Per Project Personal Word list

As a story writer one thing that constantly frustrates me about scrivener is that the spellcheck feature really seems to lack a key feature. Personal wordlists are nice but the fact that the list is applied globally kinda kneecaps it, the ability to have the list linked to the project rather than the program.

When i’m writing a sci-fi novella functions pretty well. I can tell it to ignore or learn names, and certain words. But then when I switch to writing and essay or magazine article I don’t want it to ignore the same words and names. What’s a spelling error in one project can be a proper spelling in another, especially when it comes to names.

Having the/a personal word list that is saved as part of the project would make matters much easier and make spell checking… less frustrating with scriverner.

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I second this feature request. I also want to expand upon it: I think it would be great if Scrivener allowed us to use these “personal word lists” to generate glossaries or appendices for our projects; it would greatly simplify life for those of us who write sci-fi or fantasy epics, which usually come with these sorts of appendices and/or glossaries in the back matter of the book, and which need to be written along with the book. Maintaining these types of word lists, each within a specific project, would help with the generation of these immensely.

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I’m afraid this isn’t possible because the spell-checking system is provided by macOS, and there is no way to have it learn or ignore words on a project-by-project basis because the spell-checker is global.

All the best,

What about windows?

Yeah. Us windows users aren’t bound to those MacOs limitations.

We are bound to the limitations of the third-party spelling library we have to use because Windows doesn’t provide a system-wide one like OS X.

We are bound to keep our formats interoperable. Having per-project spelling lists on Windows that disappear when the project is synced on iOS or OS X would probably cause more support tickets than it would be worth.

Your cat :wink: uses very big words and sometimes it’s really hard to understand what she/he wants to say. In this particular case, is she/he saying that we can or can’t have it? :mrgreen: :mrgreen: I’m confused. :confused:

Imagine the chaos that would ensue if L&L hacked up aspell and allowed ScrivWin to set per-project spelling lists. Since they can’t be supported in OS X or iOS, what would happen to those per-project lists the first time a project was synched between Windows and one of the other formats?

That makes sense but does that really happen a lot? Do windows writers often sync up with their Ipads? Kinda figured they’d be more likely to be using android or surface tablets.

Though it sort of begs the question… why doesn’t MacOs support such things. I mean it would be a boon to anyone doing any degree of word processing or working with any large volume of text regularly.

Wait a tick. Scriv already supports having one personal wordlist that is applied to all projects, Now that list is getting stored and called up from somewhere…where is that? Because the way I’m thinking, wouldn’t it be just as simple as defining a template, creating a function to export a list to that template, and then simply have a way to tell it where to pull the personal word list from.

That way a user could export a custom word list and simply select that list be loaded from a specific directory/location. While not so much being saved with the document this would achieve the same effect, in fact it would even be better. I mean If a project is one book and you’re setting multiple stories in the same world. then having such a thing would go a long way to keeping spellings consistent across multiple stories that share a world.

Working on the second book of the Kingward series? Export the personal list you used in the first one and load it as your personal wordlist for the second. Bam!

As said. It’s storing the personal wordlist somewhere, right? just having the option to select where it’s stored (export) and where it’s loaded from (import) would go a long way and I don’t think it would be hurting the MAcos and Ios versions too much I mean if they have a personal wordlist feature as well then it should work much the same way even with MAcOS

Sorry, but that’s not relevant here. Aspell and Scrivener already support custom lists, so no hacking needed. The only thing that needs to be implemented is the ability to save and load those lists on a project basis.
OSX or iOS are also not relevant since there is no syncing of the customs lists even now, but that’s OK.
What OP wants, and I support it, is, Scrivener for Windows to have such custom lists. If it’s not much of a hassle. :mrgreen:


If you’re going to be that way, NONE of our nattering is relevant here. What IS relevant is what L&L think.

What everyone who isn’t a full-time software developer who makes their living from the product they directly write AND SUPPORT keeps forgetting is that’s it’s not just about whanging the bits around and getting the feature to work. L&L has made multiple commitments to get the Windows version up to par with the Mac version after years of it being behind, because they have a vocal set of customers who a) expect things to Just Work cross-platform and b) are upset when it doesn’t.

(Yes, to answer an earlier question, there are many of us Windows users who have iPhones and iPads and use them for Scrivener. It was one of two major reasons that drove my adoption of iPhone after I had to abandon Windows Phone, the other being Android’s incredibly messy security/patching/update situation.)

Scriv for Mac allows you to learn custom words, just like Sriv for Windows, across the entire installation (or at least across the logged-in user; I believe they are both across all platforms per-user. They don’t sync, but at least it’s consistent. Why would they change the project structure to include a feature that could only be implemented on one of the three platforms – on the platform that (I am willing to bet) is their smallest – and generate all those tickets for cross-platform scenarios AND get the macOS and iOS folks riled up agitating for an ability they can’t/won’t deliver on those platforms?

Because that is what it would take. It would take a change to the project structure. It would take (at a minimum) a patch to the macOS and iOS versions to ignore that change to the project structure. That would create yet another project incompatibility barrier.

And all for a feature that, while a few people want it, in the end is low priority given all the other requests/features that are on the list to do after Windows Scrivener is finally released and caught up. Features that apply across all platforms, or at least across both desktop platforms.

Windows users have been pissed off for years that Mac has features we don’t have. I don’t see L&L hurrying to turn the situation around. It doesn’t make sense in the larger picture, unless it can be done on Windows and macOS at a minimum.

:arrow_right: Exactly my point. Good thing you are not part of the L&L team then. :smiling_imp:

Again, talking as if you have some kind of insider knowledge, doesn’t make your argument more valid.

How easy or complicated the implementing of such functionality is, is also beyond the point. This is a Wish List. We can add whatever we want inside. In the end, it’s up to the developers to decide if they gonna implement it or not.


Yes, I suppose you can keep bringing up stuff on the Wish List that L&L has already said they won’t do, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t also weigh in.

Also, “have some understanding of how the software industry works” != “insider knowledge” just to be clear. Just like “reading and remembering what L&L have previously stated on this topic” != “insider knowledge”.

No one has said they won’t or can’t do it on Scrivener for Windows. But hey, I may have missed a post.

I don’t recall that either and if they did well… it would be rather silly. I mean as pointed out, the lack of such a feature makes spellcheck pretty much useless for people who you know, actually write novels, since things like name spellings, and unique words basically have to be ignored and that’s really where you want that feature.

Just because I have a character named “Harld” in one story doesn’t mean I don’t want it picking up when I accidentally typo “Harold” in another. It could even be saved in the application settings as opposed to user settings, granted that means you wouldn’t have the luxury of the custom word list on the go or if you sync to a mac device, but at least you’d have the feature when you got back to your desktop.

As is, i have to export my projects and spell check them in another application. This is of course annoying since it involves me either leaving the spell checking for the final draft, or having to have two applications side by side so one can show me the errors I need to correct in the other.

This should not be a thing.

My suggestion of how it could work is fairly reasonable I think. As said, it supports a single custom word list already and from what I’ve seen this feature should also be in the IoS/Macos version. assuming they both use wordlist.ini (what the windows version uses), would it be that difficult to simply change the application to load/save the file from the project directory or a custom directory.

That’s basically all that’s needed. Though now that I’ve learned where the file is and how its formatted. I’ll probably just write up an app to rename and swap multiple versions of the file.

This is the point I keep making. macOS and iOS use the built-in OS-provided spelling system which doesn’t use wordlist.ini, nor does it (as far as I am aware) give you direct access to where the learned words are stored. You get API calls that your application makes, but it’s the black-box OS service that does the actual checking.

Windows, of course, doesn’t have such an OS-provided service, so the Scrivener implementation for Windows uses a third-party system. That third party system is not designed to provide per-project word lists, but because it’s bolted on you have the workaround of seeing where the word list file is stored.

Okay so I get that doing it for MAc is a no go (starting to see why they lost out so big ) but we’re already 3/5th of the way to the feature.

Aby way i’ve already got my work around set up, it’s just rather strange that something like this has to be a work around.

As is I just have multiple wordlist ini fils. The main one, and wordlist.

The first item in every wordlist is the shorthand name for the project it belongs to. WHen I want to swap I just

  • change the current wordlist.ini to wordlst. (peeking at the list to remind myself if necessary)
  • change the wordlist for the project i wish to work on to wordlist.ini.
  • Exit and restart Scrivener.

While i find it hard to believe the devs could find a way to automate those three steps, But then again, I can’t see the source code so.

As is I’ll see what I can do to whip up a handy applet to automate that, maybe throw in a user interface,

It’s probably not that hard for them to automate – but now that’s a feature that Windows has that Mac and iOS can’t have. What happens to the custom word list for those of us who sync projects between multiple platforms? That’ll cause more support tickets than just not having the feature to begin with.

As I already pointed out this is a false argument. There are already, and will always be, features, that are available on Mac and are not available on Windows and vice versa.
For example: Linguistic Focus.
The custom learned words, even now, DO NOT get synchronized between Mac and Windows, and never will, nor anyone asks for that. I don’t understand why do you continue to give this as an example of a possible conflict since it’s not.
iOS doesn’t support a lot of things, that both other operating systems have to offer. Fonts are only one example.
Aspell supports Individual Word Lists.
And lastly, but not last, you have no idea how many support tickets, if any, that will cause.

Have a nice day,

At least one of the examples you offer are features that are present in macOS in all programs that use the text system, not features that they deliberately built in to the program on one platform and not the others. L&L doesn’t seem to be in the habit of deliberately introducing incompatibilities now that they’re actively working to unify the versions as much as possible.

Likewise, the features that iOS doesn’t support don’t strip or alter data from the project.

Supporting custom wordlists in a roundtrip (so that a project goes from Windows to iOS or macOS and back) would require changing the project format, per my current understanding of how the project files are put together. KB would of course be the final arbiter there, but I am taking an educated guess based on 20+ years of being a professional in IT who has supported many programs at the desktop and datacenter. Which is why I am also taking an educated guess at the support load.

I understand why you want the feature. Hell, I want the feature. But that doesn’t mean we’ll get the feature if it makes life harder for L&L, and I am offering my best guess as to why the devs haven’t already said, “Yeah, we’ll make sure we add that to the list.” For all I know they have it on a list of topics for internal discussion once Mac 3.1 is released, KB gets some time to work on Scapple, and Windows 3.0 gets finally released. Maybe at that point they’ll talk about it and flesh out exactly what (if anything) would have to change, quantify the expected impact, and make a final decision. Or maybe it’s already made and they’re too busy to stop you and me having fun talking about it.