Issue 91392 - Request for a way to edit the custom dictionary directly
Summary: Request for a way to edit the custom dictionary directly
Alias: None
Product: General
Classification: Code
Component: spell checking (show other issues)
Version: 3.3.0 or older (OOo)
Hardware: PC Windows XP
: P3 Trivial with 9 votes (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: AOO issues mailing list
QA Contact:
Depends on:
Reported: 2008-07-05 04:40 UTC by White Phoenix
Modified: 2013-04-19 00:54 UTC (History)
4 users (show)

See Also:
Latest Confirmation in: ---
Developer Difficulty: ---


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Description White Phoenix 2008-07-05 04:40:30 UTC
I have added quite a few new words, but they were at the beginning of sentences
and therefore capitalized. I need to convert them to all lowercase and it would
be much easier if it was a text file where I could just edit them all at once
instead of having to add each word one at a time using the editor in the
Tools>Options>Writing Aids>User defined dictionaries>Edit.

I have searched this problem and found out that two years ago there was a
patch/overhaul of the spellchecker that was supposed to make the custom
dictionary an editable text file. Also there was mention in one of the issues
about MySpell being used as the spellchecker which had all sorts of ways for the
user to edit the custom dictionary. It all looked good, but I don’t know. All I
have been able to find is the editor under the path from the Tools menu.
Apparently from the discussion on this thread,,
no one else can find an editable custom dictionary either. Also in the thread,
mention was made of spellchecking being handled by an extension in OOo 3. My
reservations about this are also in the above thread. Perhaps all that is needed
is the release of more information about improvements for OpenOffice 3.0? Hmmph,
not being released for another six months anyway.

Well, crap. MySpell/Hunspell, Mozilla/OpenOffice . . . it’s all the same. And
MySpell/Hunspell is the dictionary that I have had this problem with. And in
Firefox/Thunderbird too! Where’s the ability to edit the custom dictionary as a
text file?
Comment 1 thomas.lange 2008-07-07 09:12:50 UTC
It can be done. See attachment in issue 60698.

For example the content may look like this:
lang: en-US
type: positive

The encoding will be UTF-8.
But that format does not have much of a parser it very much depends on using the
correct amount of spaces for the keywords (in line 2 and 3). And you better not
have leading or trailing spaces as well.

However that encoding was only added on request while the current default
encoding was already in existence and being used.
Thus you can use it. But it is not the default.

Thus it works like this:
You can't create dictionaries with that encoding from within the OOo UI.
But if you already have one with it it will work and that encoding will be kept
even if you modify the content via UI.

Thus what you need to do is:

- either create an empty dictionary (similar to the one in the sampleDics
archive) and copy that to the location where all the other ones are saved as
file. Then you can write a little macro to copy the contents from your previous
ones one-by-one to the new one. Following that you can modify that new file in
any UTF-8 editor. (Beware of the spaces!)

- You could create a complete new dictionary from scratch in an editor.
Of course that way you would have to enter all entries manually...

For the time being that is all there is.
In the long run it would be nice if the user dictionaries were to use a
hunspell/myspell compatible format. But right now user dictionaries are not an
issue handled by hunspell directly.
Comment 2 thomas.lange 2008-07-07 09:14:58 UTC
And just a warning: If you plan on Firefox/Thunderbird compatibility... I don't
think user-dictionaries are compatible at all right now!
Comment 3 thomas.lange 2008-07-07 09:15:26 UTC
Adding myself to cc list.
Comment 4 r4zoli 2009-05-08 08:09:45 UTC
*** Issue 91392 has been confirmed by votes. ***
Comment 5 thomas.lange 2009-05-08 08:41:00 UTC
Setting a missing target. Lets see if that will work out...
Comment 6 imd 2009-10-13 05:05:06 UTC
I've posted a related request at
Comment 7 Lynn Selby 2013-04-19 00:54:27 UTC
I confer with White Phoenix's concern below, as any editing of a custom dictionary I create in Writer that I try to do within Wordpad leads to problems with accented vowels.  I have 25,000 words in a Haitian Creole spell checker that I do not want to add one by one through Writer.  If I save the .dic file as UTF-8 it disappears from the list of user-defined dictionaries in Word Aids.  If I save the .dic file as an ANSI file and then go back into Writer, all the accented vowels convert into symbols.  Thank you in advance.