Spelling dictionary; Line breaks


I’m using a fictional language that uses diacriticals similar to those seen in Hawai´ian. I’d like to be able to do two things.

  1. Keep a word like “Fa´ar” from breaking at the end of a wrapping line, and
  2. Use the contextual menu to add that kind of accented word to the spelling dictionary (learn spelling). With the break created by the accent character, Scrivener doesn’t recognize the selection as a single word, and doesn’t offer the option in the menu.

The second one is actually just me being a little lazy, since I can add these words in the Autocomplete list, and use that to make sure the spelling is correct. But it still shows up as in the Mac interface with the red dotted underscore, as a misspelled word.

Which brings me to my second question (hope that’s kosher etiquette): Can Scrivener use a custom spelling dictionary, or just the System and User dictionaries? I’d really like to be able to create and edit separate dictionaries – and I’d especially like to be able to somehow export a custom dictionary with a Word .doc, so that editors aren’t driven nuts by all of the obscure scientific terms and made-up words in the ms. :slight_smile:

As it is, I don’t think I can add a custom dictionary, and while I can edit my Mac OS user dictionary (/Users/“username”/Library/Spelling/LocalDictionary), that’s not really practical for sharing.


Would it not be best to use the same consonant that is used in these Polynesian languages, so that the text engine can act appropriately, treating it as a character rather than a form of punctuation? The ʻokina (U+02BB unicode, named as “MODIFIER LETTER TURNED” in the table) should do what you’re looking for, with both the treatment of the entire string as a word for spelling and wrapping.

Since I don’t believe there is an built-in way to key this character in, you can add it to your system substitutions list.

There is already a feature request for project-specific spelling dictionaries. Short answer: it’s not something that could be easily changed about how the Mac works. As you say, however, it’s just a text file word list that controls this, providing your editor with a word list they can copy and paste into their spelling file is easy enough. I bet most editors are accustomed to skipping over author-specific words though. :slight_smile:

Hi, Amber!

So sorry – I don’t think I got a notification email on your reply. Looks like I forgot to check that box. Fixed.

Thanks for the reply. Yep, in the interim, I came to realize that the ‘okina – or an opening single quote – will work as a non-breaking character to hold the two parts together. I should have posted a follow-up on that.

So I’m good on that count…

As for the export of project-specific spelling dictionaries – since I only have one novel and maybe a couple of short stories in the works at once, managing my LocalDictionary file is pretty easy. I just added a post asking about the location of the Auto-Complete file, though. I think being able to export both on a per-project would be nice.

Thanks again…

With the Project Auto-Complete you can just drag and drop terms between the projects’ auto-complete windows. Many of Scrivener’s panes work like this, so if you want to move keywords or even labels or compile replacements between projects, chances are you can just drag and drop, or alternatively if that doesn’t work, copy and paste.

As for where these are stored, they are in the .scrivx file, in the AutoCompleteList XML branch toward the bottom, usually. It should be pretty easy to pull them out if you need to export the list.


Thanks, Amber!