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Spellcheck multiple languages simultaneously System
When working with documents written in multiple languages, I've often run into the annoyance of OS X's integrated spell-checker underlining words written in languages other than the one I had designated in System Prefs.

After messing around in the spellchecker's preferences, I found that Apple includes a "Multilingual" dictionary.

Simply open any app that supports spell checking, select "Spelling" from the edit menu, and "Spelling" from the submenu, and in the pane that appears, set the dictionary to "Multilingual." Words in all languages should now be checked correctly.

Unfortunately, there is not a dictionary for every language Apple supported, but there are quite a few of them.
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No 'Multilingual' option
Authored by: Fraki on Oct 24, '02 12:03:21PM

I don't even have any options in that menu other than the 'English (Apple)' dictionary. Is this something that can be installed with the OS X installer, or can it be downloaded somewhere, or what?

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No 'Multilingual' option
Authored by: Typhoon14 on Oct 24, '02 08:48:48PM

Hmm, are you using Jaguar?

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Suggestions only in one language...
Authored by: eno on Oct 24, '02 09:52:51PM

Brilliant tip. Tried this setting in because I often write messages to people that speak both English and Spanish, and there's lots of movement back and forth across the languages.

Noticed that it correctly refrains from underlining English words (yay) and Spanish words too (yay), but I also noticed that when I right-click on an underlined word for suggestions, it only seems to make suggestions in Spanish (which is the default on my install). Still an awesome tip though.

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Suggestions only in one language...
Authored by: eno on Oct 24, '02 09:55:37PM

Oops.... I did some more testing and I know admit that it is not entirely consistent. It does sometimes suggest English corrections... it's just hard to tell what logic it uses when to suggest Eng and when to suggest Spanish.

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Suggestions only in one language...
Authored by: mael on Oct 25, '02 05:44:01AM

could you check if it is determined by the language in which the word you have right-clicked is?
like: in a spanish paragraph it suggest spanish, in an english text it suggests english..

microsoft word uses this strategie which has worked out pretty well. not perfectly, though, but quite okay.

thanks in advance...

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Suggestions only in one language...
Authored by: eno on Oct 25, '02 06:50:19AM

No. It doesn't seem to know which language it's in at any given moment. It is just testing to see if the word appears in any of the dictionaries. And sometimes, it guesses wrong. For example, taking a word like "information/informaci贸n" which is very similar in English/Spanish: if I spell it as "informaion" it suggests only the English version, and in fact, even if I spell it as "informai贸n" it still suggests only the English.

This doesn't really bother me. I want it more for the fact that it underlines words that are wrong. Usually that's all I need: I can correct it without suggestions.

Without the multilingual spell checking, the underlining becomes useless, because if you are written in Spanish/English with a Spanish dictionary selected, then almost every English word is underlined, and so you stop paying attention to the lines...

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Suggestions only in one language...
Authored by: eno on Oct 25, '02 06:56:10AM

Oops.. I spoke to soon... it is a little smarter than I gave it credit. It does indeed do some context checking. The problem was I was testing single words in isolation. When I did something like this: "驴Qui閚 eres tu? Me gustar铆a tener esta informai贸n. Give me the damn informai贸n you fool!", it correctly suggested the Spanish "informaci贸n" for the first one, and correctly suggested English "information" for the second. Good stuff!

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Suggestions only in one language...
Authored by: mael on Oct 25, '02 08:33:38AM

aha. so it does at least some context scanning. not per paragraph, but per sentence. I thinks thats even better than "just" paragraph-wise...

and i agree: since i have german as the default setting, everything I write in english is underlined, so I tend not to pay any attention to it anymore. thanks again for the multilanguage tip.

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This has drawbacks too
Authored by: Hiram on Oct 25, '02 04:49:54AM
I use multilingual spell checking all the time, because it saves me the trouble of switching languages (Dutch, English, Italian, French) all the time.
However, the best way of doing this would be to have the spell checker detect which language is used (by context), instead of simply checking all words against all dictionaries it has at its disposal. Misspellings in one language may be valid words in another, in which case they won't get flagged, as if they were lone Dutch words in an all-English phrase.

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Limiting the number of dictionaries used by "multilingual"?
Authored by: romulis on May 05, '04 10:44:16AM

does anyone know if it's possible to tell the spelling checker NOT to use all the dictionaries?

Of the polyglots among us I'm at the lowest level: I only know two languages (Bavarian, Aussie slang and "Drunk" probably don't count :-)

I've configured everything I can find to only use english and german, but the dictionary selection always shows a list of about 10 dictionaries and yes, when I've got it set to multilingual and type the few french words I know... it accepts/corrects them just nicely (which is not what I want, because any other french words I type are very probably typos ;-)

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Would like to know as well
Authored by: PopMcGee on Dec 15, '08 10:33:25AM

Don't know, but would like to know as well.

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Limiting the number of dictionaries used by "multilingual"?
Authored by: petersconsult on May 12, '09 05:46:45PM
Yes, I have done it quite successfully, and easily. Of course, it doesn't apply to applications that don't rely on Apple's standard spelling service... Here's how i did it: First I created a folder called "AppleSpellTest" inside my folder "zzz_Disabled_Stuff" that is in my home folder, then I made a backup of the files we'll modify by doing this:
sudo cp -R /System/Library/Services/AppleSpell.service /Users/*Your_Home*/zzz_Disabled_Stuff/AppleSpellTest/
Then, i only wanted French, English, Spanish, and Multilingual (don't forget this is an option when we edit the menu later), so i moved all the rest like this:
sudo su
mv /System/Library/Services/AppleSpell.service/Contents/Resources/Danish.lproj /Users/*Your_Home*/zzz_Disabled_Stuff/AppleSpellTest/DisabledLanguages 
mv /System/Library/Services/AppleSpell.service/Contents/Resources/Dutch.lproj /Users/*Your_Home*/zzz_Disabled_Stuff/AppleSpellTest/DisabledLanguages 
mv /System/Library/Services/AppleSpell.service/Contents/Resources/en_AU.lproj /Users/*Your_Home*/zzz_Disabled_Stuff/AppleSpellTest/DisabledLanguages 
mv /System/Library/Services/AppleSpell.service/Contents/Resources/en_CA.lproj /Users/*Your_Home*/zzz_Disabled_Stuff/AppleSpellTest/DisabledLanguages 
mv /System/Library/Services/AppleSpell.service/Contents/Resources/en_GB.lproj /Users/*Your_Home*/zzz_Disabled_Stuff/AppleSpellTest/DisabledLanguages 
mv /System/Library/Services/AppleSpell.service/Contents/Resources/German.lproj /Users/*Your_Home*/zzz_Disabled_Stuff/AppleSpellTest/DisabledLanguages 
mv /System/Library/Services/AppleSpell.service/Contents/Resources/Italian.lproj /Users/*Your_Home*/zzz_Disabled_Stuff/AppleSpellTest/DisabledLanguages 
mv /System/Library/Services/AppleSpell.service/Contents/Resources/Portuguese.lproj /Users/*Your_Home*/zzz_Disabled_Stuff/AppleSpellTest/DisabledLanguages 
mv /System/Library/Services/AppleSpell.service/Contents/Resources/Russian.lproj /Users/*Your_Home*/zzz_Disabled_Stuff/AppleSpellTest/DisabledLanguages 
mv /System/Library/Services/AppleSpell.service/Contents/Resources/Swedish.lproj /Users/*Your_Home*/zzz_Disabled_Stuff/AppleSpellTest/DisabledLanguages
Now all we have to do is change the menu itself: first we open the Info.plist file:
sudo /Applications/ /System/Library/Services/AppleSpell.service/Contents/Info.plist
You can also edit the plist file with BBEdit or Apple's Property List Editor.... then remove all the languages (under where it says 'array') except en, fr, es, multilingual so that the menu section looks like this:
Save, Restart, and you're done, and it really works!!!

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Spellcheck multiple languages simultaneously
Authored by: MAC4Evr on Mar 16, '10 04:54:18PM

I am using Tiger (OS 10.4.11) and I also do not seem to have a multilingual dictionary. Any ideas? Are there safe ones to download?

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