User Guide Cancel

Create, add, and manage dictionaries

  1. InDesign User Guide
  2. Get to know InDesign
    1. Introduction to InDesign
      1. What's New in InDesign
      2. System requirements
      3. Common questions
      4. Use Creative Cloud libraries
    2. Workspace
      1. Workspace basics
      2. Customize your workspace in InDesign
      3. Toolbox
      4. Set preferences
      5. Properties panel
      6. Touch workspace
      7. Default keyboard shortcuts
      8. Document recovery and undo
    3. Generative AI
      1. Text to Image
      2. Generative AI FAQ
  3. Create and layout documents
    1. Documents and pages
      1. Create documents
      2. Work with parent pages
      3. Work with document pages
      4. Set page size, margins, and bleed
      5. Work with files and templates
      6. Convert PDFs to InDesign files in InDesign (Beta)
      7. Create book files
      8. Add basic page numbering
      9. Number pages, chapters, and sections
      10. Convert QuarkXPress and PageMaker documents
      11. Share content
      12. Understand a basic managed-file workflow
      13. Save documents
    2. Grids
      1. Grids
      2. Format grids
    3. Layout aids
      1. Rulers
      2. Align and distribute objects using rulers
      3. Measure objects using the Measure tool
  4. Add content
    1. Text
      1. Add text to frames
      2. Threading text
      3. South-East Asian Scripts
      4. Arabic and Hebrew features in InDesign
      5. Create type on a path
      6. Bullets and numbering
      7. Glyphs and special characters
      8. Text composition
      9. Text variables
      10. Generate QR codes
      11. Edit text
      12. Align text
      13. Wrap text around objects
      14. Anchored objects
      15. Linked content
      16. Format paragraphs
      17. Format characters
    2. Typography
      1. Using fonts in InDesign
      2. Kerning and tracking
    3. Format text
      1. Format text
      2. Auto Style text
      3. Work with Style Packs
      4. Tabs and indents
    4. Review text
      1. Track and review changes
      2. Add editorial notes in InDesign
      3. Import PDF comments
    5. Spell check and language dictionaries
      1. Check spelling, autocorrect, and dynamic spelling
      2. Create, add, and manage dictionaries and words
      3. Change dictionary preferences
      4. Duden dictionary
    6. Add references
      1. Create a table of contents
      2. Footnotes
      3. Create an index
      4. Endnotes
      5. Captions
    7. Styles
      1. Paragraph and character styles
      2. Map, export, and manage styles
      3. Object styles
      4. Drop caps and nested styles
      5. Work with styles
      6. Leading
    8. Tables
      1. Format tables
      2. Create tables
      3. Table and Cell styles
      4. Select and edit tables
      5. Table strokes and fills
    9. Interactivity
      1. Hyperlinks
      2. Dynamic PDF documents
      4. Buttons
      5. Forms
      6. Animation
      7. Cross-references
      8. Structure PDFs
      9. Page transitions
      10. Movies and sounds
    10. Graphics
      1. Understand paths and shapes
      2. Draw with the Pencil tool
      3. Draw with the Pen tool
      4. Apply line (stroke) settings 
      5. Compound paths and shapes
      6. Edit paths
      7. Clipping paths
      8. Change corner appearance
      9. Frames and objects
      10. Align and distribute objects
      11. Linked and embedded graphics
      12. Integrate AEM assets
    11. Color and transparency
      1. Apply color
      2. Use colors from imported graphics
      3. Work with swatches
      4. Mix inks
      5. Tints
      6. Understand spot and process colors
      7. Blend colors
      8. Gradients
      9. Flatten transparent artwork
      10. Add transparency effects
  5. Find and replace
    1. Find and replace text
    2. Find and replace fonts
    3. Find and replace glyphs
    4. Find and replace using GREP expressions and queries
    5. Find and replace objects
    6. Find and replace colors
    7. Search options to find and replace
  6. Share
    1. Save and access cloud documents
    2. Organize, manage, and share cloud documents
    3. View and manage versions in cloud documents
    4. Common questions about InDesign cloud documents
    5. Share and collaborate        
    6. Share for Review
    7. Review a shared InDesign document
    8. Manage feedback 
  7. Publish
    1. Place, export, and publish
      1. Publish online
      2. Publish online dashboard
      3. Copy, insert graphics
      4. Export content for EPUB
      5. Adobe PDF options
      6. Export content to HTML
      7. Export to Adobe PDF
      8. Export to JPEG format
      9. Export HTML
      10. DPS and AEM Mobile overview
      11. Supported File Formats
      12. Export and import User Settings
    2. Printing
      1. Print booklets
      2. Printer's marks and bleeds
      3. Print documents
      4. Inks, separation, and screen frequency
      5. Overprinting
      6. Create PostScript and EPS files
      7. Preflight files before handoff
      8. Print thumbnails and oversized documents
      9. Prepare PDFs for service providers
      10. Prepare to print separations
  8. Extend InDesign
    1. Automation
      1. Data merge
      2. Plug-ins
      3. Capture extension in InDesign
      4. Scripting
  9. Troubleshooting
    1. Fixed issues
    2. Known issues
    3. Crash on launch
    4. Preference folder read-only issue
    5. Troubleshoot file issues
    6. Unable to export PDF
    7. InDesign document recovery

Learn how to customize language dictionaries, manage user dictionaries, and edit word lists to ensure accurate and polished designs.

InDesign utilizes Hunspell dictionaries to verify spelling and hyphenation, allowing customization by adding words. You can assign different languages to text and ensure appropriate dictionary usage. You can also create additional user dictionaries, and import or export word lists for customization, including global words.

Customizing the dictionary allows you to add or remove words for spell-checking accuracy. Utilize the Dictionary dialog box to manage added, removed, and ignored words, including universal terms like last names and street names.

Set the default language dictionary

You can change the default language dictionary for a document or all new documents you create. Changing the default dictionary in an existing document doesn’t affect the existing or new text you type into a current frame.

Current document

  1. Open a document.

  2. Select Type > Character.

  3. Select the desired dictionary from the Language dropdown of the Character panel.

All new documents

  1. Start InDesign, but do not open a document.
  2. Select Type > Character.

  3. Select the desired dictionary from the Language dropdown from the Character panel.

Manage user dictionaries

You can create a user dictionary or add dictionaries from any of the following spaces:

  • Previous InDesign or InCopy versions.
  • Files sent by others.
  • A server where your workgroup’s user dictionary is stored.

The dictionary you add is used for all your InDesign documents.

  1. Select Edit > Preferences > Dictionary (Windows) or InDesign  > Preferences > Dictionary (macOS).

  2. Select a language from the Language dropdown.

    • Relink User Dictionary  icon: Select this to locate and open a user dictionary if you view a question mark next to it.
    • New User Dictionary  icon: Select to create a new dictionary. Specify the name and location of the user dictionary (which includes a .udc extension), and then select Save.
    • Add User Dictionary  icon: Select to add an existing dictionary. Select the user dictionary file, which includes a .udc or .not extension, and select Open.
    • Remove User Dictionary  icon: Select to remove a dictionary from the list.
    • Reorder dictionaries: Select a dictionary and drag it to change the order. The order of the dictionaries in the list is the order in which the dictionaries are checked.

The dictionary is added to the list under the Language menu. You can add words to the dictionary when checking spelling or by using the Dictionary dialog box.

Add or remove words from dictionaries

If, during a spell check, InDesign displays an unfamiliar word in the Check Spelling dialog, select the dictionary from the Add To menu and then select Add. You can also use the Dictionary dialog to specify the target dictionary and language and indicate how words are added to an exception word list.

  1. Select Edit > Spelling > User Dictionary.

  2. Select the Target and Language.

  3. Select any of the following from the Dictionary List:

    • Added Words: These are included in the specified Target and Language dictionaries.
    • Removed Words: These are excluded from the specified Target and Language dictionaries.
    • Ignored Words: These are ignored from the specified Target and Language dictionaries.
  4. Type or edit the word in the Word field.

  5. Select Hyphenate to view the word’s default hyphenation. Tildes (~) indicate possible hyphenation points.

  6. Select any of the following and then select Done.

    • Add: Adds the word typed or edited in the Word field to the select Target, Language, and Dictionary List.
    • Remove: Select a word and then select this to delete a word from the Target, Language, and Dictionary List.

Import or export a word list

You can export word lists to a text file (.txt) and then import that list of words into a user dictionary in InDesign. The words in the text file must be separated by a space, tab, or paragraph return. You can export added words and removed words, but you cannot export ignored words, which are used only in the current session.

  1. Select Edit > Spelling > User Dictionary.

  2. Select the TargetLanguage, and Dictionary List.

    • Select Import, locate the text file with your list of spelling exceptions, and then select Open.
    • Select Export, specify the filename and location, and then select Save.

The list of words is saved in a text file. You can edit this list of words in any text editor, and then import the word list. You can also send the word list to others, who can import it into their user dictionaries.

More like this

Talk to us

We would love to hear from you. Share your thoughts with the Adobe InDesign Community


Get help faster and easier

New user?