Saturday, October 4, 2008

Searching online dictionaries and search engines through Office programs

Today, I'm reporting about a Microsoft add-in (free, of course) for all the four main Office programs (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook) called ClickSolve that searches user-selected search engines after a term or phrase is selected and hot key is pressed while in the Office application. This is called the Search It! feature. There is also a mapping feature called Map It! for mapping and directions, although the Search It! feature might be of more interest to translators.

Installation after downloading the program adds a new menu item to your Office applications. The menu in Word looks like this:

Menu item   The menu item unfolds to show the features and more importantly the Options, where one can select the engines to search for! These include Google, Yahoo, Ask, LiveSearch and others. I wrote to the developer to include several Japanese engines, and he added Eijiro to the Options menu.


Here's what the Options window looks like:


Select ALC J-E translation and you can select a word in any of the Office applications, activate Search It! and it should give you the gloss. The J-E search works fine too.

To test Map It!, I pasted the JAT meeting address in Japanese in Word (東京都渋谷区道玄坂2-10-7), selected it and activated Map It! See image below.


Currently, the option to include your own search engine does not exist, but the developer has hinted that this is being considered. Should you have your own favorite dictionary or search engine, write directly to the developer through the Contact Us tab. I requested Eijiro and Glova be included, but he encountered some problem in including Glova in the list of Options.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the info. This is a wonderful blog.

Would you also know of a way to search local EPWING Dictionaries from Office?

Ryan Ginstrom said...

Another great tool, thanks for pointing it out.

I wonder if the problem with Glova is that it requires a POST, rather than a GET to send queries.

But at any rate, the Glova terms of service seem to prohibit the use of this kind of tool: "無断での一切の流用・改変並びに転載を固く禁じます" (Any unauthorized reuse, modification, or reproduction strictly prohibited).

Gururaj said...

For anonymous - I don't generally reply to anonymous posts; this time I'm making an exception. :) Check out DDWIN - it has a macro that enables you to search various dictionaries. See

Ryan: "Another great tool, thanks for pointing it out."

You're welcome. I have put Glova in the search bar using a Firefox plugin that enables search engines to be placed by right clicking in the search engine window. Also works OK with Needlesearch.

Ryan Ginstrom said...


What's the name of that Firefox plugin?

Gururaj said...

"What's the name of that Firefox plugin?"

I think it is "Add to Search Bar."

Ryan Ginstrom said...

Thanks for that, Gururaj. Unfortunately, "Add to Search Bar" doesn't appear to be compatible with Firefox 3. I'll keep an eye on it, though.

Gururaj said...

Are you sure? I'm using Firefox 3.0.3 and it seems to be working fine.

Ryan Ginstrom said...

Yes, I tried installing it and Firefox told me it wasn't compatible. Maybe you used a different plugin? Or maybe you added the search items before upgrading to Firefox 3?

Gururaj said...

Yes, I added the plug-in at FF Ver. 2.0. The good news is that today there was an automatic update of Add to Search Bar - so please try installing it again.

Ryan Ginstrom said...

Yeah, it works now! Thanks, Gururaj.

Translation said...

Thanks for sharing... A great tool that will help many of us in process of translation.