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Using user dictionaries from Word (and other applications)

Product: Sentry Spelling Checker Engine Windows SDK

Version: 4.x and later

Question: Your documentation says I can use Word's dictionaries, but a) I don't know how or b) when I try, it doesn't work.

Answer: The first thing to note is that we claim Sentry works with other applications' user dictionaries. We have been very careful to always qualify "dictionary" with "user" when describing Sentry's capabilities in our Web pages and programmer's guide. The Sentry spelling engine cannot use Word's (or any other application's) main dictionary for technical and legal reasons.

The user dictionary is typically a small text file containing words the user added, such as the user's family name, street name, business name, etc. In Microsoft Word, the user dictionary is often called custom.dic. To find the names of the user dictionaries Word knows about, select (in Word) Tools + Options + Spelling & Grammar, then click on the Dictionaries... button. The dialog that pops up shows the path to the user dictionaries plus a list of user dictionary files. Knowing the path name and the user dictionary file name, you can add the user dictionary to the UserLexFiles property, or use the Add button in the Sentry Dictionaries dialog to locate and add the file.

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