As a follow up to my last post, here are some online resources I use. They are obviously not the only ones out there, but they serve me extremely well, and I definitely recommend them:
This is a one-click English thesaurus and dictionary (and word finder) for Windows that can look up words in almost any program. The great thing about WordWeb is that, it works off-line. There is a free and a premium version. I currently use the free version, which has the following features: Definitions and synonyms, antonyms for some words, related words, audio and pronunciations. This is an absolute must-have.
In the premium version, internet connection allows you to look up words in web references such as the Wikipedia encyclopedia. To learn more or to download, click here.
For everything else (grammar etc) use a word search engine. I swear by Google, although I sometimes use Bing or Yahoo! etc. It's good to get comfortable with more than one search engine.Speaking of comfort, I’ve heard many people complain they can’t find things or they get confused by when they search. I read an article a couple of years back, which basically showed that most of us don’t know how to get the best out of our searches.
E.g. Special characters and operators, like +, –, ~, .., *, OR, and quotation marks, can help you fine-tune your search and increase the accuracy of the results. I found a site, called Google Guide, that takes you through tutorials for Google searches. I'm sure the rule will work for other search engines. To go to the website, click here.