Say I create a Pages document, Example.pages.

In the document, I include the word "Fattie",

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Fattie is a, for example, product or character name. I right-click, and have Pages "learn spelling".

I then send you the file, Example.pages.

Incredibly, when you open it, it still has Fattie as a spelling error.

Similarly if I send the file to myself, to open it on another Mac, it is a spelling error.

This bizarre problem makes "Pages" - a total non-starter.

I can't, say, send a script, etc, to my editor, as, all the character names, unusual words, etc, will appear with a red line under them.

Is there a solution?

Note that, as well as it not working when you send a file to a colleague, it doesn't even work when you use the same file on your own various Mac/pad/phone devices.

  • Y'know, it actually never occurred to me that a word processor could work this way—but now that you've mentioned it, yeah, it would make perfect sense if custom dictionaries were document-specific and travelled with the file. I want this now! Unfortunately, I don't know of any software that works like that! Do you? Dec 5, 2022 at 3:08
  • @Wowfunhappy The advantage of having it saved with the user settings is that it avoids having to add the same word to multiple documents.
    – benwiggy
    Dec 5, 2022 at 7:36
  • As mentioned, it's not just Pages that behaves like this. Word does the same.
    – benwiggy
    Dec 5, 2022 at 7:40
  • @benwiggy - thanks for that information. What you guys say makes sense. It just never occurred to me to think about it that way. A good example is when writing fiction (perhaps sci-fi, or anything involving foreign countries) ... inevitably many words come up which you want to "approve". However, it just looks really silly when you pass the file along to someone. This just never occurred to me! (In my example, Ben, one would not want it to be available multi-document.) Thanks for pointing this out guys ...
    – Fattie
    Dec 5, 2022 at 12:35
  • It may be possible to 'transmit' custom dictionaries, however.
    – benwiggy
    Dec 5, 2022 at 13:21

1 Answer 1


Learned spellings in iWork document (and all other apps that use macOS's spelling features) are stored in ~/Library/Spellings/LocalDictionary as a text file, with each word on a new line.

Where can I see all the learned/ignored spelling in Pages 5.5?

Your collaborator may not want to replace their dictionary for yours, but it should be easy enough to append a text file to their dict, with something like:

cat path/to/wordlist.txt >> ~/Library/Spellings/LocalDictionary

(Remember to keep a copy of the original Dictionary, so they can remove your words, if needs be.)

  • The critical point is that, unfortunately, word processors (all platforms) JUST DON'T work like the OP asks. It's a strange realization, but that's how it is.
    – Fattie
    Dec 6, 2022 at 12:03

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