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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



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330 Comments on WordPress plugin “Explanatory Dictionary”

  1. Sven says:

    Thanks for sharing your plugins Ruben!

    I have two questions regarding “Explanatory Dictionary”:

    1. If the word is several times in the same page, will the tooltip be added to all or only the first?

    2. I have used the ABBR html tag to some of my posts to explain some words, it I add your plugin for the same words, will the tooltip be added to the already explained words or will this plugin add tooltips to words inside tags (like in the title of IMG-tags)?


  2. Dear Ruben,

    great plugin, thank you for your work.

    I did not find – maybe i missed it in the comments? – a way to put links to other pages of my site or external websites in the explanations.

    Is there a way? If not, that would be my suggestions for next version 😉

    Kind regards, Viktor

  3. Albert Rubio says:

    A nice feature for which I see no mention of is to allow multiple keywords/phrases for the same definition. For example I would want to have the same explanation for liberalism, classical liberalism, libertarianism.

  4. I love your wp theme, do you get a hold of it from? Thanks in advance!

  5. First of all, I am sorry for delayed answers and thank JDB who answer some questions.

    Jerrold, you cannot export the dictionary from admin panel. I can explain how to do it programmatically if you want.

    Peter and JDB, I want to update my plugins, but I am very very busy and have no time (even on weekends) to do it. :( But I decide to update some of my plugin in July.

    Sandra, sorry, but I need to see your problem. Can you provide me a link where I can see it?

    tamir, good suggestion and maybe it will be included in the new version too.

  6. Sven, you can set how many times you want the word be shown from the plugin options page (option “Limit”). But what about your second question, sorry but I didn’t understand it.

    Viktor, it is impossible and I’ll try to include that feature in one of the next versions.

    Albert Rubio, good suggestion.

    My wp theme is Mortgage (

    Thank you all.

  7. Razvan Neagu says:

    Just installed your plugin and I think it is really cool and helpful. One suggestion I have, which keeps me from deploying full-scale and convert my existing (manually created) glossary is to enable hyperlinks.

    Many terms in my glossary are explained using other technical terms so I have a web of links among all of them, which makes the glossary rich and useful (albeit using a circular logic of explaining terms using other terms that need explaining too.)

    In any case, what I would find really useful is to enable me to paste text *with hyperlinks* in the explanation text entry field of your plugin back-end. Those links will not appear in the tooltip but would appear if visiting the glossary page (created using the explanatory-dictionary shortcode).

    Of course, ideally I would like the tooltip to have those links too so one could keep clicking through as needed and see multiple terms in the same tooltip box, which means the tooltip area would need to dynamically resize to fit the content. That would be cool and useful though not sure how difficult it would be to implement.

    So far, so good… would like to get your feedback on the points above.


  8. Razvan Neagu says:

    After some more thought and testing… since your plugin actually creates the hyperlinks DYNAMICALLY, I may not actually need to enter text with links in them – cool!

    I realize that as it is set so far I am not able to click a link in the tooltip since the tooltip dissapears once I go out of the mouse-over target. Maybe this could be addressed with a delay to hide the tooltip and then allow the tooltip to be visible if the mouse is over the tooltip area…

    However, I am running into a larger issue, a disabling bug. If in the explanation of a term you use another term that exists in the dictionary, it all breaks down; the tooltip and even the actual term on page does not display any longer.

    It seems unlikely that I can keep in mind all the terms I have in the dictionary and avoid using them in explanations of new terms.

    Am I missing something or is this something you may be able to fix?

    Please advise… Thanks!

  9. Razvan Neagu says:

    … then I cannot get it to work again (even if I remove the circular term definition) unless I delete files and re-install the plugin…

  10. Razvan Neagu says:

    sorry for multiple posts… here is a test page showing the behavior:

  11. gary says:

    I see where I can exclude pages and it gives me numerical examples of how to do it. Where do I get the numbers for the page? I have tried numbers and the name of the url but it is still site wide. Can you help?

  12. For the problem of tags in tooltips I have solved with the following code into explanatory-dictionary.php (line 534):

    $content = preg_replace(‘/\b’.$explanatory_dictionary[$i][‘word’].’\b(?![^|\]]|(\[no explanation\])*(\[\/no explanation\]))/ui’,’$0′, $content, $limit);

    For the problem of saving from the back-end I have solved with the following code into explanatory-dictionary-save-edits.php (line 28):


    Has anyone solved the problem of circular terms? Razvan Neagu It would seem that he has succeeded in some way, but I do not understand.
    Can you help me?

  13. Koen says:

    Hi Ruben,

    Thanks a lot for the great pluggin, we like it a lot!

    We have one question: Is it possible that there are no popups when the word appears in the title or in between h1-tags?
    We would like to keep the titles without dictionary.

    Is this possible in any way?

    Thanks a lot for your answer & have a nice day!


  14. Hi Koen,

    You can exclude the words (words expressions, sentences) from being explained by getting those words (words expressions, sentences) into [no explanation][/no explanation] tags. For example: <h2>[no explanation]Example[/no explanation] title</h2>. Unfortunately you have to put it manually.


  15. Jack says:

    Just installed the newest update and now get an error message when trying to update. It was working fine before the last two updates. just says “Error!”


  16. Hi Jack,

    Please explain more when it shows “Error”. If it shows when you want to add or edit a word, write that word with synonyms and forms. So please write everything which related with the error and I’ll try to fix it.


  17. Jack says:

    Hi Ruben,

    My mistake. I added the def to the syn. field.

    Where can I set that a word only gets highlighted once in a page/post? I vaguely remember that being possible in the previous edition as well as being able to turn of linking in tags.

    Sometimes the tooltip doesn’t work now though. I don’t know if it connected with the fact that some word (in die dictionary) are now highlight (great feature.

    It would be nice if the tooltip would stay fixed so one could click it with links and stuff.

    Awesome update though. I am really impressed…this is going somewhere. :)

  18. Leon Pors says:

    Dear Ruben,

    Thanks for the plugin! Recently installed it.

    I have one (hopefully minor) issue. The explanations show up completely written out in the excerpts in my blog page. This is no real big deal, but it looks a little off. Within the posts themselves the plugin works like a dream. Is there a quick fix to get rid of this problem? I’m using the Catalyst theme.

    Thanks for your time.


  19. Jack says:


    Just noticed that it is not that the tooltip does NOT display but rather that it doesn’t seem to display where the word is. ie. since all the instances of a dictionary word are highlighted, the tooltip display where the first instance is…sometime higher up and since you have scrolled down you can’t see it.

    I hope this helps

  20. Dear Ruben,

    thanks for taking the time for new versions. Unfortunatley after updating to 3.01 i git this error:
    Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 96468992 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 43639989 bytes) in /var/www/web1160/html/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/explanatory-dictionary/explanatory-dictionary.php on line 352

    It says line 352 here, but the numbder of the line always changes. I have tried deactivating, deinstalling and reinstalling, but always the same thing happens.

    Do you have a suggestion?

    Kind regard, Viktor

  21. Update to my last comment. I found that the option “Check if there is an unicode word in the explanatory dictionary” was checked. After i unchecked it, the error wasgone.

    Still would be interested, what was the reason.

    Kind regards, Viktor

  22. Jack says:


    That looks like a hosting problem. Seems you have gone past the memory limit set by your host maybe?

  23. JDB says:


    the new version works great. I can now format my explanation :-) Tx a lot. Very much appreciated !

    Just a small thing: when I use i seem to have similar problems as before. But this is a minor thing for me, as I can work around this.

    Also 1 question: if the word with explanation is too far to the left, the tooltip is even more left and only shows partially. Is there any way to avoid this ?

  24. Adam says:

    Any idea why I might not be getting the tool tips at all? It is supposed to happen automatically right? I setup a couple terms and tested them on a page…and I don’t get anything. Also…is there any way to format the glossary page a bit?

  25. Adam says:

    I think I may have figured it out. Will this plugin not accept punctuation in the word being defined? For instance, one of our terms is O.D. which stands for Outside Diameter. Another one is “D” of Bend which is diameter of bend. I could probably get rid of the ” if I have to (I’d rather not) but I need to be able to have the periods for the abbreviations. Can this be made to work?

  26. Same problem here like with Viktor Leberecht, but when I disable the unicode check, no tips are displayed at all. Please, help!

  27. Adam says:

    New issue (related) – thought it might help figure out the issue. I have two terms: Ferrous and Non-Ferrous. However, it always highlights the “Ferrous” part of Non-Ferrous so that it is actually giving the exact wrong definition for that term.

    Help please!

  28. assaf says:

    is there any way to extract all the tooltips to a page containg a nice menu with AB lettering navigation menu?

  29. assaf says:

    It’s not possible to use both Unicode and Non-Unicode terms. If I check the UNICODE check box, than all the English terms not working and vice versa.

  30. sharon says:

    Feeling dumb. I place the shortcode in a page

    [explanatory dictionary]

    and the shortcode itself appears on front end.
    What am i missing here?

  31. Li-An says:

    great plugin. I have the same problem as comment 23 from JDB. When the word is on the left, the tooltip is hidden partially by leftsidebar of my theme. You can see it here: for “quicktag” word.

  32. Francesca says:

    Hi Ruben,

    Thank you for this great plugin.
    I have a problem adding a new word in the new version of the plugin. I get an error and cannot insert anything.
    Is it possible to solve this or to revert to the previous version which worked just fine?
    I use WP 3.2.1

  33. Francesca says:

    New update to my post:
    I did some tests, so I selected the option Check if there is an unicode word in the explanatory dictionary I got a general error ‘Fatal error: Allowed memory size of exhausted’ then I deselect it, and everything works again. Wonder!
    Thanks for this plugin and your work on it!

  34. Dude says:

    Hello Ruben,

    Ii had similiar problem like Viktor Leberecht with the unicode check box in option. If the checkbox is checked than it eats a lot of php memory and gives fatal eror. I had to set the memory limit to 94M and its still slowing down my webpage. At explanatory on first page it shows all the words.

  35. Dude says:


    Could someone upload older version of plugin pls.

  36. jonathan says:

    is there shortcode or a way to have a glossary terms page with all the therms?

  37. Michael says:

    What a shame I’ve used up all my superlatives – like ‘great’, ‘fabulous’, etc. – on lesser plugins. Now I’ll have to find a new word which tops them to describe this one.

    Constructive (hopefully) feedback:

    (1) I wanted to output everything to a single glossary page. REALLY easy to do – took me seconds … REALLY (OK, exageration … “quite”) hard to find out HOW to do. Did I miss something? If I did, making it a bit easier to find would be great for idiots like me.

    (2) Once I’d created the page, I couldn’t resist clicking a letter to see what would happen and how it would look. I didn’t think about an “ALL” button to revert back till after I’d clicked one. Would maybe be useful … again, for idiots like me!

    I haven’t played enough to break it yet … no doubt I will. Best way to find out what something CAN’T do is to try to make it do it :-)

    Oh … (3) Would be great to have more than one instance of it running at the same time … e.g. “Glossary of this site”, “Glossary of Red Things on this site”, “Glossary of Silly Remarks” :-))

    But that would be the cherry on the icing on the cake.

    Hmmm .. does “Wow” cover it?

  38. Michael says:


    Sorry … just actually read your question. If you’re asking what I think you are, it’s REALLY easy.

    Just set up a new page with “[explanatory dictionary]” as the text. So obvious once you know, isn’t it?


  39. wyman says:

    I installed your plugin on my wordpress site (3.2) locally.
    The tooltip does not appear, however, in the source code I see an addition of class “domtooltips”.
    But I can create a page with the glossary without difficulty.

  40. Mark Jala says:

    Excellent plugin. Thank-you. I have a couple comments.

    1) I made a change in the css file to make the explanation not run off the page. Here’s the slight change:
    position: absolute;
    display: block;
    z-index: 200;

    2) I love the glossary page. Is there a way to limit the number of entries on this page? I would love to see an “All” option as Michael mentioned above, and a way to show 0 entries so they need to click on a letter. That would allow us to add some text below with some special content.

    Thank-you for an excellent plugin.

  41. Dana Stamos says:

    My post summaries now only have the text from my Explanatory Dictionary and no summary of the post. The Explanatory Dictionary works correctly for the posts themselves but on the summary page, instead of adding the highlighted word, it adds the entire definition to the summary. I think it is also explanaing the words used in the title which it should not do. I have no clue how to fix this so can you please advise me.

  42. Hi all,

    Sorry for my delayed reply, but I am really too busy and have no second to reply the comments. One request, if somebody finds any bug or has any suggestion for this plugin, please write me via the following contact form:


  43. Hapi says:

    Good plugin, but the tooltips doesn’t show up in text extracted from advanced custom fields

    How can I make it work ?

  44. Rachel says:

    Love the simplicity and elegance of this plugin– I just have three requests for additions.

    1. Support for other language glyphs, such as Japanese, Korean, Devanagari, Chinese, etc. Even if you type in the correct glyph is shows up as a question mark… Isn’t that a matter of changing it over to UTF-8?

    2. Search function for the dictionary only.

    3. Synonyms show up at the bottom of the definition. This is particularly useful since my dictionary has to be bilingual and I’m using a language with a second set of glyphs.


  45. GPT says:


    Thank you very much for wrting this great plugin.
    first of all, i’m a newbie in making websites en i got your plugin to work. I tried quite a few glossary plugings that didn’t work the way i wanted them to. Yours however does.
    There are just a few suggetions left:
    1: The glossary page opens with all the terms with the letter A displayed. I prefer just to display A…Z and have the users click on the letter if they want to read what’s “hidden” under the letter.
    2: It woud be great to have some kind of seach box to let the users search for one of the words in the dictionary, or to be able to add the words to my site so they can be found by using the regular “search website” box.

    Thanks in advance for the reply.


  46. Thomas says:


    When I click on “Settings” I get the following error message
    You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page

    I have tried on several wordpress blogs and always get the same error.

    Do you know a way to solve it?


  47. Tim Plaster says:

    Thank you for your plugin!! When I activate it, then I go to the Settings page, as an administrator, and I get this: You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page.

    Any ideas?

  48. hasanmahmud says:

    I feel really grateful to you as i was looking such great tool for my medical related site. as medical terms are often required to be explained.Yet i need a dictionary type plugin where i can save my terms in a database and visitors will click the term to see the word in the dictionary. Is is possible to get it from you? Thank you again.

  49. Eric says:

    Hi, I really like this plugin, but have a problem since I implemented – on my homepage that just shows a snippit of the recent posts, it is showing the entire definition of words if they are located in the first part of the post that is shown in the snippet. Any suggestions?

  50. when can we expect few features like

    1. Term Category
    2. Custom URL
    3. Image Functionality for the term etc

    thanks for great plugin

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