illustrations, pictures, origins, audio pronunciations and more.

From the interface, you can access Merriam–Webster online where you can play word games and look at the word of the day to increase your vocabulary and download other features for your dictionary like a Lookup button for your Internet browser toolbar.


Ease of Use:  Very Good

This program is so easy to use that you can use the basic features including the dictionary and thesaurus without instruction. Merriam–Webster has a user–friendly interface with well–labeled buttons and is easy to navigate.

You can simply right click a word in your document, choose the Merriam–Webster icon and you’ll instantly have the definition, thesaurus or whatever information you have the window preset to display. The program doesn’t have to be running; it will automatically start and bring up the entry.

The reason we didn’t give a perfect score in this category is that the macros are somewhat complicated to set up and get working. If you want to be able to click on a word to bring up the entry as defined above, you'll have to set up your macros and macro security. The program guides you through the macro setup process but leaves you somewhat on your own for the security part. In Microsoft Word, go to tools, click options, select the security tab, click the macro security button and set your macros security to low or medium. We recommend medium. Each time you open a document, you’ll be asked if you want to enable macros—select “yes” if you want to look up words simply by right clicking.


Search Capabilities:  Excellent

This software package has more ways to search for a word than any other product in the review. You can just enter a word, click a word in your document, search by definition or browse an alphabetical list of words as you would in a tangible dictionary. If you really want to narrow your search, get specific with the advanced search.


Content:  Excellent

Merriam–Webster’s has 225,000 entries, 115,000 audio pronunciations, 340,000 synonyms and related words and 1,300 illustrations. There is enough content in this program for even the biggest bookworm, writer or Ivy League college student.


Ease of Installation:  Excellent

We didn’t encounter any problems or errors during the installation; however, the macros are a little difficult to set up properly. If you don’t have a lot of computer experience you might need to give customer support a call during this process.


Help/Support:  Excellent

The manufacturer of Merriam–Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary & Thesaurus offers extensive help and support. There are FAQs and a searchable help index. If you can’t find the answer there, you can contact customer support through email, an online form and a phone number.


Summary:  

Dictionary software is a perfect addition to anyone’s desktop and Merriam–Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary & Thesaurus is the best. Whether you are composing your master thesis or just trying to solve the daily jumble in your local paper, this program puts at your fingertips 225,000 words and more features than you can ever use.

$25 is a small price to pay for a huge lexicon!










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