Computer and licensing requirements

Does WordWeb work on Windows 11?

Yes, WordWeb 10 is fully updated for Windows 11 (desktop/laptop, not ARM tablets). 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 10 requires Windows 7, 8, 10 or 11 (desktop/laptop, not Windows S).

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 or Edge extension. 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 universal app in the Windows Store. The other version of the program look different and function differently to the Windows version.

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.

Can I do a silent (command line) install?

Yes, use -s1 on the command line to install silently. Add -all if you want an all-users installation, and -lic=XYZ.. to specify your licence number, and -email=ABC... to specify your email.

Technical problems

Why do web reference tabs not display correctly?

On Windows 10 you may still be using the old Internet Explorer based browser. Under Options, Preferences click the Browser tab, and click the link to download and install the newer Edge WebView if needed. If you get pop-up errors when viewing web tabs, make sure that Show web browser messages is not checked.

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 10 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, under Options, Preferences check the "Security (Enhanced)" category, "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 funny 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-standard action, you may see an unexpected result. If needed you can use Options, Preferences to turn off selected-text lookup.

Why can't I download web references? (no internet error)

First of all, check that you do have a working internet connection, e.g. that works in your web browser. If you still get a message about no internet, and you are using Windows 7, your web security libraries may be out of date - see the Microsoft update site.

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.

Subscriptions and upgrades

Do I have to subscribe?

The default purchase option for WordWeb Pro in an annual recurring subscription, including all major and minor updates. There is also a one-off purchase option, but only including one year of updates.

How do I manage my subscription?

You will be sent a reminder a week or two before any subscription auto-renewals. Most purchases are handled by MyCommerce, their site allows you to cancel auto-renewals or change payment method. Request login details on their Get Login page. Note that your login User ID may be a combination of your email address and a number, not just your email address; the User ID for each purchase is also listed in your original order notification email. If you are in the UK and paid by PayPal, you can manage your subscription by logging in to PayPal.

What happens if I can cancel my subscription renewal?

You so need an active subscription to use the current version of the program, so you'd need to renew before it expires to continue using the program. If you have subscribed for more than two years, you can also use any version more than two years old without an active subscription (however it is up to you to make backups of old installation files you may wish to use in future).

What is your upgrade policy?

Subscriptions includes all upgrades while the subscription is active. If you made a one-time purchase minor updates are free for one year and can be downloaded from the users' page. If you have version 9 or lower, you can upgrade to version 10 by following links on your users' page.

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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