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Tutorial for Spell check and Language configuration
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Do you want a sticky for spell checking ?
Yes
89%
 89%  [ 81 ]
No
10%
 10%  [ 10 ]
Total Votes : 91

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Hagar Delest
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 11:37 pm    Post subject: Tutorial for Spell check and Language configuration Reply with quote

This thread is no longer updated.
See the tutorial in the other forum for an up to date version (including 3.0): [Tutorial] Spell check and Language configuration.

If you want a quick process, see the [Troubleshooting] Spell check in OOo 3.x.


0. Executive summary
1. Spell checking is not working, why ?
2. I want to remove all these extra dictionaries I don't need
3. I want to upgrade OOo, what about my settings for languages ?
4. There is no dictionary or wizard for my language
5. Since I installed language files, settings cannot be changed (bug)
6. Spell checking with Outlook Express (off topic)



0. Executive summary

Look at the paragraph style, Font tab and check what is the language set here.
Make sure there is the little ABC✓ check mark in front of the language (meaning the dictionary is installed). If not, you've to download it (run the wizard).
If the paragraph style is not Default, check the latter also to cascade the language to the whole document.


1. Spell checking is not working, why ?

In a thread, satoritree reported this from the OOo discussion mailing list (I slightly rearranged the text):
About documents spell checked in English (USA) instead of English (UK), user<at>openoffice.org wrote:
The list box under Tools>Options>Language Settings>Writing Aids>Edit is a key to the large window below, allowing you to see modules and sub-modules available for the language selected in the list box and to turn those modules and sub-modules on or off.

The only reason English (USA) always appears here when you enter this dialog box is because it happens to be the first language in the list in the list box, not because this dialog box is setting the language.

Language in an OOo document is set as part of styles in OpenOffice.org. You are probably attempting to spell check in documents where the Default paragraph style and some or all other styles have the language attribute of "English (USA)" rather than "English (UK)".

Press F11 to bring up the Stylist. Select Default from the list, right-click it, select Modify, select the Font tab, and change the language setting for that style to English (UK). This should mostly cascade down to other styles. (You can check for any other styles you are using). If you have been doing direct formatting, you may also have to select your entire document (CTRL-A), select Format>Character>Font and set the language to English (UK) here also...

And to set a language by default for all the future documents, user<at>openoffice.org wrote:
...To set things up properly, create a new blank document, set the language to English (UK) under Tools>Options>Language Settings>Languages, and then set the Default paragraph style as outlined above, if it is not already so set. Also check the character styles in the Style list under the A icon in the Stylist, then do File>Templates>Save, giving it suitable name for your normal template, such as 'Normal-Writer' or 'Default-Writer' or some such. Next go to File>Templates>Organize, find your template under My Templates, select it, right-click, and choose Set As Default Template. All new documents will now be created from that template with any style settings you have saved to it, including language settings.

Of course documents not created by yourself may have different language attributes assigned to text or documents you have previously created by have other language attributes assigned to some or all of the text.

=> Spell check management is mostly done by the paragraph style. This is the first place to look at.
NB: beware of the direct formatting (done through Format>Characters). It may lead to problems because if later you apply the Default formatting (from context menu for example), it will reset the language to the paragraph style setting. Therefore, if it has not been changed in the paragraph style, you will lose your language setting.

- Language is set up in the menu Tools>Options>Language Settings>Languages. But this setting is overridden by
- Language set up in the Font tab of a Paragraph style. Which is also overridden by
- Language set up in the Font tab of Character style. Which is also overridden by
- Language set up by direct formatting (Font tab in Format>Characters or context menu>Characters)

Language in imported documents (especially from MS Word) is considered as part of the paragraphs and/or characters Styles if only the default language has been used in the document; it's a Direct Formatting if language has been set with the Tools>Language feature for a text selection. That's why the general setting in the Tools>Options>Language Settings menu or even the Default paragraph style value have sometimes no effect: they are simply overridden. To cancel this:
- Either you apply the default formatting on the paragraphs and/or characters, but you will lose additional formatting like bold, italics, ...
- Or you select all and you apply a direct formatting on the characters, but with all the disadvantages linked to a direct formatting again !

If you have a custom template: if you change the general setting in the Tools>Options>Language Settings menu, this will be applied only to the current document. New documents will still have the former value because the general setting is overridden by the Default paragraph style definition of the template. To keep the change permanent, you've to edit the template.

Note that if the dictionaries related to the languages set are not installed (no ABC✓ check mark), spell check cannot be performed and no red lines are displayed for misspelled words.

The advantage of the language management of OOo is that we can have a document :
- Written by default in English (through the Tools>Options setting);
- With paragraphs in French (through a custom paragraph style);
- With Italian sentences in those French paragraphs (through characters style);
- With German words in those Italian sentences (through direct formatting).
NB: settings in both a character style and a direct formatting are lost when the Default formatting is applied.


2. I want to remove all these extra dictionaries I don't need

By default, OOo is delivered with a bunch of dictionaries activated by default (Swahili, Thai, Russian, English, ...). But for licence issue, some languages cannot be included in this package. Thi is why you have to download them separately.

You may want to disable the exotic languages that you probably don't need, especially if you've activated the option Check in all languages in menu Tools>Options>Language Settings>Writing Aids and in the bottom area (Options).

Edit the file dictionary.lst in <OOo install folder>/share/dict/ooo and only keep the bunches of 3 lines (DICT, HYPH and THES) with the locales you want. This is just a plain text file, open it with any basic text editor. I won't give further detail about this file because there is an explanation inside. It should just look like that :
Code:
DICT en US en_US
HYPH en US hyph_en_US
THES en US th_en_US_v2

DICT fr FR fr_FR
HYPH fr FR hyph_fr_FR
THES fr FR th_fr_FR_v2

DICT fr FR fr_FR-1990

Note that here, I've 2 dictionaries for a same language (French): one for the 'old' rules, one for the 'new' rules.


3. I want to upgrade OOo, what about my settings for languages ?


Beware, at each upgrade, the <OOo install folder>/share/dict/ooo folder is overwritten by the new one. So you loose any customization (installed dicts and removed ones), both on Windows and Linux ; except that installed dicts in the user profile are kept of course. You'll also get the whole bunch of exotic dicts delivered out of the box again .

As a workaround, you can put the content of the <OOo install folder>/share/dict/ooo folder in <OOo user profile>/user/wordbook (dictionary.lst + dictionaries), same as Linux. So, keep a dictionary.lst file with the added dicts here and it will be taken into account in parallel with the dictionary.lst and the standard dicts in the main program folder. But you still have to edit the standard dictionary.lst to remove all the unwanted dictionaries at each upgrade (see above).

If you want to improve this, don't hesitate to vote for the bug : Issue 72559 - Dictionary configuration deleted at upgrade.


4. There is no dictionary or wizard for my language

Go to the menu File>Wizards>Install new dictionaries. It opens a document, click on a UI language (don't worry if you don't find your language, this is only for the dialogs language) and just follow the instructions. You can also do the installation offline after having downloaded the archive containing your language files. Don't forget to shut down OOo and the Quickstarter so the changes are taken into account.

NB: from the 2.3 version, the default setting for macros has been modified. You need to lower the security level in Tools>Options>OOo>Security and set the level to Medium.

If the wizard is not found, you can download it on the OOo wiki web page for Dictionaries.


5. Since I installed language files, settings cannot be changed (bug)

Under Windows, some users have experienced a problem with language settings that were not kept anymore when modified. Just remove the linguistic.xcu file located in the folder /Program files/openoffice.org2/share/registry/data/org/openoffice/office, it wrongly overrides the equivalent file in the user profile.

There is a bug report, you can vote for it here : Issue 72957 - User settings overridden by installation.
Aug. 2007: this issue has been fixed, the new version of the dictionary wizard has at last been changed. DicOOo version 1.8 has been tested successfully.


6. Spell checking with Outlook Express (off topic)

The OOo spell checking feature is not compatible with Outlook Express. But it is with Thunderbird (see this page : OpenOffice.org Dictionaries and Thunderbird).

But as this is a very frequent question, even if it's completely out of topic, here is some information given by justlocal / Kelvin Eldridge the creator and maintainer of the Australian English dictionary for OpenOffice.org, and thanks to the kind assistance of Vampirefo, an English spell checker for Outlook Express is available from Vampirefo's site. Vampirefo also produced a patch which would be suitable for Australians. This patch is also suitable for other countries which prefer "colour" to "color" and "organise" to "organize".

Both the program and patch are available from the following site : http://www.justlocal.com.au/clients/oooau/
Direct link to the Vampirefo's OE spell checker.
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Last edited by Hagar Delest on Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:59 am; edited 25 times in total
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of new users ask about this, but there are already too many sticky threads.

In my view the limit is about five — maybe only three. More than that and first time posters don't read even the subject headings before posting a question that is answered in a sticky thread.

The thread titles need to be shorter too:

1. Page Numbering
2. Spell Checking
3. MS Works and WordPerfect Files
4. Open Office Writer's Guide
5. Free Clipart for Open Office
6. Recovering Corrupted Files
7. Default Application for DOC Files
8. Free Open Document Convertor
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Kaaredyret
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We need a FAQ, implemented as a WIKI, so everyone can contribute to it and polish the FAQ as new releases of OOo arrive.
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jrkrideau
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kaaredyret wrote:
We need a FAQ, implemented as a WIKI, so everyone can contribute to it and polish the FAQ as new releases of OOo arrive.


Yes this sounds like a good idea, better than a sticky althought a sticky might save us a lot of bandwidth.
I vote Yes for a sticky
but would prefer the Wiki.

I'm a poet ?
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foxcole
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about a sticky simply titled FAQs to act as a portal to the FAQ wiki(s)?

Of course there would be other stickies (forum rules, how to ask a question), but the FAQ one should be at the top, or at least easy to spot among them.
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RonIA
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am certainly for something that would make life easier for newbies. (Or feature newbies like me, every time I run into a new feature I want/need to use I sometimes have to resort to here because I just can't figure it out. Very Happy Even with the help files.) I do agree however the stickies are getting to be too many in some cases and needed to be replaced with a better mechanism.

It would probably entail an entire revamp of the portal page to direct people to and FAQ / Tutorial section and make it easier to use the FAQ and Tutorials and a "little" more difficult to dive into the forums directly.

I believe a lot of discomfort people have with computers and switching (i.e. from one software to another, read MS Office to anything else including OO.o) is the unknown. Not just the unknown of "How do I do..." but also "Where do I go for help?"

Now if we could first have all newbies (and not so newbies) use the help files included with the app, then a FAQ, then the Search facilities, THEN and only THEN post a question, I think the users would have their answers generally quicker, and there would be a lot more time to dedicate to truly odd or more advanced behaviors in the forums. (I am only vaguely familiar with WIKI's but would be willing to volunteer some time to helping create/maintain one. [I say with a bit of trepidation in my voice due to my other time commitments.])

How to politely tell someone though, "No, I am not going to help you until you have shown to me you have looked at the help files, reviewed the FAQs, and just plain tried a couple of things yourself." Particularly when we are trying to promote the product to others for use.
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RonIA
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A great example of where to start would be a link (bold and prominent) on the OOoForum.org page to the Documentation FAQs for OOo.

http://documentation.openoffice.org/faqs/index.html
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9point9
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I stuck it as it was generally looked like people wanted a sticky topic. If someone wants it unstuck, a mod can do so. I would suggest pulling the poll down once peoples curiosity is satisfied.
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acknak
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
How to politely tell someone though, "No, I am not going to help you until you have shown to me you have looked at the help files, reviewed the FAQs, and just plain tried a couple of things yourself." Particularly when we are trying to promote the product to others for use.

This is a question I'm not sure myself how to answer. Maybe it depends on the situation--possibly on factors not apparent in a forum like this.
OT1H: If you just answer the question, the person does not learn what resources are available, nor how to help themselves. In the long-run this is a disservice to the questioner and to the community: the forum clogs with repeated discussions of the same issues and the support channels aren't tested and improved through use.
OTOH: Sometimes people are legitmately in a spot where they just need a quick answer, and in the interest of "promoting the product" as Ron said, it's better to just go ahead and answer the question. And it's quicker to type "Format > Autoformat > While Typing" than it is to go on about reading the FAQ.

As I said, I don't know the best answer to this. Maybe the OP's tone is a factor Wink

One compromise is to point to both the specific answer, e.g.: See FAQ 025, and also point to the FAQ portal itself, for future use.

I agree that it would be especially helpful if the FAQ were a wiki, where the answer could be evolved, and where some discussion of finer points was available. E.g. in the above case, the official FAQ has no mention that some Linux distros remove the Tools > Autocorrect > Replacement table function.

I would note that the "last changed date" on the official FAQ is >1 year ago.

PS: Oops, the newest FAQ is here: User-FAQ and is more up-to-date, although I'm still reluctant to send newbies there--pretty much everything under openoffice.org confuses and disturbs me!

PPS: Ack! And in two days, that will be a year unchanged!
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mihel
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 7:59 am    Post subject: Should we add this to your tutorial? Reply with quote

It doesn't have an answer yet though Very Happy
http://www.oooforum.org/forum/viewtopic.phtml?t=51806
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mamba
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried all the tips in this thread, using 2.2, and still no spellcheck. It was there one minute and gone the next, literally disappeared while I was writing in the document. I noticed that the paragraph I was writing had no spelling hints (red squiggles) under misspelled words, although they were still there in other paragraphs. Shortly thereafter they disappeared from the whole document! Weird.

And now the little red squiggles under the misspelled words just won't some back, despite fiddling with all parameters mentioned and downloading new dictionaries, etc. I've had this problem with older versions of Writer before (sudden irretrievable death of spellchecking).
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Hagar Delest
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could you give us more details ? What is your OS ? are you working with .odt files ? Have you tried the 5 of this thread ? Have you removed unnecessary dics ?
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mamba
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Number 5 above - it is not clear to me what to do at all. If you want people to test things, you'll have to be much clearer than that.
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Hagar Delest
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just remove the linguistic.xcu file located in the folder Program files/openoffice.org2/share/registry/data/org/openoffice/office.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Hager de I'Est,

Over the years I've noticed many Windows users wanting to know about spell checking with Outlook Express when used with OpenOffice.org.

You may wish to mention the kind work of Vampirefo which enables spell checking with Outlook Express is available from the following location.

http://www.justlocal.com.au/clients/oooau/

As a result of my request, Vampirefo was also kind enough to produce a patch for spell.exe program to enable the program to be used by Australians and those who prefer "colour" to "color" and "organise" to "organize".

The patch needs to be installed after the spell.exe program and is only available from the above location.

I hope this helps.
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