In Mac OS X you're able to add unknown words to the global dictionary with the "Add to Dictionary" option. "Refactoring" is a word I often have to add, for instance. Presumably these additions are stored somewhere. So my question is: where? I'd like to be able to see the additions I've made and store them for later backup.

  • never knew this.. good question – fady Feb 25 '10 at 21:54
  • Other uses: to vet additions to check that no mispellings got included; to import/export words from other dictionaries like ispell. – Charles Stewart Feb 25 '10 at 22:06
  • consider selecting a best answer to this question – finiteloop Feb 28 '10 at 21:57

The file containing all of the learned words is located in

/Users/YOUR PROFILE/Library/Spelling/en

en is for english, if you are concerned with other languages, those files are relevant as well. Obviously, replace YOUR PROFILE with the name of your home folder.

Opening the file in TextEdit, you will see a list of all of the words you have "learned".


Check ~/Library/Spelling which should only exist if you've added at least one word to the dictionary.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.