WordPress plugin “Explanatory Dictionary”

This plugin is used when there are words, words expressions or sentences to be explained in the posts or pages of your WordPress blog. This plugin will help to read the explanations of the words (words expressions, sentences) you need via tooltips.


In administration interface you can do the following:
1. set the explanation tooltip width
2. select the explanation tooltip text align
3. set the explanation tooltip text font size
4. set the explanation tooltip text color
5. set the explanation tooltip border size
6. set the explanation tooltip border color
7. set the explanation tooltip background color
8. set the explanation tooltip padding
9. set the explanation tooltip border radius
10. set the explaining word (words expression, sentence) color



Download the plugin

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If you find this plugin useful to you, please consider making a small donation to help contribute to further development. Thanks for your kind support!

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257 Responses to “WordPress plugin “Explanatory Dictionary””

  1. Daniel Hauca says:

    Christopher, please read this: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/explanatory-dictionary/installation/. I think here is written what you want.

    kelljery, unfortunately I have no way to improve this now. If you find anything concerning that please inform me.

    Thank you.

  2. Ian says:

    Hi Ruben. Is there any way for an Editor and Author to use the Dictionary?

  3. Daniel Hauca says:


    Unfortunately, only the admins can use the options page of the plugin.

  4. Irish says:

    I love your plugin but I need a fix for ipad’s hover problem. I tried adding a browser-dependent fix in the css (switch hover to onclick) but it’s not working and I’m wondering if I’m missing something somewhere.


  5. Paul says:

    I have problem with set up this dictionary as follow:
    “Ony one word per article, and each word per article.”
    That mean I dont need to have X tips when I have only one word but X times on page.

    I try to use LIMIT settings, but I cant get how it works.
    If I have 5 times word XXX and five times word YYY on this same article – i get 10 tips, but when I set limit to “2″ I get only two tips but for word which is on top in dictionary. So I have 2 times this same tip. I cant understand how this limit work or what I should put there to have just one tooltip per word.

    Any suggestions?

  6. Nelson says:

    I would like the letter in the alphabet to appear, but NOT be linked if there are no terms in that letter. How do you recommend achieving this? Is there a function that evaluates whether there are entries for a given letter?

  7. Krishna says:


    I really loved your plug in and would like to continue with it. Please help me to sort out this problem.

    I have added one word “om” in dictionary but problem is it highlights same word from “from” and “welcome” as it contains “om” in it. How to limit highlighting to “om” word only instead of show tips on other words which having these two letters “om”.

    Your help will be highly appreciated.


  8. Victor says:

    Hi Ruben,

    How can I add the plugin in a custom php template page?
    I’m sorry if it’s a dumb question but I really can’t find the answer.

    Thanks for your help, and for your plugin by the way!

  9. Damian says:


    Just wondering how a glossary page can actually be set up with this plug-in?


  10. JDB says:

    Hi Ruben,

    I keep struggling with longer, formated text structures.

    Please have a look at http://zero.piepedada.com/?page_id=2

    I am doing some tests and have: TestCarriageReturn and TestZonder (test without) on this page.
    The defintions can be seen on http://zero.piepedada.com/?page_id=20

    But clearly the page layout is not what I was expecting.
    I still think it has to do with the carriage return (certainly if it is the last character)

    I will do some more tests; but any help is more than welcome.

  11. JDB says:

    Hi Ruben,

    Did some more tests and found a difference of handling ADD (inital) and SAVE (update) operations on the explanation.
    Looks like all formating is removed from text in ADD mode, but you can format better in update mode. (in line editing)

    I am not sure though if this is the root cause of my issue, as the text in the manage window is mostly formated as wanted after requery.

    It it the format in the tooltip which seems to be completely different. Looking to the source code, you can see severel DIV and /DIVs are added in between the same text.

  12. Daniel Hauca says:

    Irish, I’ll try modify the plugin so that tooltips will appear after clicking on the word/expression and send it to your email.

    Paul, if I understood you correctly, you have to set the LIMIT 1. If it wouldn’t solve the problem, write here and I will try to fix it.

    Nelson, unfortunately it is not possible now, but maybe I’ll include something like that in one of the next versions.

    Krishna, uncheck the checkbox UNICODE and it will work as you want.

    Thank you.

  13. Daniel Hauca says:

    Victor, as I see you want to add the plugin not in WordPress website. If so, it is impossible.

    Damian, if you want to show all words (words expressions, sentences) with their explanations like a glossary in a post or a page, so add [explanatory dictionary] in it.

    JDB, OK, I’ll try to sort out the problem and fix it.

    Thank you.

  14. Victor says:

    No, no

    I meant using wordpress template. When you create a php template page to use in wordpress.
    I’m tried this but it didn’t work.

  15. Victor says:


    I tried this
    php echo do_shortcode( ‘[explanatory-dictionary]‘ );

  16. Daniel Hauca says:


    The code [explanatory-dictionary] works only in posts or pages. If you add [explanatory-dictionary] in a post or a page, it will show all words (words expressions, sentences) with their explanations like a glossary in that post or page.


  17. Kerrib says:

    We are thrilled with your explanatory dictionary plug in however are a little frustrated by the intermittent way the tool tips occur when viewed in Firefox & Chrome.

    In this example – http://www.hideseek.com.au/2011/03/sassy%E2%80%99s-jamaican-kitchen/ the tool tip displays when viewed in IE but not FF or Chrome.

    Even stranger is this example where the first two occurrences work however the third does not – http://www.hideseek.com.au/2011/03/faster-pussycat/.

    Is there a workaround or version upgrade in the works to rectify this?

  18. Matt says:

    Hi Ruben,

    I really wanted to use this plugin as its the best Ive found but the align doesnt work for me.
    Even when I select “Left” it still places the hover text to the right of the word so if the word is to the right of the page then the definition cannot be read because it is off the page. Here is what I mean:


    I wonder if this a theme issue..I would really like to use your plugin.
    Could tell me how I could align the definition to the left of the word?


  19. Daniel Hauca says:


    There is a div with “thumbNav” id in the theme, which comes over the text that is the reason that the plugin doesn’t work correctly. Open the screen.css file from the theme directory, find .slideshow #thumbNav{ … } and add display:none in that. After it you’ll be sure that the plugin works fine.

    Thank you.

  20. Daniel Hauca says:


    Here is a way to do it, please try it and inform me if everything is OK or not. Open the file javascript/domtooltips.js from plugin directory and change the lines:

    domtooltipsdiv.style.left = (mouse_position.x+15) + “px”;
    domtooltipsdiv.style.top = (mouse_position.y+15) + “px”;



    domtooltipsdiv.style.top = (mouse_position.y+15) + “px”;

    domtooltipsdiv.style.left = (mouse_position.x-domtooltipsdiv.offsetWidth/2) + “px”;

    Thank you.

  21. Matt says:


    Thanks so much for taking the time to look into that and come up with a solution!
    It worked fine, in terms of positioning its perfect.

    For some reason though after adjusting the code the hover definition now ignores all the style settings in the ‘options’ section. It displays it without rounded corners or any of the text settings..Its not big deal, but if you happen to know why that would be I would be interested to know -but dont waste your time trying to figure it out.
    Thanks again!


  22. Baladatem says:

    Hello !

    I use your plugin for my wordpress blog. I’m very satisfied of the ability to custom the apperance in adding custom css. I would like that this plugin could manage better some items :
    1. Easier customization of the Dictionnary page (by integration in the css ?)
    2. Dictionnary page could be display without letter don’t have any explanation.

    Good Job !

  23. Ari Salomon says:

    the shortcode mentioned above is wrong. it is simply [explanatory dictionary] with no hyphen.

  24. I appreciate your wp template, wherever did you down load it from? Thankyou in advance!

  25. Tony says:

    Hi Ruben,

    Thanks for this great plugin, which is just what we need. One problem however. Activating the plugin causes our pages to load 50-75% slower. Any workarounds? Thanks, Tony

  26. Hello I am adding this plugin to a site I am working on, seems like it will work great. I am having one problem, the tooltip that shows up next to a word is only showing a question mark and no definition. I checked and I have wp-footer in my footer.php file just before the ending BODY tag as it says in the FAQ. What might be the problem? The site I am working on is http://advancedhairsolutionsinc.com/. I only have one definition added so far. You see it on this page: http://advancedhairsolutionsinc.com/?page_id=247. Thanks, great plugin.

  27. The plugin is simply the best. How to disable the plugin not to highlight the glossary terms in the posts and pages. I wanted to have the plugin work only when i use [explanatory dictionary].

    We wanted to have the following features in the plugin like

    1. Edit Glossary Terms
    2. Two Addtional Fields like Category and Tag for classification and seo purpose
    3. Facility to Export and Import Glossary Terms

  28. The problem I am having seems to be directly related to the theme as the tool tip works great with the default WordPress theme. I just can’t seem to figure out what it could be.

  29. Daniel Hauca says:

    Baladatem, thank you for your suggestions. I will think about those while creating the next versions.

    Ari Salomon, yes the right shortcode is [explanatory dictionary], sorry. :)

    Clotilde Wyne, I’ve downloaded it from here: http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/mortgage.

    Thank you.

  30. Daniel Hauca says:

    Tony, the plugin filters all posts contents on the page and add tooltip, so it is natural that the website should be slower.

    Phani Kiran Chikkala, good proposals. I’ll include those in the next versions of the plugin.

  31. Daniel Hauca says:


    Have you changed anything in the plugin code? Or can you write where can I download the theme you use and test the plugin on it?


  32. Dude says:

    Hello Ruben,

    How can I add second index (dictionary) for other language?

  33. Kerrib says:

    Hi Ruben
    Unfortunately the fix that you recommended play havok with a slide show component on our website and we have not be able to find a work around to enable to both to work simultaneously. Any other ideas? Thanks.

  34. I was able to nail it down to one PHP file in the theme. In a fresh install of the theme the plugin works fine so I am looking into it as the code I added to the file I need to make the theme work right. I will keep you posted with what I am able to find out.

    On another note how can I make the glossary page just show all the terms and no alphabet?

  35. I’ve got it working now, it had to do with a code in the themes functions.php which was getting rid of p tags. This was there to fix some issues with shortcodes. I removed it, then had to do a few extra things to make up for why it was there. It is working now.

  36. Don’t know if you saw my question in the other comment… How can I make the glossary page just show all the terms and no alphabet?

  37. Chris Webb says:

    Fantastic plugin! Any ETA on the new version coming up? Donation coming your way when I finally get paid, for sure :-)

  38. Arthur says:

    I also could like this plugin. Unfortunately it doesn’t higllight the terms (example should be seen on http://www.in-mediation.eu/versicherer-fordern-standards) and the tooltips are not framed. Changing the options of the style doesn’t appear on the frontend as defined. I am using the twenty ten theme of wordpress. Can you help me oimproving please?

  39. Daniel Hauca says:

    Dude, unfortunately it is not possible in current version.

    Kerrib, sorry, but I didn’t understand what you mean.

    David, unfortunately it is not possible too in current version.

    Chris Webb, as I am very very busy now I cannot say a date, so it will be updated as soon as possible.

  40. saket says:

    I am using WordPress version 3.1.2. have installed the plugin “Explanatory Dictionary” and activated it. But I am not able to find any way to publish it on my home page. I want my users to see the detailed explanation of the words which I will entered through admin panel. Please tell me how I add this plugin to the page “Business Dictionary”. My website is http://www.ect.co.in.

    Thanks & Regards,

  41. Daniel Hauca says:

    Arthur, can you use the plugin on other theme but under the same server and let me know about the result, would the plugin work right or not.

    saket, which words have you added in the dictionary?

    Thank you.

  42. saket says:

    Thanks Ruben for your reply.
    I am trying to add economic terms like Absolute Advantage, Cartel, Assets, Exports, Custom Duty etc. I have added only 5 words to check the functionality of plugins.

    WordPress Theme: Baza Noclegowa 1.6

    The main problem is I was not asked that on which page I want to show the glossary of terms, neither is any link from which users can access the dictionary from home page without logging in or registering.

    Thanks & Regards,

  43. saket says:

    Hi Ruben
    Can I expect a solution of this problem. Actually this plugin is excellent but only thing is I am not able to use it.

  44. JDB says:

    Saket, just put [explanatory dictionary] on your “Business Dictionary” page and you will see it.

  45. Jerrold says:

    Hi ruben,

    first of all hats off to you, this is an excellent plugin. I just reinstalled my wp installation and i want to have all the terms exported to my new and fresh install. Are the terms anywhere saved in a database so i can export?



  46. Peter says:

    Excellent plugin,

    May I suggest that it would be great if the glossary word is linked to the lexicon so that the tooltip only shows an abbreviated version. The user then can decide whether or not to pursue the definition further. If the user clicks on the word it would take them to the exhausitive def.

    Perhaps combining a plugin like LEXICON from adreas Schipplock v1 with this plugin is a good idea. They don’t seem to clash when you run them together; except that lexicon has not been updated for some time. It does work however.

    I agree with the suggestion regarding having only letters highlighted (INDEX) that have active content otherwise it is confusing…and dissapoints users who’s expectations aren’t managed.

    Can I be cheeky and suggest a widget with the most popular definitions?

    It seems natrual and progressive.

    BTW. I am impressed and how smartly you have responded to the comments so far.

    Is there any eays ay to learn how to do this myself. Any suggestions welcome. I would be happy to help then.


  47. Peter says:

    The other lexicon plugin that you could merge with yours I was speaking about is here: http://schipplock.de/projects/lexicon/

  48. Sandra says:

    I like your plugin…tool tip works, but not quite. Working on page: American Gold Eagle and the term is “actual gold weight,” but unless mouse is slightly under “gold” the tool tip appears outside the box and stretched across the page. Also the word is not italicized as set in the Options panel. Matt’s issue sounded similar so I followed the instructions to gave him shown below, because at first I had no tool tip box at all and the tool tip (or definition of the term) appeared outside the box and stretched across the page. This helped some in that I have a tool tip box now but only when the mouse is strategically placed slightly below the center of “gold” as I said. So there…but not quite. What to do please? I like your plugin and the dictionary works great.

    domtooltipsdiv.style.left = (mouse_position.x+15) + “px”;
    domtooltipsdiv.style.top = (mouse_position.y+15) + “px”;
    domtooltipsdiv.style.top = (mouse_position.y+15) + “px”;
    domtooltipsdiv.style.left = (mouse_position.x-domtooltipsdiv.offsetWidth/2) + “px”;

    Thank you,

  49. JDB says:

    Peter, I tried Lexicon, but seems not to work as exected in 3.1.2.
    I love your proposal to have a split part in the dictionary: a part of rthe tool tip and thenthe full definition to be shown in the dictionary

    Ruben, any news on that ? This ties in with the question I had to be able to format the dictionary
    Would really love to have this and I would help me to really start implementing this.

    Thanks a lot for all your great work !!

  50. tamir says:

    I use Explanatory Dictionary and it excellent and I want to expend it so people can go to a page and look at all the list and no look for the word in my site.
    By the way it works perfect in Hebrew

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