Why is this word flagged as misspelled?

Why is this word marked as misspelled? There are lots of these. Is it possible it’s not in the dictionary?



Entirely possible. There have been a lot of complaints about the default Hunspell libraries.

Don’t know if this would be relevant cross-platform, but on the Mac side, I do not get accurate underline-flagging unless I explicitly invoke spell check. That is, the on-the-fly spell checking is consistently (and perhaps understandably) imperfect.


p.s. Another possibility: if the text in question is pasted from somewhere. you might have an invisible gremlin in there. Does ‘inconvenient’ get flagged whenever you type it, or just this instance?

Unfortunately, they are two very different spelling systems under the hood – the Mac uses the built-in Mac OS system and the Windows beta is using Hunspell.

Strange. The spellcheck doesn’t pick it up as a spelling error for me.

Yes, the passage was pasted. Not sure why that matters though. An error in the spellcheck engine perhaps?

Is there a way to inspect the dictionary?


If you can type the word in and it isn’t flagged, but you can reliably get it to flag by copying and pasting from the same source, that indicates that the problem is likely not with the dictionary, but with something to do with how the copy and paste pipeline is working.

What happens if you paste the source in Notepad first, and then copy and paste from Notepad? If that works, but copying and pasting directly from the source is not working, then that’s definitely the copy and paste pipeline. There have been some reports that copying and pasting from one browser or another does not work correctly, but I don’t recall whether those issues have been addressed yet.

There is a known issue with some editor when copying and pasting from Google docs. That problem is related to formatting rather than spell checking though. It probably doesn’t apply in your case but is an indicator that Web based text might present problems.

Have in mind that some web sites deliberately scramble the text and the encoding they place in the Clipboard to reduce automatic stealing of contents. Importing the web page as a PDF or going through a plain text editor might help cleaning the Clipboard in some cases.

Even if the error is “hidden markup” when pasting browser-based text, the spell-check engine shouldn’t work that way, right? Flagging a word as misspelled, even if pasted, isn’t the way most people would expect a spell-checker to work in an editor.

Mes centimes,


If one character in the ‘inconvenient’ word is not English but is a Turkish unicode character, even though it looks OK to you, it is not OK for the spell checker engine.

I understand your point.

Not be belabor my point, but this is the only program I use that works this way. I’ve never seen a program that sees a word in its dictionary as misspelled after a copy-paste.

That said, this may be theoretical (though still worth addressing if true). “Inconvenient” isn’t in the program’s dictionary after all, though “inconvenience” is — just hunted it down and checked.


It is in my install, which is very plain – I have done nothing with the default dictionaries.


Deliberately misspelled word included to show that the engine is in fact configured and working.

Huh. Do we have different dictionaries? I looked at

Program Files/Scrivener/hunspell/dict/English-en-us/en-US.dic

and the “inconvenient” did not appear.


However, “convenient/IY” probably does. Combined with the corresponding affix file (in this case the en-US.aff), that tells the Hunspell engine that it can combine the entry “convenient” with the “PFX I 0 in” entry in the affix file to form the viable word “inconvenient.”

This requires more computing power but dramatically reduces the number of entries you need in a viable dictionary file.

You can read more about how the Hunspell dictionary and affix files are formatted and interact here in the manpage.

A “soft hyphen” in the pasted word can have this effect. To test this, enter the word in Notepad, then somewhere within it hold down “alt” and type 0173 on the numeric keypad. A hyphen will show in the Notepad rendition; when we paste to Scrivener the hyphen will vanish but the spell check will flag the word.

In fact I think we can demonstrate the effect here.The three renditions below look alike in the browser, but we’ll get a spell check flag on the middle one if we copy 'em out and paste them into the Scrivener pane. Paste into Notepad to see the difference in the words:


Rgds - Jerome

Which gets us back to the (still unanswered, I think) question, @thomas, is ‘inconvenient’ flagged when you just type it, or is it just this one pasted instance that this is all about? If the latter, I think you’ve already gotten a good diagnosis of what is going on, and, as has been already suggested, it has nothing to do with the dictionary.


Scrivener recognizes the soft hyphen in word wraps, adhering here to my missyllabification:
[attachment=0]inconvenient.png[/attachment]But Scriv also has a setting View > Text Editing > Show Invisibles. It’s set on in the graphic above, though a bit obscured by my theme, and it doesn’t show the ­. If there’s some way to toggle display of the soft hyphen in unwrapped text, the Show Invisibles setting would seem to be tailor-made for the task, and a good first resort for the user in the event of an unexpected spell check flag.

Rgds - Jerome

So, I see, you’ve got a discretionary hyphen character between the ‘c’s and ‘o’s in the last five word occurrences.

Had to go look up ‘soft hyphen’. That was a new one on me. Nice.