Please improve Scrivener's vocabulary

Hello there! I love Scrivener and I use it every day. Know, then, that the following ‘wish’ is written with the best of intentions. :slight_smile:

Scrivener suffers from an oddly limited dictionary. The examples below are easily fixed once encountered, but they are representative of many others.

It’s awfully disconcerting when I purpose to type in a juicy word and am told - by a piece of software assumed to have authority on the subject - that the word I’ve chosen is not, in fact, a word. :neutral_face:

I’ve encountered three such tellings off in the last 24 hours, with ‘outwards’, ‘inquire’, and ‘nocked’ all being underlined red. (Granted, even Google doesn’t like that last one; yet it is a word; it ought to be treated as such.)

I think we can agree that Scrivener is designed to help writers, yet by neglecting to include certain words you only confuse us and cause us to doubt either ourselves or our receipt. :exclamation:

I will continue to use Scrivener regardless, because no program is perfect. (And neither is this complaint. Believe it or not, I’ve attempted to use tact; but as you can see I’m not very good at it. Tact, for me, means adding a smiley here and there and a phrase like “No offense, but…” to my intro paragraph. You might say that my tact is rather tacky.)

Every self-respecting writer has at least some interest in words, and Scrivener is made for writers, so…

Tactfully put, my point is this: the integrity of Scrivener’s vocabulary is something that should not be ignored. Keep up the great work!

Thank you. :smiley:


Scrivener doesn’t have a vocabulary; it uses the third party dictionary provided through your system, so if you don’t like the one which is there, look for one that you do like. And you Windows users have an advantage of sorts in that, that you can swap dictionaries more easily than Mac users—you might like to read

—and you can always teach your dictionary to learn new words or spellings.

Mr X

A lot of what you are complaining about can be solved by opting out of the modern concept of software getting all up in your face while you are writing, tutting and wagging fingers at you, even if it is flat out wrong. :slight_smile: You can disable spell check while typing in options, and then run the standard spell check dialogue box at will whenever you are ready to put down the black pen in favour of the red one.

I would also say, as a bit of an aside, that from our point of view, Scrivener isn’t here to help you write, and certainly not to be an authority on writing! That is almost the opposite of what it is meant to be: it expects you to bring your expertise and your words into the software, however you want to do so. It’s not our business to tell E.E. Cummings which words are best to type into Scrivener, but instead to facilitate the mechanical processes and difficulties that surround large-scale writing projects by providing tools to help orchestrate thousands of pieces of research, manage hundreds of pages of material in its various states of completion, building a “map” of the work as a binder construct and other such tasks along those lines.

But then not everyone writes the same, which is a key benefit of Scrivener.
I’m dylexic, and simply can’t spell many words, I rely heavily on the system vocab when writing - from important document in S to this text here.

One important ingredient of my thought was that you can spell check when you are ready to, rather than while you are writing, not as you seem to have interpreted it, that one should never spell check at all and that software would be better off without such a feature. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the replies. I see from the now-known fact that Scrivener doesn’t have its own independent dictionary that my initial complaint is in fact a non-issue! That said, I’m still to work out where this third-party vocabulary is placed, as it seems to be different to that of all my other writing software. Sinister! In any case, it’s easy enough to add words, google words, and otherwise ignore red zigzags (as untidy as they can be).

I don’t know if it will help you at all, but … 30&t=33538

has posts that give paths to where dictionaries are found. Though how useful that information is to your case is yet another question.


Mr X

In your case, you may want to search for a larger more varied “system dictionary” download. I know that there are a lot of them out there and you can just install them or add them.

When I was still working as a nurse, I got sick and tired of all my words underlined in red and that’s when I first discovered them. I found a medical dictionary that was merged into the system wide dictionary and it worked like a dream.

You’re a mac user so I can’t point you to any for that system, but they are out there. Just an FYI.