Are you ever at a loss for words? Whether you're writing an essay, a letter, a business proposal, or even a novel, there are inevitably times when the right word is just out of your mind's reach. In the old days, you might pick up a dictionary or thesaurus to find a specific word, but now most people know that resources on the Internet are only a couple of clicks away. There's one program I like to use, however, that's even easier than opening your Web browser.
WordWeb is a free program that lets you highlight a word and then hit either Control and right-click or Control-Alt-W to quickly scour a database of more than 150,000 root words and 120,000 synonym sets. From there you'll be able to look at common word usages, synonyms, and antonyms all with an easy-to-navigate tabbed interface. Clicking the speaker icon lets you hear the word spoken aloud using the Windows speech engine. You can even search for words that sound like the word you're looking for by clicking the Nearest tab to check similar spellings. Once you've found the perfect word, simply hit the replace button and Wordweb will replace your originally highlighted word. Once you get used to using it, you'll wonder why anyone bothers going online to look for definitions or word ideas.
WordWeb just got a recent update so it's even more useful, now offering several thousand new entries. It works with almost any program so all you'll need to know when you're looking for the right word are the hot keys to bring up WordWeb. Even if WordWeb doesn't have the word you want it offers other resources to continue your search.