Use only custom dictionaries?

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Use only custom dictionaries?

Postby jmacha » Mon Oct 26, 2015 2:25 am

I'm a writer working on a novel. I heard a podcast of writers from a few years ago (I think) mention disabling the main dictionary of a word processor and using only a custom dictionary based on another writer (she was writing regency or historic fiction, so her dictionary was based on writers from then). Using something like that, I think I could work on my own word choice.

So my question is, how do I use only a custom dictionary in Writer? I know I can add words to a dictionary, but how do I disable all other dictionaries? I want it to give me a red line under every word until I personally add it to the custom dictionary.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Use only custom dictionaries?

Postby John_Ha » Mon Oct 26, 2015 2:58 am

Welcome to the forum

Tools > Extension Manager > highlight the dictionary > delete it.

The added words dictionary on Windows 7 is C:\Users\John\AppData\Roaming\OpenOffice\4\user\wordbook\standard.dic. You can edit it with Notepad as it is a flat file. Note that this is not a supported way to do it, but it probably works. Be sure to keep to the same standards - eg in alphabetical order.

The proper dictionary has roots of words with acceptable endings, so making the word list more compact. Search on dictionary - see for example IMPORT AUTOCORRECT AND CUSTOM DIC FROM WORD? and [Solved] Removing "statue" from base standard dictionary

If this solves the problem, please click the Edit button on your original post and edit the Title to [Solved].
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Re: Use only custom dictionaries?

Postby jmacha » Mon Oct 26, 2015 4:51 am

There was only one extension, so I deleted that. Nothing changed. I then cleared out the entire standard.dic file (ctrl+a, delete), but now it thinks every word is spelled correctly. Uninstalling and reinstalling did nothing, since it kept the old .dic files and settings. I tried reinstalling a version in another language, same problem. It would be nice to just have a check box to turn on and off the dictionaries. Maybe an add-on or macro (I'm used to Word, so don't know the capabilities of OpenOffice).
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Re: Use only custom dictionaries?

Postby John_Ha » Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:41 am

Removing the dictionary didn't seem work for you so how about editing the dictionary file C:\Users\xxxx\AppData\Roaming\OpenOffice\4\user\uno_packages\cache\uno_packages\sv1glr1s.tmp_\dict-en.oxt\en_GB.dic (my GB English dictionary in W7) so it has only one or two lines containing non-words like qwertyuiop and asdfghjkl. You now have a valid GB dictionary against which the text will be checked and every word except qwertyuiop and asdfghjkl will be flagged as misspelled. You can test to see that you have done it correctly because, if you have, qwertyuiop and asdfghjkl will be shown as being correct.

Put the words you do want in the custom dictionary or, if you want to use the root/endings, put them in en_GB.dic.

When you edit en_GB.dic be absolutely certain to keep the identical structure - it may be best to add ZXCVB to all the words you don't want so that the structure of the file (number of words, order) remains identical.

You have a huge task ahead of you as you probably uses something like 10,000 words ...

See Documentation/How_Tos for more information on dictionaries.

If this solves the problem, please click the Edit button on your original post and edit the Title to [Solved].
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See the Writer Manual, the Writer FAQ, the Writer Tutorials and the Writer guide.

Remember: Always save your Writer files as .odt files. - see here for the many reasons why.
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Re: Use only custom dictionaries?

Postby John_Ha » Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:55 am

John_Ha wrote:You have a huge task ahead of you as you probably use something like 10,000 words ...

If you can get a book written by the author in electronic form copy all the words into a Writer document. If you cannot, scan each page of a paper book and use OCR to convert the scan to text. Add the words into a document.

Now use Find and Replace (with Regular expressions), or the Alternative Find and Replace add-on, to replace each space with a paragraph return to split them to appear one word per line.

Now copy them into a spreadsheet with one word per cell and sort them into alphabetical order. Now delete all the duplicates - probably easiest by using a formula which calculates to " 1 " in the next column if the adjacent word and its predecessor are the same, but leaves the cell blank if they are different. Do another sort on this column - you now have a list containing just one of each word in alphabetical order, followed by all the duplicates.

Now copy the single words into Writer, or export them as a TXT file.

You now have a list of all the words the author used in that book, in alphabetical order, to put in your custom dictionary.

If you can get that electronic book you could do it all in an hour so I will mark it ...

QED - standing for Quite Easily Done.
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See the Writer Manual, the Writer FAQ, the Writer Tutorials and the Writer guide.

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Re: Use only custom dictionaries?

Postby RoryOF » Mon Oct 26, 2015 11:09 am

My normal approach is to use the standard English (UK) dictionary, as this checks most of my text for inadvertent typos, and add a customised dictionary appropriate to the theme I am currently writing. Such a dictionary usually contains proper names and spellings appropriate to the theme. I build it as I go along.
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