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Released: Apache OpenOffice 4.1.15

Spell Checking and Dictionaries

Dictionaries/Affix files Now Available

Please see the Dictionary Download Page for more information.

How to Create Dictionary and Affix File for Another Language

The MySpell spell checker uses a modified version of Ispell's dictionaries and affix files (modified to permit fast parsing, to be case sensitive, etc.) so that "munched" dictionaries can be kept in straight text. The same is true for Hunspell which has replaced MySpell in 2.0.2 and later.

So, the simplest way to add spell checking capabilities is to:

1. Find an Ispell dictionary and affix file (both have to be modified to work). See for a good starting point. Hunspell files will work with no modifications.

2. Contact the author of the wordlist to make sure licenses are clear and acceptable. A list of compatible licenses is at the Apache license compatibility page but since you will be packaging an extension many free software licenses are considered acceptable in this particular case.

3. (Obsolete; only if you use Ispell files) Convert the affix file and wordlist from the Ispell formats to the formats needed by MySpell/Hunspell. Converting an affix file is time consuming (several hours) but no programming skills are required and all that is needed is a simple text editor. The best way to understand how to translate an affix file to MySpell format is by example: Ispell's English Affix File and MySpell's English Affix File and then grab the following README (text file) that explains in more detail what must be done. Also check out the Hunspell homepage. Hunspell supports MySpell syntax but offers several extensions which you might need.

5. Package an extension following the guidelines for dictionary extensions, test it with OpenOffice and publish it to the OpenOffice Extensions repository. Should you need help, contact the localization mailing list. You must also include a README.txt file that specifies the author; original ispell author, if any; the specific language and locale supported; and the license you are releasing your dictionary under (GPL, LGPL, BSD, or other).

6. Either contact the localization mailing list or Create an issue (you must be logged in) for the Internationalization project asking the developers to include support for spell checking in your locale (en_US, en_CA, de_DE, pt_PT, etc) and supply the link to the latest release of your extension.

Once you have reached here: Congrats! You have helped the OpenOffice effort - Thank You!


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