A friend once jokingly remarked to me that a writer is a combination of several factors such as imagination, ingenuity & creativity, incisiveness, sharp wit, and a sense of humor, knowledge and wisdom, and a subtlety of purpose ! And his primary tools, among others, are the Muse, a quiet environs, a dictionary and a thesaurus.
We can not do much about the Muse! He comes and goes as he pleases. But, the dictionary and the thesaurus? Yes
Often, we struggle with the flow of thoughts when writing because we do not get the right word, phrase, quotation, etcetera. The use of a dictionary and thesaurus helps, but only so so! The manual / physical dictionary and thesaurus is really very clumsy. Software wise, we use the basic features available in MS Word. But these are just that, very basic! Further, on proper nouns, they draw a blank! So what do we do? Jump on a search engine? But the mining of relevant information on the net is really tedious and sooooo time consuming!
This is where Babylon comes in!
Babylon tool / software provides quick information at a click! Its information covers a multitude of topics. And all this, at the simple click of the mouse!
- Integration: A powerful information tool that combines the best of a dictionary, a thesaurus, and an encyclopaedia. It's a favorite and can be used both at home and work!
- Dream Tool: A Dream Tool! No doubt about it! Must for writers, and others too.
- Glossaries: It has a huge database of over 1,600 dictionaries & glossaries on its home site, and is still being updated and growing!
- Interface: ]
- Activation Keys: To run the tool, press the activation keys. This, the tool will ask you to do it when you install it for the first time. I usually use CTRL + ALT, as this combination does not interfere with any other software.
- Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopaedia, & Translator: It not only provides instant, relevant information but also multi-lingual translations for any word or value you type in or click on. For example, you come across a word on MS, '' nada '', and you want to know what it means. No problem! Just activate Babylon by clicking on the word '' nada ''. And prompto! You learn that '' nada '' is Italian for '' nothing ''. If you want to know the meaning of a result that Babylon has thrown-up, just click on it!
- Sensitive OCR Engine: It has a sensitive OCR engine that can read Words off images, or scanned text! It allows users to click on any word, phrase or number in any Windows application and immediately receive a translation or description!
- Online / Offline Usage: Can be used offline or online. You can switch between online and offline modes by clicking on the revolving Babylon icon at the top left corner of the result window. This icon also displays the connection status i.e., Online or Offline. Offline works well, but is limited to the number of glossaries downloaded to local system. Once glossaries are downloaded, there will be no need to connect to the net anymore, except occasionally when you want to pick up new or additional glossaries. Online operation is the best.
- Subscribe / Download Glossaries: Glossaries can be subscribed to or downloaded to the local system by clicking on the + button to the right of a result, and selecting one of the options, viz., '' Subscribe '' or '' Download ''. Subscription will not download the glossary, but will connect to it online whenever the need arises. The other option '' Download '' is self-explanatory.
- Copy / Paste: Results can be saved in Babylon itself or locally into your system.
- TTS engine: Speaks pronunciations typed in. A menu of voices provided.
- History: The tool is equipped with a history feature to navigate to previous words or previous conversions.
- Converter & Calculator: Can convert any value to the value of our choice. Conversions cover currencies, measurements, time and their sub-units. It can also distinguish between a word and a value, and automatically invokes the converter feature, when the target is a value. History feature is available.
- Miscellaneous: The tool has a resizable window and several options to configure how you want it to behave. A pane in the tool displays a list of selected glossaries with check boxes, allowing them to be either selected or deselected or even deleted. If you do not want the tool to run temporarily, you can disable it, and enable it later when you need it, or completely exit it.
- Price / Trial Versions: You can either buy Babylon (details on web site) or just download the trial version (30 days). If you would like to understand how useful the tool is, then best to start with a trial version and then decide whether you want to keep it permanently for your requirements.
Operating Systems: Supports multiple operating systems across the board .  For all details, how to use the tool and its ease of use, please read the Help file of Babylon.
All said and done, you will have to experiment with this tool yourself to understand its real utility.
+ Trendy and User-friendly interface
+ ] Works Online or Offline
+ Huge Database of Glossaries; Babylon site
+ Sensitive OCR Engine that can read Words or numbers off images, or scanned text
+ Powerful Information Tool Integrating Dictionary, Thesaurus & Encyclopaedia  + + + + + + + can navigate to Previous Searches
+ Speak Pronunciations; TTS Engine; Choice from several voices; Newer ones can be downloaded
+ Works on Multiple Operating Systems
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