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I have been using the trackpad w/ force touch to look up the defintions of words when browsing (safari/chrome/ff/etc). It looks like this:

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The problem is my wrist has been bothering me as I use the trackpad so I decided to get an ergonomic mouse (logitech mx master 2s) but now I can't seem to figure out how to mirror this 'look up word in osx dictionary' behavior.

I looked at defaults read -g but nothing stood out. How can I use a mouse + keyboard option to mirror this 'look up' word behavior that force currently has on my trackpad?

4 Answers 4

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command ⌘control ⌃D is the built-in shortcut for this, performing a Look Up on the current mouse position, as if you'd used Force Touch.

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  • Is there any way to remove the shortcut associated with looking up words? I went to System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts, and then clicked on services in the menu on the left. There is a shortcut labeled Look Up in Dictionary. However, this opens the word in the Dictionary app instead of the Look Up window. How do I remove the ⌃⌘D keyboard shortcut? @grg♦ Dec 13, 2019 at 4:34
  • @PeterSchorn Did you find a solution for this one? I need this shortcut in some other app but the "Dictionary Look Up" ends up overriding it always. I have tried disabling the dictionary look up as a whole and also re-assigning the shortcut but it does not work. Sep 15, 2021 at 14:52
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for people who are looking for the same lookup function using Logitech mx master mouse on mac... after downloading and setting up your mouse with logi options (the Logitech app for the mouse), select preview (if that's the app you want to set the button function for). and select the button you want to set the function with. now you will see a list of avalible function, under system commands, you will see Look Up. just check that and then you are all set.

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I had the same issue. In the end, I have found the compromise of using three fingers on the trackpad. System Preferences/Trackpad/Point&Click/Looked up&data detectors and chose Tap with three fingers.

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I do this using Alfred — with which I have no affiliation — an aftermarket macOS app. Using this app, looking up things using other websites can be done quickly from the keyboard, with no need to move a hand to the mouse or trackpad.

Into Alfred, I added the URLs of a dozen or so webpages I use frequently for various kinds of lookups: maps, Google images, Kindle books, etc. The user also assigns a key combination to each URL, e.g., "k" (no quotes) for Kindle books. Alfred's preferences are set to load Alfred when the computer boots; it runs in the background.

It works like this:

  • Use Alfred. I modified the stock key sequence; on my machine, ⌘ > l opens the Alfred window on top of whatever else is on the screen.

  • Enter the abbreviation you've chosen to point at the website you want. For example, if I want to use Google Maps, I'd enter "gm" (no quotes) to search on Google Maps. For the OP, this would be the pointer to the OP's preferred dictionary site.

  • Enter a space, and then the text you wish to look up.

  • Press Return.

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