There are many benefits to using corpora. In order to reap those rewards, how should someone who is setting up a dictionary project proceed? We describe a practical experience of such ‘setting up’ for a new Portuguese-English, English-Portuguese dictionary being written at Oxford University Press. We focus on the Portuguese side, as OUP did not have Portuguese resources prior to the project. We collected a very large (3.5 billion word) corpus from the web, including removing all unwanted material and duplicates. We then identified the best tools for Portuguese for lemmatizing and parsing, and undertook the very large task of parsing it. We then used the dependency parses, as output by the parser, to create word sketches (one page summaries of a word’s grammatical and collocational behavior). We plan to customize an existing system for automatically identifying good candidate dictionary examples, to Portuguese, and add salient information about regional words to the word sketches. All of the data and associated support tools for lexicography are available to the lexicographer in the Sketch Engine corpus query system.