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Looking Glass Writing

windows (Archived) Does Evernote have a thesaurus feature or tool available anywhere?

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Is there a thesaurus feature for Evernote? I just started using it and I absolutely love it so far, but I haven't been able to find an app, add-on, or extension that will allow me to integrate a thesaurus tool. It seems to have everything else, even a word count feature, so I'm hoping that I'm just missing it. 

 

Any insight would be greatly appreciated! 

 

~ Shannon

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Bummer! It would be absolutely perfect if only there was a way to add that feature. It may sound ridiculous, but being able to right click on a word and instantly view its synonyms is critical when you're writing content all day. I had the same issue with OneNote, which lacked a word counter in addition to the thesaurus feature. I really liked the organizational structure and the fact that I could share materials with clients online, but not having those basic features eventually drove me back to Word. 

 

Thank you for your prompt response, Metrodon! I appreciate it. 

 

If anyone else out there knows of a way to somehow add a thesaurus feature, please let me know! I know that Evernote is very popular with the writing community, so I can't be the only one who is running into this issue. I've read quite a few blog entries written by writers who have switched over to using Evernote as their primary content creation tool. I would like to do the same and hope that the geniuses over at Evernote will hear my plea!  :) I've always struggled with organization and I waste so much time looking for things I've created or saved. I really think Evernote is the organizational tool I've been waiting for, but I need the ability to create content there for it to truly serve my professional needs.

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Is there a thesaurus feature for Evernote? I just started using it and I absolutely love it so far, but I haven't been able to find an app, add-on, or extension that will allow me to integrate a thesaurus tool. It seems to have everything else, even a word count feature, so I'm hoping that I'm just missing it. 

 

Any insight would be greatly appreciated! 

 

~ Shannon

 

I see you posted in the EN Win section, so this doesn't really apply to your case.   But for any Mac lurkers out there, in EN Mac you can select any word, right-click, and choose "Look-up" and it will show a popup window with both a dictionary and thesaurus entry for that word.

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Buy a thesaurus, cut off the spine, feed it through a scanner, run ocr (optical character recognition) on it, and drag the PDF into Evernote. Evernote will index the contents, so all you have to do is search and the entries will appear (it might be a good idea here to tag it and use advanced searches like tag:thesaurus <term> in order to restrict the word search to that note).

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Buy a thesaurus, cut off the spine, feed it through a scanner, run ocr (optical character recognition) on it, and drag the PDF into Evernote. Evernote will index the contents, so all you have to do is search and the entries will appear (it might be a good idea here to tag it and use advanced searches like tag:thesaurus in order to restrict the word search to that note).

Hey GM, You got something against trees? :-)

That's way too much work. Just double-click on the word and right-click and choose search with Google.

There's a good chance Google will give you the dictionary and thesaurus links for that word.

If it doesn't, there is a prefix you can add to the Google search that will tell Google to use the dictionary or thesaurus. I just don't remember what the prefixes are.

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An alternate solution:

I created a short cut to Thesaurus.com, using the letters TH.

If I want some alternate words for happy, all I do is:
1.) open a 2nd tab, and
2.) type TH happy in the browser

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Wow! You guys are awesome! I've never posted in a tech forum before and didn't expect people to be so responsive and helpful. Do you guys work for Evernote or are you all just good Samaritans? :)

 

Thank you for letting me know about the Google search feature, JMichael. I had no idea I could do a Google search from there. I've never touched Evernote until this past weekend, but it seems to share a lot of similarities with OneNote. Thank you for creating the  that shortcut, JBenson; that definitely saves another step! I'm glad at least I have a quicker way to access synonyms.

 

I would, however, like to try Grumpy Monkey's solution because is sounds like the thesaurus will actually integrate with Evernote and be easier to access while I'm writing. Thanks, Monkey! I admit that I'm a little intimidated because I didn't recognize half the words in your response, but I will give it my best shot! 

 

On a side note, I was wondering if there was a complete instructional manual floating around somewhere that I missed. I tried to find the answers on my own for a while before  finally posting them here. The product guides were great for getting started, but I wish they were more extensive and covered  everything from A-Z in one place. But then I noticed there were books for sale, so I assume that's where all that information is gathered. Do you recommend any particular book? I definitely plan on purchasing one soon.

 

Thanks again for all the help. Have a great day!

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Wow! You guys are awesome! I've never posted in a tech forum before and didn't expect people to be so responsive and helpful. Do you guys work for Evernote or are you all just good Samaritans? :)

 

Thank you for letting me know about the Google search feature, JMichael. I had no idea I could do a Google search from there. I've never touched Evernote until this past weekend, but it seems to share a lot of similarities with OneNote. Thank you for creating the  that shortcut, JBenson; that definitely saves another step! I'm glad at least I have a quicker way to access synonyms.

 

I would, however, like to try Grumpy Monkey's solution because is sounds like the thesaurus will actually integrate with Evernote and be easier to access while I'm writing. Thanks, Monkey! I admit that I'm a little intimidated because I didn't recognize half the words in your response, but I will give it my best shot! 

 

On a side note, I was wondering if there was a complete instructional manual floating around somewhere that I missed. I tried to find the answers on my own for a while before  finally posting them here. The product guides were great for getting started, but I wish they were more extensive and covered  everything from A-Z in one place. But then I noticed there were books for sale, so I assume that's where all that information is gathered. Do you recommend any particular book? I definitely plan on purchasing one soon.

 

Thanks again for all the help. Have a great day!

Hi. It may sound like a bit of work (and it is), but from start to finish (using the ix500 ScanSnap scanner), I could have a thesaurus scanned in about five minutes, and the OCR (depending on how many pages it is) might take ten or fifteen more. The benefit of doing this (for dictionaries, fiction, non-fiction, research articles, etc.) is that your searches will now include everything that you actually need for your work, because you presumably chose the thesaurus (or thesauruses) that best fit your needs. In answer to JM's question, all thesauruses are not the same, and I have five or six that I use in English (maybe ten or fifteen if you include other languages). Of course, a single search accesses them, so it isn't a big deal once they are in your account.

If you want to take it a step further, I suggest you consider extracting all of the text from the PDFs afterwards. This will make it a little easier to find things (they are not inside the PDF anymore), and because searches offline on iOS don't include the content of PDFs (unless something has changed), you ensure that all of your stuff will always be searchable. Automator on the Mac can help with this. If you need to see the formatted page (OCR will destroy the formatting, and this can make it difficult to read), you can put the PDF into a separate note, or leave it on Dropbox for easy access.

Naturally, putting so much data into your account (I have several thousand books and articles) benefits from a little bit of organization. A combination of tags will ensure that you can weed them out of / put them into search results as needed. For example, I tag all of these outside sources as "library" and weed them out (when I just want to see my stuff) by searching for -tag:library. I also have additional tags for sub-categories like "reference" or "history."

As for trees, I have nothing against them. The books would kill the same number of trees sitting on my shelves or torn up and digitized, except that if I scan them into my computer, I can have my entire personal library available to me in the palm of my hand (my iPad via Dropbox or Google Drive) anytime, anywhere, and it is all searchable. So far, the time spent putting everything into my computer has paid for itself many times over in my research.

But, after saying all of that, I have to admit that JM and JB have far simpler methods if the online stuff is sufficient for your needs. It really depends on what kind of writing you are doing. For my writing, the online stuff is insufficient.

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Hi Grumpy Monkey,

 

I was wondering if you thought it would be possible to accomplish the same thing by purchasing an e-thesaurus and somehow uploading the contents to Evernote. I don't have a scanner, though I suppose I could go to Staples or someplace like that. I really would like to find a way to integrate the thesaurus if possible. Like you, the online stuff really isn't sufficient for my needs.

 

Thanks again!

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Hi Grumpy Monkey,

I was wondering if you thought it would be possible to accomplish the same thing by purchasing an e-thesaurus and somehow uploading the contents to Evernote. I don't have a scanner, though I suppose I could go to Staples or someplace like that. I really would like to find a way to integrate the thesaurus if possible. Like you, the online stuff really isn't sufficient for my needs.

Thanks again!

Not legally. You could purchase a Kindle version, strip the DRM, and then import it into Evernote, but it's illegal to strip DRM (in the US, at least). The scanner is a long term investment. I've scanned so many thousands of pages (at least several hundred books) just in the last two months that the Scansnap ix500 has paid for itself in time saved / ease of use. I also purchased a professional grade guilotine paper cutter. It is heavenly :)

If you are only doing a few books and occasional stuff, then an inexpensive all-in-one or something like the doxie scanners might be sufficient.

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Thanks! I will look into the scanner, but I'm pretty accident prone so I probably shouldn't operate anything that could be described as a guilotine.  :D

 

 It would be amazing if Evernote would create an app or some kind of add on for the thesaurus . . . I would definitely be willing to pay for it and I'm sure other writers would as well. Is there a place where they take suggestions for things like that?

 

Thanks again for all the insight!

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I've got this one (http://www.amazon.com/Professional-Guillotine-Desktop-Stack-Cutter/dp/B003D6JQ62/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1368909697&sr=8-5&keywords=paper+guillotine), which is relatively inexpensive and cuts hundreds of pages at once. I wouldn't buy it for one thesaurus, but for a personal library, it is a huge help. The next time I move I should recoup the cost of this from needing far less space in the truck for the bookshelves (last time I moved I had a dozen) and endless boxes of books.

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I was reading some news stories an hour after Grumpy Monkey's post..

Look at the advertisement that showed up on my computer.

http://goo.gl/h9jZO

(1) They are that good. I search using Chrome's Incognito mode, or frequently delete cookies during the day. The data is mine, not theirs to use for targeting ads at me. If they want to buy my search data from me, that's fine, but it is going to cost them. Of course, we have no system for that, so I do what I can to foil them.

(2) I believe some governments have far too much access to our data -- even more than they would if they came to our houses with search warrants, and they also have it without our knowledge. I don't think we need to go back very far in time (a few days, a few years, or a few decades) to find all kinds of abuses that occur when governments gain unfettered surveillance of their citizens, usually in the name of public safety. The intentions are probably good, but the results can be quite disturbing. In comparison, companies look benign.

One thing I really like about Evernote is that they do not mine our data, and their aim is to create a place to safely store your data without having to worry about the kind of privacy issues that some other well-known companies have raised with their unabashedly invasive policies. Yet, until we get something like SpiderOak (zero-knowledge encryption), then I don't think I'll ever be completely comfortable putting stuff on the cloud. This kind of zero-knowledge mindset really ought to be the default standard, especially on the cloud, and not something only available in a few services.

It isn't so much that the govt. is likely to get much out of my Evernote account or even off of my computer, unless they are desperately interested in learning about sixteenth-century history, but I guess you never really know what they can pull out of their "mosaics," and it is the prinicple of the thing that bothers me. All too often we trade privacy for convenience or we do it out of fear, and I think we are only beginning to see what fully-funded, state-of-the-art surveillance states are capable of doing. The AP news story is probably only the tip of the iceberg, and I am afraid a lot of people out there are going to be dismayed by how much they have been violated.

By the way, I don't think any of this is tin-foil hat stuff either. There are meticulously documented historical cases of industrial espionage by government-backed groups, warrantless wire taps, etc. that should make anyone pause and consider the implications of a state that can see into every facet of your life. One of the especially disturbing things is that we (companies or individuals) may not discover the hacking / legal access for months or years, if it is discovered at all. At least when someone breaks into your house they have the courtesy of letting you know by ransacking it. Now, they don't even have to bother leaving their desks!

OK. I am digressing a bit from the topic. Integrations are cool and all, but that depends on there being several great thesauruses available (unlikely given the current copyright regime), and a devleoper out there willing to create an integration. It's a great idea, but in practice, I'd say the scanner is the best bet if you are looking to go beyond the free thesaurus offerings online.

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Buy a thesaurus, cut off the spine, feed it through a scanner, run ocr (optical character recognition) on it, and drag the PDF into Evernote. Evernote will index the contents, so all you have to do is search and the entries will appear (it might be a good idea here to tag it and use advanced searches like tag:thesaurus <term> in order to restrict the word search to that note).

 

Just come to this a bit late, but I have to say that the proposal above would be highly illegal in many jurisdictions. You dont have the  right to scan any book into your computer without permission of the author/publisher.

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