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How to quickly translate, define text in browser and email on HTC EVO 4G

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If you haven't turned off HTC Sense on your HTC EVO 4G, then you should know about a handy little feature available in the stock web browser and email application that makes translating, defining, and learning more about selected text incredibly quick and easy.

When most people come across a block of text in a foreign language, they probably copy the text or URL (if it's on a web page) and paste it into Google Translate. When encountering an unfamiliar word, they may look it up in a separate dictionary app or look for an online definition. And when hearing about something that they want to know more about, most will likely head over to Wikipedia.

While these methods all work just fine, they require a lot of tapping, typing, opening new browser windows, and maybe even launching apps. But on the HTC EVO (and other devices running the newest version of HTC Sense), all three tasks can be done through a single screen accessible through Sense's copy/paste function.

Here's how it's done:

Note: This only works in the stock browser and email app (Mail, not Gmail).

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1. When you see something on a website or in an email that you want to translate, define, or look up on Wikipedia, press and hold the general area of the text to bring up the magnified viewer box, which gives you finer control of the "cursor" to make your selection.

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2. When you lift your finger off the screen, you can select more text by dragging the beginning and end points (just like on the iPhone). Regardless of whether you do that, a small pop-up will appear with options for what you can do with the selected text: copy, search, or share.

To translate, define, or look up the selection on Wikipedia, tap the magnifying glass (search) icon.

3. A new screen will appear. On the bottom of it will be the three icons shown at the top of this post. Tap on the first icon to look up the selected text on Wikipedia, the second icon to translate the selection into 22 other languages, and the third icon to get a definition.

For example, here's what you'll see when you select the word "Amazon."


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The Wikipedia and dictionary options don't work very well when you select large blocks of text or text in foreign languages for obvious reasons, but the translate option is great for everything.

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You'll have to make sense of the machine translation, of course, but that's true of any kind of online translation tool.

Talk about taking simple copy/paste to the next level!

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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