Liquid Words full review

Liquid Words Mac OS X is a system add-on that works with any application on your Mac that displays text. Select a word (or phrase) and Liquid Words gives you fast access to search, reference, translation and calculation tools. You don’t need to leave the application you’re in or cut and paste into text boxes.

You may have encountered Liquid Words before, with plug-in versions for Chrome and FireFox well established. There’s a server version too, which adds similar tools to web pages. With the OS X version, word processors, web browsers, email programs and e-books all benefit from the extended functionality that the application adds to OS X.

Liquid Words is fast. All the main features are instantly accessible from keyboard shortcuts. You begin by selecting a word or phrase, then hit SHIFT and 1. A floating toolbar pops up with the selected words already in it. Next, you hit S to search, C to perform calculations, R for reference or T to translate. Once the workflow’s established, you’ll be using it intuitively.

Though menu driven, there are are shortcuts for every action. For example, if you want to look something up on Wikipedia, you highlight text, hit SHIFT and 1, then R, then “W” for Wikipedia. The page pops up straightaway. Want to Google a phrase? Select it, invoke Liquid Words, then hit S and “G” for Google.

The services supported are carefully chosen. You can search various Google services, Amazon, LinkedIn and YouTube. Reference results come from Wikipedia, Wolfram Alpha, Wordnik and Google Definition.  One thing missing from the OS X version though is the ability to share snippets - a feature you’ll find in the browser based versions.

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