Enhanced Windows dictionary options?

Does anyone know if the V3 for Windows will ship with some better dictionary options?

The v3 beta is better at this than the released v1 for Windows, but it still seems badly limited. Today I had to teach it that ‘flatbread’ was correct. Granted I use a lot of grandiose vocabulary and I expect not to have those words recognised, but something so commonplace as ‘flatbread’ seems a bit much.

So will there be a better dictionary? An easy way to obtain/link to (additional) enhanced dictionaries? Maybe even a nice thesaurus to go with it?



Scrivener v3 for Windows uses the Hunspell library, which means you can find all sorts of enhanced dictionaries out on the net and install them for yourself. You’ll have to do a bit of searching both here on the forums and out on the Net for the specific processes to do so at this time. We have been given no reason to believe that there will be some sort of integrated UI for doing so beyond what is already there, at least for the v3 release, given they are focusing on trying to fix existing bugs and not add new features until 3.0 actually ships.

Thanks for that, I’ll check it out.

Given the necessity of a good dictionary and, I would argue, an erudite one, I would consider the in-built capability to select alternative dictionaries as a necessary feature that should be there from the beginning, but then I’m the kind of person who is in love with the physical edition of the OED.

FWIW, try these (Windows 3 beta):
[url][LH2794] Spell checker dictionary not up to standard?]

[url][JH] Dictionaries - Portuguese]

[url][NB] On dictionaries...]

I use this one at the “insane” level (English only)
Of course, after each update of the beta you will need to put your dictionaries back in the right spot and remove/replace the installed dictionary.

Thanks for the advice and links - and I now have a mega-insane dictionary so hopefully less teaching will ensure.

This really needs to be a feature, as dropping into subdirectories and renaming downloaded files is somewhat klunky.


I just to endorse the desire for a better, more comprehensive dictionary in v3. Personally, I make extensive use of WordWeb Pro, which includes things like the Oxford and Chambers dictionaries. However, it doesn’t translate so easily into use for Scrivener. If It could be made to do so, that would make me very happy. But any other solution would probably be better as well. Regardless, a better dictionary is necessary.

And you’ve got to spell the replacement dictionary files exactly the same way the originals were spelled. This may give some people problems. My solution is to rename the existing files with a suffix of “.old”, and then rename the two new files in the directory by copying the leading text of the filename and pasting it. You’ll have two files: en-US.dic and en-US.aff, in the case of US English.

There are many dictionaries out there for hunspell. Libreoffice dictionaries. for example, are compatible (they have to be unzipped and renamed, as I recall, but they will work).

I prefer the ones generated at http://app.aspell.net/create, myself.

There were some hints that they were going to be looking at better dictionaries, but nothing concrete.

Folks, thanks for this great info. I’ve swapped out the default dictionary for the Aspell insane model. :mrgreen:


Welcome to the insane! I blame rwfranz. :smiling_imp:

I went ‘insane’ too as I found the number of times I was having to teach the default dictionary correctly spelt words that were not ‘rare’ or ‘obscure’ was intruding on my writing. Hopefully an official option will come in due course.

Thanks for the suggestions. I’ve upgraded my dictionary too, and after some experiments, everything is working. However, I would like to make a request for the future. Please could the option to ignore spelling for words in ALL CAPS be added, and could that include all caps with punctuation? Every time I type a name with initials in front of it (which, as a historian, I do frequently), I have to add those initials to the dictionary. Many thanks.

I hope it is OK for me to piggyback on this thread with a related question about the dictionary in Scrivener for Windows.

It is possible for me to import or otherwise make available to Scrivener the custom discretionary that I use in Microsoft Word and Office? This is plain text file (filename.dic) that can be edited in any plain text editor.

Is the the answer the same for S1 and S3?

Thank you…

Glad to be of service.

You could try it. I’m not sure word and office use Hunspell, though. you can look in the hunspell directories in the Scrivener directory and see how similar the files are, but Hunspell also uses filename.aff. I do know that Libre and Open Office use the same spellchecking libraries and their dictionaries are usable (they’re zip files that have been renamed, so unzip and rename them). I do know that many of Adobe’s spellcheckers are based on hunspell, so their dictionaries should be usable (I have not checked them personally, but they should be).


Thank you for that reply.

I see in the S3 hunspell folder a subfolder named dict, and inside it is a file named en-US.dic, apparently the main English dictionary installed. . .

It is a plain text file, same as the custom dictionary I use in word, one word per line, and even uses the same extension. This is promising!

I see that that most words are appended with rule flags. How interesting.

Ideally, I’d be able to copy my custom dictionary into that same folder, and have the spelling engine integrate that list… or there is a setting that would let me point to a supplemental dictionary.

Let’s see,

Hello! I have been pushing for this too. Nearly every writer has vocabulary outside of the Standard dictionaries, but I have noticed Scriveners dictionaries are pretty poor by everyone else’s standards. I would like an option similar to in OpenOffice where you can add Customer Dictionaries either outsourced or built by yourself to your heart’s content. I would also like to be able to choose the various Grammar rules for each word, which NO ONE seems to offer that I have encountered! I want to show that words are nouns or adjectives or whatever, and I want to show what the plural forms are for new nouns, stuff like that. For me, that IS what writing is, the rest is just tools, frills and page layout gubbins. It’s all about the words, so put them first and in the centre, and that starts with the dictionaries and the grammar rules.

Is this (using a different dictionary than the downloadable ones from the option panel) something that is English only, or has it other languages alternatives ?

And could someone be so kind as to post the procedure to make alternative dictionaries available in the setting’s available dictionary list ?


Read through the linked thread. The instructions are there. It does cover some other languages, but you will want to add them through the normal methods in Scrivener before switching it out.

I just read the thread for a second time, but beside the fact that some files need to be renamed, I am still clueless as to how this has to be done.

[EDIT] Aww ok. The linked threads… haven’t checked those yet.