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Obsolete dictionaries - Thunderbird

From MozillaZine Knowledge Base

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This page is about spell check dictionaries in Thunderbird for releases prior to 2.0. For dictionaries for Thunderbird 2.0 and later releases, and also Firefox, see: Dictionaries

Install an extra dictionary when you want to check spelling in an extra language or in a regional variant of a language.

Note:  Alternatively, you can download and install a localized build of Thunderbird or a language pack. When you use a localized build or a language pack, all of Thunderbird's user interface interface (including the default dictionary) appears in the language.

Contents

Installing a dictionary

You can get dictionaries from any of the following sources. Thunderbird and mozdev dictionaries are exactly the same, and they are easier to install than other dictionaries.

To install a dictionary, do not click the link to the dictionary. Use any of the methods described below to install dictionaries from these sites:

Installing by drag-and-drop

This is the easiest method, but it only works for Thunderbird and mozdev dictionaries:

  1. From the menu bar in Thunderbird's main window, choose Tools – Extensions. Thunderbird's Extensions window opens.
  2. From the web page, use your mouse to drag the link that points to the dictionary, and drop the link in Thunderbird's Extensions window.
  3. When a Software Installation dialog opens, wait three seconds for the Install Now button to become enabled, then press it. Thunderbird downloads the dictionary.
  4. When a confirmation pops up, press OK. Thunderbird cleans up its Extensions window.
  5. From the menu bar in Thunderbird's main window, choose File – Exit. Thunderbird closes.
  6. Restart Thunderbird.

Installing by downloading manually

This method only works for Thunderbird and mozdev dictionaries:
  1. From the web page, get a context menu for the link that points to the dictionary (for example, by right-clicking it). From the context menu, choose Save Link As... and choose where to save the downloaded file on your computer. You can save it in a temporary directory or on your desktop.
  2. From the menu bar in Thunderbird's main window, choose Tools – Extensions. Thunderbird's Extensions window opens.
  3. Either:
    • Use your mouse to drag the file that you downloaded and drop it in Thunderbird's Extensions window.
    or:
    • In Thunderbird's Extensions window, press the Install button, then choose the file that you downloaded.
  4. When a Software Installation dialog opens, wait three seconds for the Install Now button to become enabled, then press it. Thunderbird installs the dictionary.
  5. When a confirmation pops up, press OK. Thunderbird cleans up its Extensions window.
  6. From the menu bar in Thunderbird's main window, choose File – Exit. Thunderbird closes.
  7. Restart Thunderbird.
  8. Optionally delete the file that you downloaded.

Installing manually

This method works for all dictionaries.

At step 5 you need a program to open the downloaded file. You can use any zip or jar tool—for example: 7-Zip

  1. From the web page, get a context menu for the link that points to the dictionary (for example, by right-clicking it). From the context menu, choose Save Link As... and choose where to save the downloaded file on your computer. You can save it in a temporary directory or on your desktop.
  2. From the menu bar in Thunderbird's main window, choose File – Exit. Thunderbird closes.
  3. Go to Thunderbird's installation directory.. (You can often find it by looking at the properties of the shortcut or launcher icon that you use to start Thunderbird.)
  4. Go to the components directory there, then to the myspell directory.
  5. Use a zip or jar tool to open the file that you downloaded. (If the file extension is .xpi, then some zip tools require you to rename it .zip first.)
  6. Extract the .dic, .aff and README- files and store them in the myspell directory.
  7. If the files you extracted have underscores in their names, rename them with hyphens. (For example, rename en_US.aff as en-US.aff.)
  8. Restart Thunderbird.
  9. Optionally delete the file that you downloaded.

Uninstalling a dictionary

Thunderbird has no user interface for uninstalling a dictionary. To uninstall a dictionary, use the same method for Mozilla, mozdev and OpenOffice dictionaries.

  1. From the menu bar in Thunderbird's main window, choose File – Exit. Thunderbird closes.
  2. Go to Thunderbird's installation directory. (You can often find it by looking at the properties of the shortcut or launcher icon that you use to start Thunderbird.)
  3. Go to the components directory there, then to the myspell directory.
  4. Delete the .dic, .aff and README- files for the dictionary that you do not want.
  5. Restart Thunderbird.

Troubleshooting

Some common problems with dictionaries are:

  • You clicked the link to the dictionary, installing it in Firefox by mistake. Do not click the link. Use the any of the methods described above to install a dictionary in Thunderbird.
  • You do not have write access to Thunderbird's installation directory. On a multiuser system, log in as a system administrator to perform all the installation steps, including the final restart. After the dictionary is completely installed, any user can use it.
  • You did not close Thunderbird completely. Choose File – Exit from the main menu bar to ensure that all Thunderbird's windows close.

Some less common problems are:

  • You have an extension that interferes with spell-checking. If you have an extension in Thunderbird that affects spelling or composition, try disabling it in Thunderbird's Extensions window, then restart Thunderbird.
  • Users do not have permission to read the dictionary files. On a multiuser system, ensure that all users have read access to the files specified in the Installing manually section above. For example, on a Unix system use chmod to set these files' permissions to 644.
  • The dictionary is faulty. If a Mozilla or mozdev dictionary does not work, try an OpenOffice dictionary (or vice versa).
  • Thunderbird has not loaded the dictionary, so it marks every word as an error. Some people say they have fixed this by selecting the language again, or by turning the spelling checker off and on again, on the Tools – Options – Spelling page.

Some other problems related to spelling are:

  • The spelling checker cannot check the subject line. This is bug 3459. Developers have identified a solution, so a future release of Thunderbird will probably have this feature.
  • The spelling checker sometimes finds strange words that you do not see in the message—for example, "msonormal". This happens when HTML is generated by a Microsoft product that inserts hidden text. If it happens when you write new messages, the hidden text is in your signature file. If it happens when you reply, the hidden text is in the original message.

Personal dictionary

Your personal dictionary is stored in the file persdict.dat in your profile folder. It is simply a list of words in plain text format.

You can import a list of words from somewhere else by replacing this file, or you can copy this file to use it in a different profile.

External links

Thunderbird In-Line SpellChecker extension with autocorrect feature