I have a misspelled word - initiaitializatyion - on my MacBook running macOS Mojave 10.14.5. I have checked all the following files for its existence:

  • /Users/me/Library/Spelling/LocalDictionary

  • /Applications/me/Library/Spelling/LocalDictionary

  • /Users/me/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default/Custom Dictionary.txt

but couldn't find it.

If I right-click on this word in Slack, TextEdit, etc. I do not get the Unlearn spelling option that many websites I've looked up have suggested. However, I do have Microsoft Word for Mac (16.26), and in that app the word is recognized as being misspelled.

Where can I find this word and remove it from my dictionary? And remove any other words which may be in that dictionary, as there may be other misspelled words in it?

  • Try looking up in ~/Library/Dictionaries. – Nimesh Neema Jul 3 '19 at 15:37

Microsoft Office Word adds all changes to its own Speelling and Grammer database.

For apps that are using the built-in macOS dictionary you can simply remove it like this:

  1. Open Textedit
  2. Paste initiaitializatyion
  3. Select initiaitializatyion
  4. Hold down Command (CMD/Rightclick) and select Unlearn Spelling

Unlearn Spelling

If you do not get the Unlearn spelling option, 'initiaitializatyion' has not been added (learn option) to the Spelling Dictionary.

  • 1
    I tried that. "Unlearn Spelling" is not an option. I mentioned that in the question. – DrStrangepork Jul 8 '19 at 14:04
  • 1
    Yes, you mentioned it. I have also added: If you do not get the Unlearn spelling option, you did not add 'initiaitializatyion' to the macOS Spelling Dictionary. Apple stores all changes to a database which can no be modified manually. Instead, you can try to add 'initiaitializatyion' to the macOS Dictionary by using the 'Learn' option. Then select Unlearn Spelling. – howdytom Jul 9 '19 at 8:51
  • I added an 's' to the misspelled word, and your instructions all worked. The misspelled word itself does not have a Learn/Unlearn option which implies that it was not added to the macOS dictionary via the Learn option, hence this question. It must be in my dictionary via some other method. – DrStrangepork Jul 11 '19 at 13:39
  • I manually added the word 'initiaitializatyion' to my ~/Library/Spelling/LocalDictionary file and Force Quit the AppleSpell process, and then it did get the 'Unlearn Spelling' option. I selected Unlearn, saw that the LocalDictionary got updated with removing the word, and now it still shows up as a properly spelled word with no 'Learn Spelling' option. – DrStrangepork Jul 11 '19 at 13:48

Open finder and search for your misspelled word. If the custom dictionary is stored in a text file, it will come up. Open the file in TextEdit, remove the word, and save.

Using this technique I discovered that Slack has a custom dictionary in addition to using the OS dictionary.

~/Library/Application Support/Slack/Custom Dictionary.txt

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