You probably already know that the Mac has a built-in dictionary, accessible from the Dictionary app, but also via a keyboard shortcut, Spotlight, and a three-finger tap. But did you know that you can also edit the dictionary on Mac to add or remove your own words to the user dictionary? This is useful if you want to stop spell checking and autocorrect by flagging words.
If you’re a long-time reader, you may remember that you can add words to spell check on the Mac, but if you don’t want to use the context menu method, or have a few words you want to add or remove from your dictionary. , you can also directly edit the user dictionary file to add them yourself.
How to edit a dictionary on a Mac
You can directly edit the user dictionary file on MacOS by doing the following:
- Open Finder on your Mac if you haven’t already
- Press Command + Shift + G to open the Go To Folder window and enter the following path:
- Open the LocalDictionary file in your text editor of choice, be it TextEdit, nano, BBEdit or others
- Type the word(s) you want to add to the user’s dictionary, each new word on a separate line
- Save the local dictionary
You may need to exit and relaunch some applications to allow them to detect the change in the dictionary.
This is useful for a number of obvious reasons, but it can be especially useful if you use words from other languages like your own and find that autocorrect keeps changing the word or flagging it as an error.
You may notice that there are other words in the LocalDictionary file that you added via the “learn to spell” trick. If the file is empty, it simply means that you have never added any custom words to your user dictionary file.