Computer and licensing requirements

Does WordWeb work on Windows 10?

Yes, WordWeb 9 is fully updated for Windows 10 (desktop/laptop). If you have an earlier version see the What's new page for upgrade information.

There is also a separate Windows Store dictionary app.

Will WordWeb work in old Windows versions?

WordWeb 9 requires Windows Vista, 7, 8 or 10 (desktop/laptop).

Will WordWeb work in 64 bit (or 32 bit) Windows?

Yes, either version is fine.

Does WordWeb need a Firefox/Chrome/Opera/Edge extension?

WordWeb does not need a Firefox extension (WordWeb 7 and earlier did, but this is no longer needed). To work well with Chrome and Opera, you do need to install a browser extension, and will be prompted to do so when you first use WordWeb to look up a word in a Chrome window if you have not installed it before. Internet Explorer does not require extensions.

Can I install on my laptop as well as my desktop?

Yes, if you are the only user of both machines.

Will there be a Linux, Mac, iPhone, Windows phone, etc, version?

WordWeb is now available as an iPhone and iPad dictionary and an Android dictionary. There are also Mac OS dictionaries. There is a Windows 10 universal app in the Windows Store.

Dictionary and thesaurus content

Does WordWeb use British or American English?

See the Options menu to set whether you prefer British, America, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, Irish, South African, Asian or International English. There is an option to either hide or flag words from different locales.

Does WordWeb include etymologies?

No, however the optional add-on Oxford, Collins and Chambers dictionaries do.

Is WordWeb available in other languages?

No, sorry, only English. However in WordWeb Pro you can add your own web reference tabs to look up words easily in various online dictionaries.

Using the WordWeb program

How do I replace a word with a synonym?

In MS Word, Chrome Browser and some other programs you can click on a word in the usual way; WordWeb will show a Replace button you can click to replace the word with a selected alternative. In other programs you cannot use the mouse to look up the word: first select the word you want to look up, then press the keyboard hotkey (default: Ctrl+Alt+W), then WordWeb will show with a Replace button that you can press to paste in a selected synonym.

Can I integrate WordWeb with MS Word?

WordWeb integrates with Word automatically: just Ctrl+right click on a word you want to look up as you would in any other program. In Word you can also replace the word you looked up with your choice of synonym. Not that if you are viewing a file from the internet you may need to click "Enable Editing" in Word before it will allow you to look up words.

Can I use WordWeb as a spell checker?

WordWeb is not a spell checker, though it will suggest alternatives to common misspellings. You cannot use it to spellcheck documents.

How do I delete the lookup history?

In WordWeb Pro, right click on the lookup box and select the Delete History option.

Is there a limit to the number of web reference tabs?

You can have 20 reference tabs in total, including any third-party dictionaries and web references. You can also add additional web references under the X-ref button. To do this select Options menu, X-References, Edit X-Ref list, then click the Add button and enter the name of the reference and its URL.

Add-on references

What is the difference between the various optional Oxford dictionary add-ons?

The Oxford Dictionary of English (ODE) is a large single-volume dictionary, currently the updated 3rd edition, with pronunciations in standard British (BBC) English. The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (SOED) is a two-volume dictionary (6th edition) in small print, and contains a third of the content of the full 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary (OED). SOED is significantly more comprehensive than ODE (and arranged historically), though a few years older, and also comes with audio. The New Oxford American Dictionary (NOAD) is a single-volume dictionary very similar in scope to the ODE, but with North American pronunciations and a more American focus.

If I upgrade WordWeb Pro to the latest version, will old add-ons still work?

Additional add-on dictionaries from an old version will work with the new version. Any minor upgrades to the dictionaries are free, available from the latest WordWeb Pro page. Old additional word lists will also work, however they have been updated for the latest version, so you should get the Bundle upgrade if you want to update them.


Do I have to install to the system tray?

No, there is an option in the installation program to disable this feature. However if you do not install to the tray you will not be able to look up words in other programs with just one click.

See the Preferences on the Options menu for options regarding running at startup. At any time you can also use the "wwnotray" program open WordWeb directly without running on the system tray.

How do I do a network installation?

If you are a computer administrator, in the installation program there is an 'all-users' install option. This makes the program available to everyone on a PC, or if suitably set up, over your network. WordWeb Pro supports shared and personal glossaries, so that everyone on a network can share a communal database as well as having their own local glossaries. People with write access to the shared glossaries folder can create and edit shared glossaries, everyone else can only create local personal glossaries. You can also create shared and personal custom databases.

How do I install sound files?

WordWeb Pro includes 70 000 optional sound files. You can download and install these separately using the download link given on your order download page. WordWeb (free version) has about 5000 sound files for core vocabulary.

Technical problems

I get an error message installing - what's wrong?

Much the most likely reason is that the download was incomplete. Try re-downloading. Sometimes there are temporary local network problems that prevent a reliable connection, in which case the best solution is to try again a few hours later or the next day.

I can't hear pronunciations, what is wrong?

After installing WordWeb 9 and the optional sound files you should be able to click on a music icon by a word to hear the pronunciation. WordWeb Pro has about 70 000 audio pronunciations, the free version about 5000. If you cannot hear the sound please check your speakers are turned on, sound is enabled, and your volume is turned up. When a sound file is not available the toolbar buttons uses Windows text-to-speech engine, which is not nearly as reliable.

Why does Ctrl+Right click not work in some program?

The default house hot key is Ctrl+Right click (which can be changed on the options menu in case another program is also using that hot key). If Ctrl+Right click fails to open WordWeb, check that WordWeb is running in the system tray (if not, and you did a standard installation, re-start Windows). If Ctrl+Right click only fails in a specific program, check that that program is not running as Administrator (Right click the program's icon, and under shortcut properties click the Advanced button and make sure Run as administrator is not checked). Usually only installation programs need to run as administrator, neither WordWeb nor other programs should normally have this checked. You can check if a program is running as administrator (elevated) as explained here.

  • If you are using MS Word and get the message "Make a selection first", Word may be running as administrator or the document may be in protected view (if so, click Word's "Enable Editing" button, then Ctrl+Right click should work).
  • If Acrobat Reader, check "Security (Enhanced)", "Enable Protected Mode at startup" - Ctrl+Right click will not work if this is selected.

Why does Ctrl+Right click bring up the wrong word?

Usually the clicked-on word should be showing, and in many programs like MS Word, common web browsers, and standard Windows programs this should be nearly 100% reliable. However, in some programs, it is not 100% reliable as WordWeb has to use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to extract the text; if you have problems, increasing the font size (or using a simpler font) in the host program may help. In Chrome and Opera browsers make sure that you have the browser extension installed and enabled (Firefox and Edge do not require an extension to be installed to work reliably).

Why do funning things happen opening WordWeb from the tray or using the keyboard hotkey?

By default WordWeb attempts to look up the currently-selected word, by copying it to the clipboard. Ctrl+Insert is the standard keyboard combination that WordWeb uses - in a small number of programs, if this hotkey is assigned to some other non-stanrd action, you may see an unexpected result. If needed you can use Options, Preferences to turn off selected-text lookup.

I access the web through a proxy, how do I enter my password?

Unless you have to enter your password every time, the proxy settings will be taken automatically from your browser. If you need to enter a password each time you access the internet then enable the option under WordWeb's Options menu: Browser, Web browser messages.

Purchase and download

I ordered but did not get my download link - what happened?

Please make sure that you are not blocking the e-mail - check your spam folder and settings. See the re-download request page to re-send the email.

My hard disk crashed - how to re-install WordWeb Pro?

Check your order notification e-mail for instructions. If you have also lost the order e-mail then see the re-download request page to re-send the email.

If you have a question not answered here please contact us.

Licensing and upgrades

How long does the purchase last/is it subscription?

The purchase is one-off, you can continue to use the version you buy indefinitely. You are also entitled to free minor updates (e.g. version 9.00 to 9.99).

What happens with upgrades and updates?

Minor updates are free - see the web link on WordWeb's Help menu to get free updates. Major upgrades (e.g. version 9.x to 10.y) are optional and may be charged, but do not happen very often (none currently planned). Also if you purchase within three months of a major upgrade you would be entitled to a free upgrade to the next version.

Why is a 5 multi-user purchase cheaper?

It isn't. The price quoted for multi-user licensing is per user, e.g. so if you get 5 copies of the 5+ purchase option, it would cost five times the per-user price.

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