1-Click answers: just alt-click it.

Posted on February 24, 2005 at 01:01 AM

An extremely powerful tool from answers.com, 1-Click Answers offers a way for you to easily find the information you need quickly. See a polysyllabic word on your screen in which you have no idea what it means? Just hold down the Alt key and click on it. A browser window then opens and presents you with the definition of the word from their huge database, which contains over one million definitions. Result: No more Googling for the definition of a word.

I did a little testing of my own and found that it works on words found just about anywhere on your screen. I tried Alt-clicking words in web browsers, word documents, PDFs, notepad. Hell, I even tried Alt-clicking on the "my network places" icon on my desktop and it took me to this page.

<ed. note> One thing to metion concerning Alt-clicking in a PDF document, you must first highlight the word using the text select tool. Only once it's highlighted can you alt-click it. </ed. note>

Now, I know what your saying, "That's all I need. One more desktop toolbar app to clutter my screen." Fear not though, you can minimize the answer bar to the side of the screen or completely turn it off. The only thing left visible is is a tray icon. Clutter be gone.

Another plus is that they offer a Mac version as well. And for those with an aversion to internet explorer, might I suggest trying the answers.com plugin for your search box in Firefox. If you haven't noticed yet, this company really gets it.

Since answers.com has replaced dictionary.com as the definition resource for Google searches, a scenario I could see is Google buying answer.com's technology and integrating it with their Google Answers service. The result would be a huge database of detailed definitions mixed in with professional paid research. Now add the Alt-click functionality to something like, oh I don't know, Google's desktop search and you would have instant access to a broad spectrum of information. Sprinkle in a Mac version of Google desktop search to appease the OSX faithful and you would have a search app more powerful than any of Google's current competitors.

(Larry and Sergey: feel free to drop me a few shares if you happen read this post and like the idea. Or I could just drop a note to my long lost Uncle Eric. What? You didn't know that Google CEO Eric Schmidt is actually my Uncle? Yeah, me either.)

Last but not least, I would be remiss in not telling you to check out the "How do I..." page for 1-Click answers to learn more about what it can do for you.

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