If I’ve missed it, I hope someone will point me to the right place.

The auto-correct has some amazing corrections.

“Vampiric” became “damper.”

“Brekkie” (Australian for breakfast) became “Trekkie” (a Star Trek fan).

And those are just the two I’ve had in the last half hour. Is there some way I can tell it to ASK me if I want something changed the first time it encounters it? If not, is this an option which could be added?

Also - doughnut really is the proper spelling, but it seems scrivener doesn’t recognize it and wants me to use donut.

Hi, the only way to make Scrivener ASK you about the change is to uncheck the “Correct Spelling errors as you type” box located in Tools -> Options -> Auto-Correction Tab under Spelling. Then you’ll need to go to the menu Tools -> Spelling menu again and have it check your document each misspelled word at a time. Just like a word processor does.

You can also add words to your “View Personal Word List” in the same Spelling section as well. It’s easier to do this by right-clicking on the word and then left-click on the “Learn” option. Or, during the spelling of a document, click on the “Learn” button to automatically add that word to your personal word list.

Hope this helps.

Thanks, Chris


Thanks for your pointers.

The problem I run into is that if I uncheck the Auto-Correction Tab, then it does NOT change the ones I want it to change. For instance, changing the name Bjorn to the proper spelling of Björn.

What I was hopping was that there might be a setting where it would underline unrecognized words, as opposed to changing them to the nearest approximation it can come up with. Rather like this Forumware does… when I type Forumware, it underlines it with a jiggly red line.

I do want it to auto-change things like hte to the. I don’t want it changing Australian slang for breakfast into a Star Trek fan.

I don’t think Scrivener provides an interface for it, which is what Chris probably meant when referring to word processors.

My guess is you’d have to open the auto-correct file in an external editor, search for the substitutions you are looking for, and change them there. Saving the file again, however, might cause it to become corrupted, unless the file format adheres to generic standards. Please backup your file first. And don’t blame me if something goes wrong.

Another option: Import/convert your auto-corrections from another program.
Let’s say you take Word, start out with their auto-correct list, edit it to your liking. The Edit-dialog is straightforward, you’ll figure it out immediately. The file format is unversal text. How to convert it to the Scriv-format, however … hmm, head scratch beats me at the moment.

3rd option: Use an external program. This offers the advantage of needing to update only one list, instead of doing it seperately for every program.

Sounds like - for your "Bjorn"correction issue at least - you need to turn off ‘Correct spelling as you type’ and instead use the Substitutions function - click on “Edit Substitutions” (it’s in the same panel as the auto-correction options) and you can add things like Bjorn and teh in there.

PS - Don’t forget to click “enable additional substitutions” as well.

Correct me if I am wrong, but from what Marilynx wrote I think she generally likes “correct spelling as you type” as it does indeed work and correct her typos (teh instead of the etc)

However, there seem to be some glitches (or pranks?) in this list, and editing this list cannot be done in “Edit Substitutions”


You are right. Guess I was misreading her saying…

Did not mean to disparage your suggestion, pigfender. It just sounded similar to what Chris had already offered (turn off “correct spelling…”). Since this did not address what I assumed to be the real issue, namely Auto-Correct and how to change some of its corrections as opposed to having them all enter again in the substitutions dialog …

I will back off :confused:

I’ve been using Word 2002 for ten years. You have any idea how many words a writer can enter to the “weird words” file in that time?

I wouldn’t have any idea where to look for such a program. I’m looking to Scrivener to make a common working program between me and my co-author because I’ve heard so many good things about it. And because neither of us can afford updated copies of Word. Finding other programs – and paying for them – is a problem.

Been there and tried that. Entering substitute Björn for Bjorn in substitutions results in no change whatsoever. Enable additional substitutions was/is checked on. (And yes, I know it’s a two column table, and you enter the one to be changed in the left hand column, and what it’s to be changed to in the right hand colum.)

Entering it in autocorrect gets the change the way I want it.

Unfortunately, today, Scrivener also changed “Berengaria” to “Benarr,” and had to be instructed that “Berengaria” is a legitimate word/name.

So why don’t you ask Scrivener people how to import that file into auto-correct? I have done it before with other programs but not in Scriv, I cannot tell you how it works here.

I have become very reluctant to mention anything that may insinuate Scriv is not able to handle something as good as other software does. Search the web for “Auto”, “Hotkey”, “PhraseExpress” etc. It’s all freeware I am talking about.

Actually that idea (import the odd word list) is a great idea. If someone like AmberV MM or one of the other official scriv support folks say “that feature isn’t there” add it over on the wish list thread. I think KB would see value in this idea.

Well, for starters, I don’t know how to EXPORT the file from Word 2002 into something which I could then ask people here how to IMPORT.

I understand this as a difficulty. My main issue is trying to have two different computers set up the same way, which are 1100 miles apart.

Well, it made me watch my wording more carefully than in the past. Let me put it another way: If some features behave differently, or lack functions that we are used to from other software, it is probably intended this way.

That’s easy. Auto correct lists have the extension .acl
They are plain text and can be read and edited by any text editor.
You find the file in your user profile. C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Office
Your path may be slightly different, depending on Windows and Word version.
I don’t know about a Word 2002. Is this a Mac-version? I only know Word 2000, 2003, 2007 and 2010

Going back to the original post, there’s no option to set the auto-correct to ask you on the first instance but not on future ones. You can however add a word to your personal word list, which will prevent it being auto-corrected into something else. You can do this either by right-clicking a word marked as misspelled and choosing “Learn Spelling” (or choosing the same if you’re running the spell check tool from Tools > Spelling) or by editing your word list manually by going to Tools > Options…, clicking the “Auto-Corrections” tab, and then clicking “View Personal Word List”. Here you can both add and remove words from your custom list. You can also access and edit this file directly by going to “C:\Documents and Settings\YOURUSERNAME\Local Settings\Application Data\Scrivener\Scrivener” and opening the wordlists.ini file in a plain-text editor, so you could copy in a comma separated list of items if you wish (instead of needing to add them individually via the interface). Users on Vista and Win7 will find this file in “C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\AppData\Local\Scrivener\Scrivener”.

If you have auto-correct turned on and it corrects a word you don’t want changed, you can use Edit > Undo (Ctrl+Z) to undo the auto-correct, and at that point you can right-click the original word and add it to your custom list if you wish; the spell-check will no longer mark it as misspelled and the auto-correct won’t try to change it.

You can also use the substitutions list, as pigfender suggested. If “Enable additional substitutions” is checked in the Auto-Correction tab and the specific substitution is checked to be enabled in the substitution table, this should be working when typing in the editor. (I did just test and am able to successfully replace Bjorn with Björn in the editor using this method. The word is still marked as misspelled but the substitution itself happens, which is as it should do.) This is limited to the editor–could that be why it didn’t seem to work for you? If it’s not working there, could you let me know the specific settings you’ve got in the Auto-Correction tab so I can try to reproduce the issue?

Regarding the export/import of Word’s autocorrect list, 2002 (XP) or otherwise, this isn’t currently possible to the best of my knowledge, as the auto-correction is set up differently. I’ll check with Lee and Keith on this, as it would be a neat idea if it’s doable in the future.

As for the dictionary tools in general, we are trying to better those. Scrivener uses Aspell and its dictionaries for this, and Lee is working to be able to implement an updated version for Windows and thus for Scrivener. We’re aware that the available dictionary lists leave a lot to be desired, and I’m throwing together a knowledge base article with instructions for updating the dictionary; I’ll put a link here once I’ve got that up.

This is sometimes the case, as Scrivener is a distinct program from traditional word processors and as such it does have features that are designed based on a different philosophy and with a potentially different goal in mind—to focus on the actual writing, with less simultaneous attention to formatting. Scrivener also isn’t intended to be all things to all people and so some features common to Word or OpenOffice Writer or the like are intentionally not present in Scrivener as they’re not pertinent to the focus and would just be bloat.

There are however plenty of features that aren’t present because they just haven’t made it in yet. You’re probably aware that Scrivener for Windows is following in the footsteps of the Mac version with the aim of feature parity; the Mac version has just been around a lot longer than the Windows version and has had time for these extra bits to get implemented. We’re also of course open to knew ideas—that’s what the wishlist section of the forum is for. Some things just aren’t feasible, given that we’re a tiny team—one programmer per platform—and don’t have the resources of, say, Microsoft. So some features that you’ll see in Word just really can’t be done at the moment in Scrivener. It doesn’t always mean we wouldn’t like to, or that we won’t be looking for alternative ways of achieving the same end, but just that it’s a bit more pie-in-the-sky than it might appear from the user standpoint.

Okay, I can deal with this. Since I’ve been tinkering with Scrivener for a few days more than two months (with some major breaks, due to holidays and travel), I just wanted to be sure I hadn’t missed something obvious.

I may look at this tomorrow when I am a little more awake. I have been adding words as I go along. That right-click and “Learn” is a pretty nice feature, and much faster that Word for adding things to the dictionaries.

I need to figure out where my machine has stowed the Word dictionaries, and tinker with a copy of the file to see if I can extract my words. I’ve got about eight of them because I use a bunch of weird words.

Unfortunately, I don’t always catch that it has changed something until it’s too late to use Ctrl+Z. So I go back, correct it, and then right-click and add it. I do double-takes when I see some of the things I consider ordinary words which Scrivener considers odd and changeable. Like montane gets changed to mountain. And brekkie to Trekkie.

Well, all I can say on this is that when I first tried the Bjorn/Björn substitution, I went to the substitutions, and it didn’t work. So I assumed it was something I had done wrong, and added it to the auto-correct, without removing it from the substitutions. Then it worked. I was doing this in the editor. I can’t remember if I tried it in the notes or the cards, as opposed to the main editing window.

If you like, I will attempt to get some screen shots of my set up (and this time do a better job of cropping the blasted pix)

I do have additional substitutions enabled, and had it so enabled when I was trying to get it to work.

It would be… I just checked to see if I could do a copy-and-paste to a text file from either the auto-correct or one of my dictionaries, and the answer is, no, I can’t. Not from within Word, anyway. Should have guessed it wouldn’t be so simple.

That’d be great. I have been browsing the Forum here, and trying to read all the notes and things BEFORE asking questions which may have been asked a gazillion times. “Space… the final frontier… it’s in between my ears…!”

Some thoughts and work-arounds from other users you may find helpful:

Thank you – and I also read the linked thread from your link.

Well, at least (so far) Scrivener has not been quite THAT vehement in what it does, but I’m very glad to know that it’s going to be on the list to be looked at.


did you read the work-arounds? Some of them seem to be helpful: