Saturday, 28 April 2012

Artha - The best dictionary app for ubuntu [offline]

I was in search of the best dictionary app (software) for my ubuntu as I recently started reading many ebooks. As English is not my native language, a good dictionary app is always the best friend while reading. I have tried many dictionary app but I finally I have settled on the dictionary app called "Artha".


"Artha" is a Sanskrit word (an ancient Indian language)  which means "meaning" in English. Apt name for a dictionary app, right? The best part of this app is that it works offline while most of the dictionary apps available in ubuntu needs internet connection for working. Let's see some of the features of Artha from their website.





Artha is a handy thesaurus that focuses on high usability, without trading off simplicity and ease of use. It has the following distinct features that increases its usability:

    WordNet - Artha harnesses the extensive & in-depth database provided by WordNet. Unlike other dictionaries which goes on-line for every single lookup, Artha works completely off-line; thanks to WordNet for its excellent and cognitive database.
    Hot key Lookup - When you press a pre-set hot key, after selecting some text on any window, Artha pops up with the selection's definitions looked-up.
    Regular Expressions Search - When a word is vaguely known I.e. the user is unclear of its spelling or when it's start/end alone is known or when the number of characters is known; one can speed up/narrow the search using regular expression to locate the particular word they have in mind.
    Notifications - Artha can show passive notifications (balloon tips) instead of the application's window popping up, so that you can continue what you were doing, uninterrupted. (like reading, writing, etc.)
    Suggestions - When a misspelled word is queried for, Artha gives you its near-match suggestions.
    Relative to Sense Mapping - Relative words like synonyms, antonyms, etc. that are displayed are many. You might not know to which sense/definition of a word does a relative map to. In Artha, when you select a relative, its corresponding definition is scrolled to and highlighted for easy comprehension.

For a given word, the possible relatives shown by Artha includes Synonyms, Antonyms, Derivatives, Pertainyms (Related Noun/Verb), Attributes, Similar Terms, Domain Terms, Entails (what verb entails doing), Causes (what a verb causes to), Hypernyms (is a kind of), Hyponyms (kinds), Holonyms (is a part of) and Meronyms (parts). To know more about each category of relatives, click on it for an explanation and example. Once launched, Artha sits on the system tray and looks for the pre-set hot key combination press. You can select some text on any window, and call Artha by pressing the key combo. Depending upon the option set, Artha with either pop-up with the word looked-up or will show a passive notification of the most important definition of the searched term, from the system tray.

You can install it on ubuntu from software center. Just type 'artha' in software center and install it.

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