Anoter vote for Custom Dictionary Support

One of the key files that I always make sure to backup and transfer to any new system I use (Mac or Windows) is the custom dictionary that I’ve built over decades of using my favorite word processing/Office products on each platform.

So I find it wonderful when I find an editor that includes the feature of allowing easily configured incorporation of a standard-format, unicode dictionary (one word per line, CR/LF delimited). Conversely, I really hate to have to begin building a new dictionary every time I begin using a new application for writing or taking notes.

In this day of cross-platform support and available-anywhere cloud synchronization, it’s ridiculous to have a separate, hard-coded dictionary file for every machine on which one works. With people using Dropbox or Skydrive across multiple platforms, all applications with dictionaries should allow pointing or placing the dictionary file where it can be accessed regardless of the machine one is working on.

I have two Windows licenses and a Mac license for Scrivener, and look forward to buying a iOS license when you finally get that published. I should NOT have to build 3-4 or more dictionary files as I write. I should be able to point Scrivener to the Dropbox folder (where I save my projects as it is), and use a fully synchronized version that’s as up to date as my last writing session, no matter which machine I worked on.

I’m not sure how things work on Windows (I’m the Mac developer), but on the Mac, all dictionary support is built into the OS (there’s no code in Scrivener pertaining to it), so this is just how it works across the Mac for most Cocoa apps. Programs such as Word and OpenOffice don’t use the standard Cocoa frameworks and do things their own way instead, but there are no plans to take that approach with Scrivener, as we don’t have the resources to hand-built our own dictionary system from scratch. Even if we did, it wouldn’t please everyone, as the advantage of the current one is that it is consistent across many apps on the system.

All the best,
Keith

Well, I got redirected to this from another topic, which is only tangentally related, but I can definitely understand why you’d want to use the integrated dictionary support option in MacOS. Unfortunately, to the extent of my knowledge there is no such feature in Windows, or at least I’ve never come across a program that appeared to utilize it from a usage stand point, then again I’m stilling using Windows 7 Ultimate, so maybe it has been added for 8 and/or 10.

What I will say is that I hope someday that integrated support can be optimized to be able to link to a cloud-stored file for user-defined dictionaries, and maybe even to allow for multiple selectable user-defined dictionaries for those people who work on projects in multiple settings and have a need for it. At least you won’t have to be the one to work out how to do it, KB.

edit Sorry about resurrecting this old thread. I knew it wasn’t recent but I hadn’t realized where it was hiding when I followed a link to it. There isn’t any need to reply to it, just let it sink back into the murky depths of obscurity.

As Keith notes, each platform (and application) has it’s own way of managing dictionaries. OS X is unique in that it ships with a centralised dictionary system that’s tightly coupled with the Cocoa APIs. In fact, to my mind it’s a killer feature for writers and one I sorely missed when I started using Linux.

A cross-platform dictionary for Scrivener would require creating yet another dictionary system and I don’t blame Keith et al for not wanting to go down that path.

If you have a modicum of automation skills you can roll your own system that plugs into the native dictionaries supported by the platforms you use. As Camisade notes, most custom dictionaries are flat-file lists with one word per line; it’s trivial to parse such a list from an online (or Git) source and add it to your platform of choice’s spelling system. This is especially the case for Apple’s custom dictionary (in ~/Library/Spelling) and Aspell on Linux.

I don’t have Scrivener for Windows but I assume it uses Aspell and has a similar mechanism for storing custom dictionaries somewhere on the file system.

Shove your custom dictionary in the ‘cloud’ or a Git repo and simply write a script in Bash or Python to pull from the source dictionary and update your local dictionaries as needed. This will fall down on iOS because you can’t access its inner workings (unless you jailbreak) but it’s an easy hack for working on the desktop.

Strange. Advice posted to a thread that went over two years without a new post. Advice that may even be relevant. You’d think that would’ve been posted a year or so sooner. Then again, maybe there were to many threads posted to to closely together and the people who had the knowledge to post the advice didn’t find it because it cycled off of the first page to fast. After all, presumably most of the people who can post advice do have a life outside of this forum. If only there had been someone around to give it the occasional bump so that those who could offer useful advice could’ve found it sooner.

For my part, I’ve been coming and going on this forum for eight years. I respond to posts as I see them and in the case of tips/hacks/help, usually only when I’ve recently tackled the problem myself. Case in point the dictionary issue. Last week I had time to kill, access to data from abandoned commercial Android dictionary app and so I wanted to roll my own desktop dictionary app for Linux that wasn’t based on antiquated public domain or online source. When I read the the OP and your recent post, it got me thinking on how to solve the custom dictionary issue so I thought, why not throw my 2 cents in :smiley:

True, but if I hadn’t posted a reply myself to this thread would you have even noticed someone asking about such things for you to answer? Before my post this thread had been dormant for over 2 years, and this isn’t the first time where a question that hadn’t been answered originally got answered months, or even over a year, later because someone resurrected the thread it was in, or at least I’ve seen it happen in other forums. Bumping a thread, especially when there are several old ones that ask variations on the same question, can frequently be helpful for getting an answer, or helping others to find it.

No argument from me, mate :slight_smile:

@Razmoudah, that’s the reality of forums.

If someone who might have an answer doesn’t see the question, or someone joins after a question has dropped off the top of the list, sometimes questions don’t get answered.

It’s also impractical to have someone (especially staff who have plenty of other work to do) continuously ‘bumping’ questions back up to the top on the off chance someone may think of an answer.

The best is when soemone who has that question again searches the forum and ‘bumps’ it by asking again.