on Friday announced a public beta of Nisus Thesaurus, an electronic thesaurus that integrates with any Service aware application such as Safari, Apple’s Mail, Nisus’ own Nisus Writer Express, and TextEdit.
Services are system-wide capabilities available to applications developed with Cocoa, Apple’s object-oriented development environment. Nisus Writer Express is Nisus’ US$59.95 word processor for Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
To use Nisus Thesaurus, you select the word in a Service-aware application and select “Lookup in Nisus Thesaurus” in the “Services” sub-menu. When you select any synonym in Nisus Thesaurus, the synonyms for that word will be shown right next to it in the Word Browser.
Using the WordNet lexical reference database, Thesaurus “knows” over 120,000 words. When you look up a word in the utility, it displays related words in six categories. With its built-in dictionary, Thesaurus knows that sometimes the same word means different things, so it won’t confuse the related words for “an orange” and “the color orange,” according to Nisus.
Nisus Thesaurus requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later. The final product is due later this year; Nisus is looking for feedback on the beta release.