Artha – A Linux desktop dictionary worth having

The default dictionary that ships with Ubuntu requires one to be online to be able to look up a word. Well what if you are not online or have no internet connection at your disposal at the time you want to look up the meaning of a word? That is where Artha shines.
Artha is a WordNet based thesaurus released under the GPL that works completely offline. It 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 me, the killer feature about Artha is its ability to pop  up a balloon with the meaning of a word which I highlight and press a predefined key. It is really cool and makes using very pleasant in that it gets out of your way while at the same time helping you make sense of whatever it is that you are reading. 
It is available for download source compilation for other distros while both Debian and Fedora together with their derivatives already have it in their repositories.

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