Artha: Offline Thesaurus With Hotkey Definition Lookup Passive Notifications; Now On Windows Share
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Through the years, the concept of dictionary and thesaurus has changed significantly. For years, students looked up the definitions, synonyms and antonyms for words by opening a physical dictionary. Nowadays, however, searching through the web and using desktop or mobile applications, is far more preferable, not to mention convenient. One such application is Artha, which, until recently, was a Linux-only application (read our review of the Linux version here). Artha is a handy thesaurus based on WordNet with distinct features like global hotkey lookup, passive desktop notifications, regular expression (RegEx) based search, etc. It’s available on both GNU/Linux and now, Microsoft Windows.

Unlike other dictionaries and thesauruses that do their lookups by querying web servers, Artha can be used offline. The application is based on Wordnet, a large lexical English database, in which words are linked semantically. It is an easy and definitive way to improve one’s vocabulary. Running in normal mode with the application open, students can simply type in a word query, click “Search”, and the application will return all available definitions for that word.

Artha - The Open Thesaurus

One of the distinctive features of this application is that the Relatives listed in the bottom pane apply to the term at hand. This makes using the application less complex for students. It includes various relatives like Synonyms, Antonyms, Attributes, Derivatives, Entails, Causes, Kinds, is Kind of, and many more. Word definitions include multiple definitions as well as example sentences where students can see exactly how the word is used in context for each meaning.


The beauty of this application is in its simplicity and organization, and the fact that you can integrate it with the OS itself, so that it can be opened using a simple hotkey combination. The “Hotkey” button in the menu will let you define a hotkey sequence that will trigger Artha to provide you with a definition of whatever word you’ve selected or placed on the system clipboard. The default hotkey is Ctrl+Alt+W. This distinctive feature makes finding meanings very easy.


This feature also works hand-in-hand with the “Notify” feature (also in the toolbar). When you click the Notify button (turns green when enabled), Artha adds itself to the system tray. Whenever you use the hotkey sequence, rather than opening the application window, Artha will simply show you the definition of the word within a passive notification, which automatically disappears after a couple of seconds so you can continue working uninterrupted.


Another useful feature of this utility is that it logs all previous word searches. This allows students to use the dropdown list to search through that log for previous word lookups. Or they can use the “Previous” and “Next” buttons in the menu to scroll through previously searched words.

Relative Tool

When a misspelled word is queried for, Artha gives you its near-match suggestions.

Artha-Word Suggestions

These tools in Artha can help students jog their memory, or better yet, grow their vocabulary with more descriptive words that make their writing clearer and more prolific. Also, with upcoming versions of Artha aiming to add pronunciation, the application will become a great companion for both budding writers and users working on improving their speaking skills.

Artha works on Linux, Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Download Artha

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