How to Upgrade Your Writing With OneLook

There are times when you sit down to write an article, and you just can’t think of the right words to use. You wish you had a better way to phrase things,  a way to make your point more prominent. A dictionary or thesaurus can help, but having a tool to translate your thoughts into modern terminology is even better. Sometimes we get stuck in a rut using the same words over and over, but with OneLook, you can upgrade your writing and expand your vocabulary bank.

OneLook is a free online search tool that every writer should have in their writing arsenal. It’s not much to look at, but its power goes beyond the functions of any standard dictionary or thesaurus, to that of a search engine for words and phrases. Add it to your toolbar in Firefox or IE for easy access when you need it. Some of the ways to use OneLook are common, so today I’ll highlight the cool and unusual things it does.

How Do I Use OneLook?

There are certain symbol/word combinations that give you specific results. Use the “Example Searches” box to guide you in how to enter your words to get the results you’re looking for.


What’s The Word I’m Looking For?

The reverse dictionary, or “Concept” option in OneLook will be handy for times when you know the meaning of what you want to say, but just can’t think of the word you need. In the search box, enter the concept in a few words, a sentence, or even a related single word. Hitting the “Find Words” button will yield a list of words that best match that description.


How Should I Phrase This?

When you know the words you want to use, but you aren’t sure how to phrase it, use the “Find Phrases” option. Following the “Example Box” shown above, enter your word as shown. Entering **Word** will bring up a display of phrases with your word in them.


Customize It!

If you have read other articles by me, you already know I like to customize everything! This is no exception, so let’s dive into what can be changed to make it the way YOU want it to be!

1. Custom Background Color

There are 8 pastel colors to choose as your new background color. Just select the color you want and save the settings.


2. Display Options

I prefer to stay on the page, and have a new window open when I click a link. If you prefer a different option, there are three display options to choose from.Pick the one you prefer and save the settings.


3. Watch Your Language

OneLook isn’t just an English dictionary. This great tool displays your search in one of 6 languages and has a translating dictionary as well.


4. Wildcard Searches

When you do a search with the symbols and words, that is called a “Wild Card Search”.  You can choose to have your list displayed by “All Matches” or narrow the selection down by choosing  “Common Words & Phrases”, or “Common Words Only”.


Whether you’re a student, blogger or professional journalist, OneLook is an asset to any article. I’m interested to know what you use for inspiration when writing! Leave a comment and let us know what inspires you!

Image credit: peteoshea

Jessica Prouty

Jessica is a Support Technician for Cytanium Hosting who loves to teach people how to use modern technology to be more productive and organized. Simple tips, tricks and tools can make anyone computer savvy! You can follow her on Twitter @learningrl or visit her blog at