Heard of a Global User Spell Check Dictionary?
June 7, 2010 8:24 PM   Subscribe

Is there any program/script that can control all User Dictionaries on a machine? You know, when you're typing MetaFilter, and FF tells you it's spelled wrong. You can right-click, and "Add to Dictionary". No sweat. But what about all the other programs I have (Evernote, Thunderbird, Lotus Notes, Excel, Word, etc, etc, etc.). I'm looking for the One User Dictionary To Rule Them All.

There is no standard on the user dictionary file format. Which is stupid because it’s simply a list of words. Why not make a single, standard program that syncs all your user dictionaries. All it has to do is scan computer for programs & versions, get the dictionaries (automatically or user-located) and pull them. Combine all the words into 1 list, and then parse it back out into the correct formats. Advanced features could have automatic monitoring, or plugins that have oddball formats. Personally, I have 6 browsers, 2 email programs, Office, Sametime, Evernote, and a couple other programs that all have their own user dictionaries. They’re all on different machines, but with Dropbox support, that issue could go away. Were I a respectable coder I would do it myself. If somehow I’ve neglected to find something like this whilst searching for this solution, PLEASE let me know!
posted by Viscouse to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I think the problem here is that you're trying to mess with the dictionary components of a bunch of different proprietary software which gets rather tricky. I'm not so sure this is possible ...
posted by kthxbi at 8:48 PM on June 7, 2010

The problem: multiple user dictionaries, each managed by individual applications.
The solution: a single dictionary API offered by something other than individual applications, such as a third-party library or the operating system.

The quick answer is, "That's how Apple OS X does it", but not all applications play along, and there's no way to force application developers to do so.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 10:05 PM on June 7, 2010

Response by poster: That's my whole point though....
A lot of proggies have plain flat files that have simple text in them. I just can't believe there isn't something that already does it.

Still hopeful...
posted by Viscouse at 6:09 AM on June 8, 2010

I wouldn't hold your breath. As TheNewWazoo says OS X does have a universal dictionary. It's used by many applications but routinely ignored by some (Firefox and MS Office come immediately to mind). Ultimately, there's no way to force developers to use a system-wide dictionary.
posted by 6550 at 12:14 PM on June 8, 2010

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