iFinger 2.0 Electronic reference tool

It's fair to say that iFinger is one of those tools that you never knew you needed. And once you start using this electronic reference utility, it will become either invaluable or infuriating, depending on the nature of your work.

It's a simple premise: download and install a reference work from the iFinger Web site, such as a thesaurus or French-English dictionary, and get iFinger as part of the package.

The software allows you to automatically look up words in any of your installed reference works. There are three ways in which you can do this: you can dock the search bar in the toolbar of the application you are using and then search directly for a word from there; you can set the software to automatically pop up definitions when you run your cursor over any word it has an entry for; or you can double-click on words to find a definition.

One thing to note is that by default it comes with the Sleep setting ticked, which means that double-click and automatic pop-up are disabled and iFinger will only discreetly flash when you touch on a word it knows. This is a handy option once you are up and running, but since there is no manual supplied, we found it baffling that nothing worked when we first started using it.

Another thing we found irritating is iFinger's Office XP Smart Tag. Depending on which reference works you have installed, this can mean it highlights every single word you type. The only way we found to stop this was to remove the Smart Tag word by word, or to exit iFinger.

There are around 70 reference works available on the iFinger Web site, though many are foreign language, reflecting its Norwegian origins. Relevant to Australians is The Australian Oxford Dictionary. The company will also develop custom reference tools for corporate customers.

In brief:iFinger 2.0

If you regularly have to look up information, this is an easy way to put it at your fingertips; if not, iFinger probably isn't something for which you will ever feel the need.

Price: Varies with reference product, e.g., The Australian Oxford Dictionary is $US52.

URL: www.ifinger.com.

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