Lion introduced a new feature called look up:

enter image description here

... which can be invoked by double-tapping a word with three fingers. This works fine most of the time, but I've noticed that it fails many times in Google Chrome (I'm running 18.0 beta).

For example, it works fine on this website, but fails on http://www.gigaom.com. If I try both websites on Safari, they both work. Why does Chrome have this problem? Is it an issue with the website owner not following standards? Is it a bug in Chrome? Is there any temporary workaround?

  • Does it work on Windows in Chrome? Do you have any way to test that scenario?
    – AJ.
    Mar 21, 2012 at 22:43
  • @AJ.: It's a Mac OS X Lion feature, not a Chrome feature. Therefore, there is no way to try it out on Windows.
    – Senseful
    Mar 21, 2012 at 22:49
  • This might be an issue with how the given web page has been built. Mar 22, 2012 at 10:53

1 Answer 1


This bug is known to the Chrome developers and has been filed under...

Issue 90461: Dictionary keyboard shortcut doesn't work in Lion

Basically the problems are timing issues for some websites which take too long to respond to information needed to show the dictionary.

This is what @[email protected] says:

There's likely not much that we can do here. We have to block the UI thread to implement this feature, which is bad and so that's done on a timeout. If the web page takes too long to respond for the information we need to display the popup, we give up and unblock the UI. If we didn't do this, Chrome would look like it's hung, waiting on the web page to respond.

We collect timing information about this, and most pages succeed well below the timeout, but there's also some class of pages that do not respond in time (more than 1500ms, which is what starts to be perceived as sluggish/hung).

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