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The Canadian Oxford Dictionary CD-ROM

Publisher:  Oxford University Press
Year Published:  2001  
ISBN:  0-19-541800-X

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Well, it took me four tries to install it. The screen froze twice and my laptop crashed once. Sources' Publisher himself tried twice before abandoning it. Nevertheless, I got it, and I didn't first have to unload other programs from memory. The problem maybe with the iFinger software: although the manual says you need Internet access, you only need it to get to the iFinger site for updates to the software program, not to the dictionary. You don't need to go to the Oxford site, for there are no updates on that site. All of the data are on the hard drive. The user interface is a small text box, which can be closed or opened easily. The text is the complete Canadian Oxford Dictionary, which can now be used in different modes and ways. Access is by holding the cursor over a word in a document or an Internet site. The word appears in the box, and a click pops up the COD entry. You can also just type the word in the box, or you can select with keystrokes and by highlighting. There is built-in access to when a definition refers to another entry, via hyperlink. The text can be copied from the COD to your document or to your printer. Only headwords in the COD are retrieved. Derivatives and inflections go to the base word. Compounds will go to the first word clicked, followed by the next word. For example, "cold fusion" will produce "chicken cold" and "cold fusion". Homographs are presented one after another. And the dictionary is not case sensitive. You can even add your own entries to the dictionary file (but not to the COD itself). You create your own lookup database or import from a plain text database.

Some interesting facts: the History function goes back beyond 50 word searches, should you need such a record.

What I don't like about this resource: will not work on Windows 95, and you'll need "power-user rights" to run on Windows NT4/2000. Also, the clicking feature does not work on non-Internet Explorer browsers; you'll have to enter the word manually.

What I do like about this resource: creating your own dictionary expands the use of the software to just one lookup. It is also easy to use.

Quality-to-Price Ratio: depends on your installation problems, average 85.

[Review by Dean Tudor]

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