Spellcheck in non-English languages DONE! (Workaround)

edited May 10, 2018
Hi! I've searched for a way to change default dictionary for spellchecking in Zotero, but didn' find it. So, I disabled spellcheck using a workaround (link below).

But today I had an idea, tested, and it works:

1. With Firefox installed, go to its directory (below), open folder "dictionaries", and copy the two files of desired locale (if it's not installed, go to link below). In my case, the two files are "pt-BR.aff" and "pt-BR.dic".
2. Go to Zotero's directory, (below), open folder "dictionaries" (there are two files of locale en-US, these are the default Zotero dictionary) and paste those two files in that folder.
3. Rename en-US files to whatever backup name (say, "en-US_original"), or simply delete them instead.
4. Rename the copied files to "en-US.aff" and "en-US.dic".
5. Restart Zotero. Your notes should be spellchecked with Firefox dictionary!
6. If you did, as I did, the disable-spellcheck workaround, undo it (set "extensions.spellcheck.inline.max-misspellings" in Zotero about:config to a big value, like 500), and restart Zotero.

This is, obviously, a workaround, but at least you can have spellcheck in your non-English language until Zotero developers finally solve this question. :)

Firefox's directory (Windows 64bits, Firefox 64bits):
C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox

Zotero's directory (Windows 64 bits):
C:\Program Files (x86)\Zotero

Link to workaround to disable spellcheck:

Link to Firefox's help on installing dictionaries:
  • Thank you so much for this!
    I wasn't able to use the files from mozilla (mozilla don't work in this computer) so I use a LibreOffice archive instead that I found here https://github.com/01luisrene/Diccionario-espanol-LibreOffice
  • Very good tip ! thank you it works like a charm
  • edited January 2, 2019
    Thanks a lot for this wonderful workaround !
    Here are all the dictionaries : https://kitscenarist.ru/downloads/hunspell/
  • For Ubuntu, Zotero dictionaries folder is /opt/zotero/dictionaries
  • One of the recent Zotero updates apparently re-installed english "en-US.aff" and "en-US.dic" so I had to repeat the procedure - and the good news: it still works the same!
  • Another possibility is to use the hunspell-dictionary of the system.
    For this add the folllowing line to the about:config

    preference name: spellchecker.dictionary_path
    value: /usr/share/hunspell

    If hunspell is not installed you can install it with the most package managers.
    Example for Ubuntu 18.04 with german spell-checking:
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install hunspell hunspell-de-de
  • @JotDe Thanks for your indication. Could you please precise where is to be found the about:config file you are talking about?

    Secondly, is there a way to have different dictionaries in these repository or would it not worked with multiple spellcheckers (english, german, italian etc.)?

    Thanks in advance.
  • edited March 30, 2020
    Several dictionaries should work, according to the feature description by hunspell.

    You can find the about:config under

    Edit > Preferences > Advanced > Config Editor > "I accept the risk!"

    Now right click in the opened Window and select
    New > String

    A new window appears and asks for the preference name.
    type "spellchecker.dictionary_path" and click ok

    Add the path to your hunspell-dictionaries.

    Close the about:config window and Zotero. Now reopen Zotero and it should work.

    I made a video of this process. I hope it's not too confusing, since I'm using i3wm and there are some jumps with the opened windows.

  • ♥ to JotDE! Eliminating the red lines of the spellchecker in german notes worked like a charm! (machine: kubuntu 20.04 ) (+ some Google-Tags: Notizen rot unterstrichen in Zotero; Rote Unterstreichung in deutsch; rote Wellenlinie Notizen)
  • Thanks a lot! Not familiar with the meta knowledge organisation here at Zotero, but maybe make this a sticky or put it somewhere prominent?
  • Do you know how to find the Firefox and the Zotero dictionary files on a Mac?
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