Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Remove accidental additions to the spelling dictionary System
If you ever accidently clicked "Learn" in the spelling window of any Cocoa app, your dictionary will not recognize the wrong word the next time you repeat your mistake. If you want to make it "unlearn" the word, start by opening the folder ~/Library -> Spelling. You may find several files, one for each dictionary you use e.g.: en for English, Multilingual, pt_BR for Brazilian Portuguese, etc.

If you open one of these files in TextEdit or BBEdit, you will see that the words are not separated at all, and for some reason, pico will only recognize the first word added. I suggest using emacs in the Terminal, which separates each entrance by a ^@ symbol. You should type something like this:
emacs ~/Library/Spelling/en
Its also a nice way to add lots words using copy/paste.
    •    
  • Currently 2.14 / 5
  You rated: 1 / 5 (7 votes cast)
 
[20,293 views]  

Remove accidental additions to the spelling dictionary | 19 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Remove accidental additions to the spelling dictionary' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Emacs basics
Authored by: paulio on Aug 12, '04 11:33:00AM

WoW! How many normal people know anything about Emacs? Bare minimum knowledge:

<ctrl-s> starts incremental search mode
arrow keys stop the mode

<ctrl-x><ctrl-s><ctrl-x><ctrl-c> saves and exits
<ctrl-x><ctrl-c> exits without saving



[ Reply to This | # ]
Remove accidental additions to the spelling dictionary
Authored by: pascalpp on Aug 12, '04 11:56:54AM

I was excited to see this hint, as I have accidentally added the word 'i' to my dictionary, and I wanted to remove it so the speller would remind me to capitalize my I's... but there's no Spelling directory in my home library. Any idea where else the user dictionary could live?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Remove accidental additions to the spelling dictionary
Authored by: pascalpp on Aug 12, '04 03:06:23PM

Hmm. I just added a nonsense word to the dictionary and then the directory ~/Library/Spelling shows up. So I guess I never added the word 'i' to my dictionary; the word 'i' just isn't flagged by default by the built-in speller. I wonder if there's a way to make it get flagged as a misspelling?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Remove accidental additions to the spelling dictionary
Authored by: RickoKid on Aug 15, '04 10:57:32PM

I don't think the spell checker will pick up any single letters.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Remove accidental additions to the spelling dictionary
Authored by: fbitterlich on Aug 12, '04 12:07:40PM

You can actually open it in BBEdit, just make sure you enable the "Show invisible characters" option. The word separator shows up as a red "¿" character.



[ Reply to This | # ]
BBEdit
Authored by: Pedro Estarque on Aug 12, '04 03:33:59PM

Yes you are write, Edit/Text options.../Show Invisibles
much cleaner then emacs



[ Reply to This | # ]
Remove accidental additions to the spelling dictionary
Authored by: subscriber3 on Aug 12, '04 02:06:48PM

for those not up to emacs, and who don't have BBEdit, there is an option to see the invisibles in the freeware app:

iText

http://members.aol.com/iText/pad_file.htm



[ Reply to This | # ]
Remove accidental additions to the spelling dictionary
Authored by: osxpounder on Aug 13, '04 11:30:08AM

That's kind of you; thanks for the link.

---
--
osxpounder



[ Reply to This | # ]
Remove accidental additions to the spelling dictionary
Authored by: dcoyle on Aug 12, '04 04:22:50PM

Smultron also shows invisible characters.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Remove accidental additions to the spelling dictionary
Authored by: jeremyp on Aug 12, '04 05:28:57PM
vi ~/Library/en

Accept no substitute

[ Reply to This | # ]
Remove accidental additions to the spelling dictionary
Authored by: zzen on Aug 12, '04 07:09:44PM
Right brother!!!
Preach it to those lowly sinners!

[ Reply to This | # ]
Remove accidental additions to the spelling dictionary
Authored by: Arif on Aug 12, '04 08:52:24PM

well vi ~/Library/en did *censored* all in 10.2.8 except for showing a few ~



[ Reply to This | # ]
The better answer
Authored by: paulio on Aug 12, '04 10:13:45PM

This is all way too complicated. There is a better answer.

The better way is to remove the accidently learned word the way Apple intended. There is a mechanism for doing this already in place.

In Mail, for example, pull down Edit | Spelling | Spelling... Among the fields available, there is one field in which it is possible to type a word. Type in the accidently learned word and click on the Forget button.

That's all. Easy.



[ Reply to This | # ]
The better answer
Authored by: mudpup on Aug 12, '04 11:06:42PM


Where is the fun in that?



[ Reply to This | # ]
The better answer
Authored by: osxpounder on Aug 13, '04 11:32:53AM

Fantastic. Thanks for pointing that out; I'd rather do it that way, myself.

---
--
osxpounder



[ Reply to This | # ]
The better answer
Authored by: subscriber3 on Aug 13, '04 12:02:23PM

this is good for removing a single word you know is misspelled.

but it doesn't allow you to look for misspelled words.



[ Reply to This | # ]
The better answer
Authored by: d_h on Aug 14, '04 02:07:57AM

Another reason for not editing the spelling dictionaries directly is that you seem to have to log out to get the changes recognised.

A while ago I was looking at loading a custom word list in all at once, the trouble was the delimiter was a character the machine couldn't show and I couldn't type. In the end I think I used a python script to find out the ascii value of the character and write it in with a script.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Remove accidental additions to the spelling dictionary
Authored by: rsteck56 on Mar 30, '10 10:37:35AM

This worked for me in Snow Leopard. I accidentally added geneaology to the Dictionary. I removed the word as follows:

In Finder, navigate to ~/Library/Spelling/LocalDictionary.

You will see the misspelled word there. Delete the word.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Remove accidental additions to the spelling dictionary
Authored by: iheijoushin on Aug 22, '13 09:31:44AM
^ THIS. As of Snow Leopard (and even in Mavericks), the user's custom dictionary is stored here: at ~/Library/Spelling/LocalDictionary . I recommend using the following terminal commands to make your changes:
vi ~/Library/Spelling/LocalDictionary
You should now see a list of words you have added with one line per word. You can use the arrow keys to move up and down. Navigate until your cursor is blinking on the word you wish you remove. Then type:
dd
The word should disappear. Rinse and repeat as needed. Once finished type this exactly:
:wq
And hit return. This saves (w=writes) and quits the document. This should bounce you out of the document and take you back to where you started in Terminal. You are free to close the Terminal window. Tip: If you have a long list of custom words, you can save time by typing:
/EXAMPLEWORD
And hit return. Naturally, replace EXAMPLEWORD above for a portion or all of the word you are searching for. After pressing return your cursor should be bounced to the word. From here you can follow the instructions above to remove it and save the document. This page is very out of date and should be updated.

[ Reply to This | # ]