Replacing Spelling Dictionaries

Note: these instructions apply only to Scrivener for Windows 3.0.0+ and Scapple for Windows 1.4+.

Scrivener and Scapple for Windows use open-source dictionaries from Hunspell for their spell-check functionality. If you would like to replace these with your preferred dictionaries, you will want to rename your dictionary files to match the existing ones for the target language, then place them in the same location as the originals (note: instead of overwriting the original dictionary files, we recommend moving them to another directory first for safekeeping). The new dictionary files should use UTF-8 encoding.

Dictionaries are found within each program's installation folder (C:\Program Files\Scrivener3\ or C:\Program Files\Scapple\) under \hunspell\dict. Each installed language will have its own folder within the "dict" folder (e.g., Scrivener's dictionary files for US English are under \dict\English-en-us). These language folders each contain several files: an .aff file, a .dic file and a readme text file (e.g., en-US.aff, en-US.dic and README-en-US.txt).

If you were to download a different US English dictionary, the downloaded dictionary files should be renamed to match the "en-US" file names, then placed within the "English-en-us" folder after having moved the originals. Scrivener will only recognize these files if they assume the same filenames as the originals, so this step is key.

It is also possible to add words to your personal dictionary, which will prevent them being flagged as misspellings and also then add them to the list of suggested words. In both Scrivener and Scapple, flagged words can be added by right-clicking on the word and choosing "Learn Spelling" from the context menu. Words can also be added in bulk by editing the custom word list. To do this in Scrivener, navigate to File ▸ Options ▸ Corrections, click the "Spelling" tab, then choose "View Personal Word List". In Scapple, go to Edit ▸ Spelling ▸ Dictionaries and click "Personal Words...".