If someone has a word that they commonly use, but OS X Lion keeps "correcting" to something in it's dictionary, how does the user add the word to Lion's dictionary?

2 Answers 2


Right click on the word and choose Spelling and Grammar from the list. Then select Show Spelling and Grammar.

You'll see the option to "learn" the word (see picture).

The learned words are stored in ~/Library/Spelling/. ~/Library/Spelling/LocalDictionary applies to all languages and for example ~/Library/Spelling/en only applies to U.S. English. When you press the learn button, the word is added to ~/Library/Spelling/LocalDictionary if the spelling language is set to automatic or to ~/Library/Spelling/en if the spelling language is set to U.S. English.

If you edit the files in ~/Library/Spelling/ directly, you can apply the changes by terminating the AppleSpell process. Just quitting and reopening applications does not apply the changes.

  • Is this data kept in a file somewhere that I could sync between machines? Where is that file?
    – Bill Nace
    Sep 23, 2011 at 6:15
  • @BillNace I have modified my answer to answer your question.
    – user10355
    Sep 23, 2011 at 6:36

It works not only for words but for sentences too; in my case the long fixed-form greetings used at the start and finish of messages in Japanese which are PITA to type on an iphone. :-)

  • Should this be a comment to an answer or the question?
    – bmike
    Dec 9, 2013 at 4:13

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