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034 Importing a custom dictionary

From: InDesign Secrets

Video: 034 Importing a custom dictionary

So you may not know that lynda.com recording studios are actually in California, and I live in Chicago. It's always so cool to come to California and I have come so often to record videos at lynda.com, or to do seminars, or visit friends in San Francisco and Napa Valley, that I've become quite interested in the history of California. So I came across this document that I was reading in InDesign, that had the early history of San Francisco and a couple of things caught my eye. For example, The first Europeans, including the David Blatner clan; obviously this is not completely 100% historically accurate portrayal of this.

034 Importing a custom dictionary

So you may not know that lynda.com recording studios are actually in California, and I live in Chicago. It's always so cool to come to California and I have come so often to record videos at lynda.com, or to do seminars, or visit friends in San Francisco and Napa Valley, that I've become quite interested in the history of California. So I came across this document that I was reading in InDesign, that had the early history of San Francisco and a couple of things caught my eye. For example, The first Europeans, including the David Blatner clan; obviously this is not completely 100% historically accurate portrayal of this.

No, obviously I put that in here, because what I want to show you is that there is a problem with this document that I will teach you how to solve in the video. And the problem is that there are a ton of words that are not in InDesign's default dictionary. If I go to the Edit menu, go down to Spelling and turn on Dynamic Spelling, which is my favorite way to check spelling in an InDesign document, I get this Microsoft Word-like squiggles under words that it does not recognize, so let me click here and zoom in.

You get a little red squiggle when it doesn't recognize the word in a dictionary, so if I right-click it says, well, this should be Halon, or Hollow, or Halloween, or Hullo; obviously it shouldn't be. I need to add this to the dictionary. Now if I just had one or two words, I can just right-click and choose Add this word to the dictionary, but, in this article there are lots of unrecognized words. They may be spelled perfectly correctly but they are just unrecognized. And if I know that I am going to be doing a project, for example, working on a book about California history, that these words are going to be repeated very often.

What I'd like to do, is to permanently add them to InDesign's dictionary. I mean, frankly I am surprised that Adobe still has not added Blatner to its default dictionary for InDesign. I mean, I can't believe it, this is Mr. InDesign! All right, so what we are going to do is add these words to InDesign's dictionary by creating a new custom dictionary. It's so simple to do. First of all, you need to have a word list, a list of words that you want to add to the dictionary.

Now what you could do, is just create a text frame and then copy and paste these words, right out here. Here's Mojave and I am going to hit Return, and Ohlone, copy that, paste and so on. You can get all those words out. And then all you need to do is go to File > Export, and export it as a Text Only file. So call it new-words.txt, for example, because I just did this, or you could just create it in Microsoft Word and save it as a Text Only file, it needs to be a text only file.

By the way you could also just export this whole thing as a text file and bring that in. It doesn't have to be all nice and neat with one word per line. It could be paragraphs, and even if a lot of words are duplicated, like if I actually did the whole thing, when and the we already know are in the dictionary, InDesign just ignores those, so don't worry about it. But we will be careful about it and we will just go ahead and create a word list. In fact, I already did. I have it open right here, so here is a list of the words that I copied and pasted over, and I included Blatner and then my name with and without the accent mark.

So once you have your word list, you can then go back to InDesign and add it as a custom dictionary that it will use from then on for every document that you create, not just this current one. It's a two-step process. Well I guess three steps, including creating the word list, all right, but you've got the word list, then it's a two-step process. In InDesign, go to the Preferences, which on a Mac is here under the InDesign menu, on the PC it's the last item under Edit, and go to the Dictionary entry.

The Dictionary is where you manage your dictionaries. Now there is a default one, that comes with InDesign, it's listed right here and it's stored on your hard drive. You can add multiple dictionaries, so you can either add one, if somebody in your work group has already gone through these steps, you can click Add and then just point to where they have created their custom dictionary. If you've never done this before, you first need to create the custom dictionary with this New User Dictionary button. So I click Create, and then you save the User Dictionary wherever you want. Now I would rename this because the naming can get confusing because they use the term user dictionary in lots of different places.

So I would call this something like California terms or something like that. I will just call it California. The UDC is the extension for an InDesign dictionary, so don't change that. If you have a work group you could save this on the server and then everybody else could go to their preferences and link to it. But anyway let's go on. We've created our custom dictionary, and now the second step or third step, but, who is counting, is to actually import those words into the dictionary. It would make sense if we could do it in that dialog box but of course we can't. Instead you need to go to the back to the Spelling flyout menu, which is under the Edit menu, and choose User Dictionary here.

In earlier versions of InDesign I believe this is just called Dictionary. This opens up the User Dictionary and this is where we would actually import the word list. Now the User Dictionary is the one that we are using right now, if you click here, you will see the custom dictionary that you created. So look for the one that ends with UDC and choose that. You need to choose the Target Dictionary first, if you want to import that word list into the Target Dictionary. You could import the word list into the User Dictionary, but then you really couldn't share that with anybody. So put it into this stand-alone User Dictionary, come down here to Import, and before I do that actually I am going to turn on Case Sensitive, because a lot of those words were capitalized, and I want InDesign to flag in case I enter a word from that word list that's not capitalized, I want it to flag it as a capitalization error.

So I am turning it on first. If you are going to do this, you need to turn this on before you import the words. So I click Import and then I locate that word list. So here's my word list and I am going to choose to add it to the dictionary, that's the default. If you have an existing custom dictionary and you've really messed things up, you can choose to replace it if you'd like, to replace the existing word list with the ones that you are bringing in. But this is also nice because as you come up with more words, you can create more word lists and keep adding them to the same custom dictionary.

So that was real fast as you saw. I have brought over both formats of Concepcion because either one can be kind of spelled correctly, and now we will click Done, and did you see that as soon as I did that, that all of squiggles disappeared? Except for the ones that I forgot to add. Right, so there is Asis hasn't been added. I don't really need to add 70s or 80s, and there is a couple other words, but that is how simple it is to create a custom dictionary. Three steps; create the word list, create the new dictionary and preferences and then go to Edit > User Dictionary and import the word list.

It's a little bit of work but it saves so much time, it's definitely worth it.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for InDesign Secrets
InDesign Secrets

157 video lessons · 73299 viewers

Anne-Marie Concepción and David Blatner
Author

 
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  1. 3m 9s
    1. 157 Uncovering InDesign's magic font folders
      3m 9s
  2. 14h 21m
    1. 001 Intro to InDesign Secrets
      51s
    2. 002 The hidden "auto-expand text" feature
      5m 51s
    3. 003 Letting InDesign do the math for you
      3m 15s
    4. 004 The indispensible Quick Apply feature
      5m 29s
    5. 005 Customizing the Links panel
      6m 53s
    6. 006 Magically building graphs with the Chartwell font
      7m 43s
    7. 007 Using the Eyedropper tool to pick up character or paragraph attributes
      3m 21s
    8. 008 Selecting through and into objects using cmd-click and Select Above/Below
      5m 46s
    9. 009 Some great tips and tricks for the Swatches panel
      9m 40s
    10. 010 Saving down for backward compatibility with INX and IDML
      5m 55s
    11. 011 Using the INX and IDML formats to fix problems
      4m 46s
    12. 012 InDesign's Easter eggs
      5m 0s
    13. 013 Three cool GREP styles everyone can use
      7m 35s
    14. 014 A field guide to special characters
      8m 2s
    15. 015 Trashing the application preferences to solve weird behaviors
      4m 42s
    16. 016 Aligning numbered lists by decimal points
      3m 10s
    17. 017 Running a script
      9m 33s
    18. 018 When text disappears from a text frame
      6m 18s
    19. 019 Preview and Presentation modes (changing color, etc.)
      4m 8s
    20. 020 Using multiple windows for comparisons
      3m 35s
    21. 021 Putting images on a stroke
      5m 23s
    22. 022 Making your own motion path
      5m 43s
    23. 023 Copying objects between Illustrator and InDesign
      6m 53s
    24. 024 Using layer comps in Photoshop files to show alternates in InDesign
      4m 19s
    25. 025 Adding custom HTML tags to EPUB/HTML exports
      5m 32s
    26. 026 Tracking down type issues with the composition highlighter
      8m 13s
    27. 027 Managing your InDesign panels
      5m 46s
    28. 028 Creating running heads using variables
      5m 1s
    29. 029 Live Caption tips and tricks
      8m 3s
    30. 030 Making professional drop caps
      10m 37s
    31. 031 Making two-state buttons in interactive documents
      5m 5s
    32. 032 Moving pages from one document to another
      3m 15s
    33. 033 Wrapping bulleted text around a curve
      5m 58s
    34. 034 Importing a custom dictionary
      7m 8s
    35. 035 Changing document orientation and page size
      6m 45s
    36. 036 Numbering instead of using auto page numbers
      6m 23s
    37. 037 Setting story order with the Articles panel
      8m 3s
    38. 038 Updating a linked table without losing formatting
      5m 38s
    39. 039 Creating electronic sticky notes
      4m 49s
    40. 040 Moving master page items to the top layer for visibility
      2m 48s
    41. 041 Five guide tricks that will impress your coworkers
      6m 18s
    42. 042 Letting InDesign add the diacritics
      4m 21s
    43. 043 Using single-cell table cells for custom paragraph formatting
      6m 2s
    44. 044 Formatting fractions correctly
      8m 11s
    45. 045 Fixing unwanted hyperlinks in an imported Word file
      5m 57s
    46. 046 Inline graphic tricks with invisible paragraphs
      4m 21s
    47. 047 Ensuring the first line of every chapter starts in the same spot
      3m 1s
    48. 048 Specifying an exact amount of space between objects
      5m 17s
    49. 049 Fixing last lines that are too short
      8m 16s
    50. 050 Creating web graphics from your InDesign artwork
      7m 20s
    51. 051 Using “No Language” to suppress unwanted hyphenation, spell-checking, and smart quotes
      2m 48s
    52. 052 Five things that should be in every new file
      5m 19s
    53. 053 Forcing EPUB page breaks with invisible objects
      6m 21s
    54. 054 Understanding component information
      6m 39s
    55. 055 Creating running heads using section markers
      4m 16s
    56. 056 Making a font with InDesign using the IndyFont script
      5m 20s
    57. 057 Finding where that color is used
      7m 17s
    58. 058 Text wrapping
      6m 54s
    59. 059 Inserting pages: Understanding the Pages panel
      4m 20s
    60. 060 Copying paths between Illustrator and InDesign
      5m 14s
    61. 061 Automating Find/Change with the Find/ChangeByList script
      12m 48s
    62. 062 Embedding images
      7m 43s
    63. 063 Adjusting leading inside a paragraph
      4m 31s
    64. 064 Placing one InDesign file inside another
      3m 58s
    65. 065 Creating bookmarks for PDFs
      7m 25s
    66. 066 Customizing the story editor preferences
      6m 4s
    67. 067 Setting the size of text exactly with this free script
      3m 28s
    68. 068 Using Gravity to simulate perspective
      3m 15s
    69. 069 Fixing the overflowing text frame problem in EPUBs
      5m 0s
    70. 070 Ten uses of the Story Editor
      11m 39s
    71. 071 Moving an object: Ten ways!
      7m 18s
    72. 072 Understanding optical margin alignment (and the quote trick)
      4m 23s
    73. 073 Changing the shape of any frame with the pen tool
      6m 12s
    74. 074 Working with sets in the content conveyor tool
      10m 40s
    75. 075 Running text along the top and the bottom of a circle
      3m 51s
    76. 076 Creating a list using the Table of Contents feature
      3m 25s
    77. 077 Quickly threading frames together and unthreading frames
      13m 22s
    78. 078 The secrets of formatting objects with Find/Change
      6m 34s
    79. 079 Using ruler guides: 10 great tricks
      5m 3s
    80. 080 Converting a clipping path to a frame
      4m 24s
    81. 081 Adding a drop shadow to a single word inside a frame
      3m 14s
    82. 082 Creating a custom cross-reference format
      13m 53s
    83. 083 Putting different-sized pages on a single spread
      3m 7s
    84. 084 Formatting prices with nested and grep styles
      6m 21s
    85. 085 Checking out the Gridify tricks
      5m 17s
    86. 086 Using Illustrator to create InDesign gradient swatches
      4m 49s
    87. 087 Building a simple grep style to change character size
      3m 45s
    88. 088 Exporting a grayscale PDF
      3m 16s
    89. 089 Three ways to cheat text outside of its frame
      6m 8s
    90. 090 Three great Object Styles for any designer
      8m 1s
    91. 091 Choosing alpha channel image transparency
      2m 25s
    92. 092 Adding and reading metadata for InDesign files
      3m 25s
    93. 093 Adding ALT tags to your images
      6m 59s
    94. 094 How to Place & Link a text frame's text but not its formatting
      7m 4s
    95. 095 Setting the baseline position of a caption
      2m 39s
    96. 096 Managing changing pages with primary text frames
      5m 23s
    97. 097 Secrets of the Info panel
      7m 31s
    98. 098 Surprising ways to do a word count
      5m 29s
    99. 099 Placing an object where you want it with an object style
      6m 18s
    100. 100 Aligning Objects tips and tricks
      5m 10s
    101. 101 Applying corner options to any shape
      2m 17s
    102. 102 Converting footnotes to endnotes with a free script
      4m 49s
    103. 103 Making tab leaders pretty
      4m 18s
    104. 104 Converting text to outlines the right way
      4m 30s
    105. 105 Turning InDesign into a speed demon
      8m 31s
    106. 106 Working with MiniBridge
      5m 45s
    107. 107 Customize your QR codes
      6m 17s
    108. 108 Using the same keyboard shortcut for two different commands with the Context feature
      5m 22s
    109. 109 Making a text highlighter
      3m 33s
    110. 110 Updating an interactive PDF without losing work done in Acrobat
      5m 31s
    111. 111 Adding custom text at the beginning of each line automatically
      4m 0s
    112. 112 Packaging images on the pasteboard
      3m 32s
    113. 113 Automatically updating figure references for books
      6m 9s
    114. 114 Adding Tool Tips to your form fields in InDesign
      3m 21s
    115. 115 Setting poetry, flush left, center on longest line
      3m 54s
    116. 116 Use bookmarks to navigate long documents in production
      4m 57s
    117. 117 Selecting text with the InDesign keyboard dance
      2m 0s
    118. 118 Including a total page count in your page numbers
      6m 19s
    119. 119 Making a custom arrowhead
      5m 37s
    120. 120 Making alternative body text styles for fast typesetting
      5m 4s
    121. 121 Making InDesign patterns with the free PatternMaker
      3m 45s
    122. 122 Creating pull quotes the easy way
      5m 1s
    123. 123 Allow text frame to resize with text
      2m 43s
    124. 124 Mapping Word styles to InDesign styles
      5m 48s
    125. 125 Make two automatically threaded text flows
      3m 37s
    126. 126 Saving for Web in InDesign
      6m 7s
    127. 127 Numbering rows in a table
      5m 10s
    128. 128 Making automatic jump lines
      6m 52s
    129. 129 Turning off allow pages to shuffle in order to separate facing pages
      3m 40s
    130. 130 Dealing with parentheses around text size
      4m 19s
    131. 131 Make a fill in the blank label for contracts and forms
      7m 53s
    132. 132 Changing the shape of polygons and starburst as you draw or afterward
      4m 17s
    133. 133 Contextual text and images that you only want sometimes visible
      4m 55s
    134. 134 Creating nav points in a movie
      4m 31s
    135. 135 Adding effects to your rule above and rule below
      3m 38s
    136. 136 Fitting text to a specific size
      4m 45s
    137. 137 Quick tips for making a small PDF file size
      6m 9s
    138. 138 Sharing presets, workspaces, and custom shortcuts sets
      5m 17s
    139. 139 Making a multi-level numbered list
      5m 17s
    140. 140 Faking bold and italic when the font family doesn’t have one
      5m 2s
    141. 141 Keeping the same scale size when updating or relinking to images
      3m 9s
    142. 142 Inserting glyphs
      6m 42s
    143. 143 Building richer, bolder color gradients
      3m 7s
    144. 144 Finding the right font with InDesign’s font menus
      4m 35s
    145. 145 Lay out a front, back and spine for a book jacket
      6m 12s
    146. 146 Ghosting area of image behind text
      2m 53s
    147. 147 Make a transparency mask in InDesign
      3m 45s
    148. 148 Using preflight to find common document errors
      6m 11s
    149. 149 Cropping with paste into
      5m 18s
    150. 150 Using vertical justification to spread out text in a frame automatically
      5m 16s
    151. 151 Rotate text inside a frame, or the frame around the text
      2m 30s
    152. 152 Looking at snippets vs. libraries
      6m 49s
    153. 153 Import a folder full of pictures, one per page
      8m 54s
    154. 154 When InDesign ignores your leading values
      4m 5s
    155. 155 Extracting images from a Word document
      3m 42s
    156. 156 Uncommon uses for Quick Apply
      6m 2s

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