Customizing the Spelling and Hyphenation Dictionaries

A spelling dictionary can never cover all the bases ‚ you'll always have industry-specific words and proper nouns not found in the dictionary in use. In addition, copy editors tend to have their own preferences for how to hyphenate words. What they consider "correct" hyphenation may vary, and some word breaks are preferred over others. To solve both these problems, you can customize InDesign's dictionaries by adding words and specifying hyphenation. InDesign handles both spelling and hyphenation in one dictionary for each language, so you use the same controls to modify both spelling and hyphenation.

Changes made to a dictionary file are saved only in the dictionary file, not with an open document. So if you add words to the English: U.S.A. dictionary, the modified dictionary is used for spell-checking and hyphenating all text in documents that use the English: U.S.A. dictionary.

Tip ‚  

If you're in a workgroup, be sure to share the edited dictionary file so everyone is using the same spelling and hyphenation settings. (The file is located in the Dictionaries folder inside the Plug-ins folder inside your InDesign folder.) You can copy it for other users, who must then restart InDesign or press Option+ z +/ or Ctrl+Alt+/ to reflow the text according to the new dictionary's hyphenation.

Customizing the spelling dictionary

While you're spell-checking, you'll often find words that don't match those in the dictionary. If you know the word is spelled correctly and likely to appear in your publications often, you can add it to the dictionary. In the future, this word will not be flagged and you won't have to click Ignore to skip it ‚ and you can be sure that when it's used, it is spelled as it is in the dictionary.

While adding words to the dictionary, you can specify their capitalization. For example, InDesign's dictionary prefers E-mail. You can add e-mail if you prefer a lowercase e or email if you prefer to skip the hyphen. If you're adding a word that may have variations (such as emailing ) be sure to add those variations separately.

To add words to the dictionary:

  1. Choose Edit Edit Dictionary.

    The Dictionary dialog box, shown in Figure 15-11, appears.

    Figure 15-11: Enter new terms in the Word field, then click Add to include them in the spelling dictionary.

  2. Choose whether the addition to the dictionary affects just this document or all documents.

    To do so, you use the Target pop-up menu, which will list the current document name as well as User Dictionary (to change the dictionary file). The advantage of making the spelling specific to the document is that all users, such as service bureaus, will have the same spellings; the disadvantage is that other documents won't share this spelling.

  3. Choose the dictionary that you want to edit from the Language menu.

  4. Type or paste a word in the Word field.

    The word can include special characters such as accents and hyphens, spaces, and a capitalization pattern to follow.

  5. If you want to edit the hyphenation, click Hyphenate.

    You can add, remove, or modify the number of tildes to change the hyphenation rules for the word, as covered in the next section.

  6. Click Add.

  7. Continue to add words and, when you're finished, click Done.

    Tip ‚  

    When you're adding variations of words, you can double-click a word in the list to place it in the Word field as a starting place.

In addition to adding words through the Edit Dictionary dialog box, you can click Add in the Check Spelling dialog box when InDesign flags a word that you know is correct.

To delete a word that you added to the dictionary, select it in the list and click Remove. To change the spelling of a word you added, delete it then re-add it with the correct spelling. You can see all deleted words ‚ just those deleted since you open the dialog box ‚ by selecting Removed Words from the Dictionary List pop-up menu, so you can add back any deleted by error.

Customizing hyphenation points

Industries and publications usually have internal styles on how words hyphenate ‚ especially if the text is justified. For example, a bridal magazine that uses the term newlywed often may prefer that it breaks at the end of a line as newly-wed. But if that hyphenation would cause poor spacing, the publisher might let it break at new-lywed as well. InDesign lets you modify the hyphenation dictionary by specifying new, hierarchical hyphenation points.

Note ‚  

When you customize the hyphenation points, be sure to add variations of words (such as the plural form newlyweds ). InDesign sees each word as wholly unrelated, and, thus, won't apply the hyphenation of, say, newlywed to newlyweds.

To specifying hyphenation points:

  1. Choose Edit Edit Dictionary.

  2. Choose from the Language menu the dictionary that you want to edit.

  3. Type or paste the word in the Word field; you can also double-click a word in the list.

  4. If you wish, click Hyphenate to see InDesign's suggestions for hyphenating the word.

    You can then change the hyphenation according to Steps 5 and 6.

  5. Type a tilde (~, obtained by pressing Shift+`, the open single keyboard quote at the upper left of the keyboard) at your first preference for a hyphenation point.

    If you don't want the word to hyphenate at all, type a tilde in front of it.

  6. Type tildes in other hyphenation points as well.

    If you want to indicate a preference, use two tildes for your second choice, three tildes for your third choice, and so on. InDesign will first try to hyphenate your top preferences (single tildes), then it will try your second choices if the first ones don't work out, and so on. Figure 15-12 shows an example.

    Figure 15-12: Enter hyphenation preferences in the Word field, using tildes (~) to indicate hyphenation points, then click Add to include them in the spelling dictionary.

  7. Click Add.

  8. Continue to add words until you're finished, and then click Done.

To revert a word to the default hyphenation, select it in the list and click Remove. To change the hyphenation, double-click a word in the list to enter it in the Word field, change the tildes, then click Add. When you're adding variations of words, you can double-click a word in the list to place it in the Word field as a starting place.

Tip ‚  

If a word actually includes a freestanding tilde (not as an accent , as in ƒ ±), type \~ to indicate the character is part of the word. These are rare and happen mostly in World Wide Web addresses.

Setting spelling and hyphenation dictionary preferences

By default, when spell-checking and hyphenating text, InDesign consults dictionaries created by a company called Proximity. Because spelling and hyphenation points vary from dictionary to dictionary, and you may prefer one dictionary over another, you can purchase and install other companies' dictionaries to use instead of Proximity's. However, it's very hard to find commercial alternatives to the Proximity dictionaries, so most users will use the ones that come with InDesign and update them as needed.

The spelling and hyphenation in Proximity's dictionaries has the following origins: Catalan (Collins), Danish (IDE), Dutch (Van Dale), English: UK (Collins), English: USA (Franklin), English USA Legal (Merriam-Webster), English: USA Medical (Merriam-Webster), Finnish (IDE), French (Hachette), French: Canadian (Hachette), German: Traditional (Bertelsmann), German: Reformed (Bertelsmann), German: Swiss (Bertelsmann), Italian (Collins), Norwegian (IDE), Norwegian: Nynorsk (IDE), Portuguese (Collins), Portuguese: Brazilian (Collins), Spanish: Castilian (Collins), and Swedish (IDE).

To replace a dictionary:

  1. Place the dictionary file in the Dictionaries folder in the Plug-ins folder inside your InDesign folder.

  2. Choose InDesign Preferences on the Mac or Edit Preferences in Windows, or press z +K or Ctrl+K, and go to the Dictionary pane to get the dialog box shown in Figure 15-13.

    Figure 15-13: If you purchase and install different hyphenation and spelling dictionaries, you can select them in the Dictionary pane of the Preferences dialog box.

  3. In the Language pop-up menu, choose which language's dictionary you want to replace.

  4. Choose the new dictionary from the Hyphenation Vendor and/or Spelling Vendor pop-up menu.

  5. Click OK.

    Tip ‚  

    If you change Dictionary Preferences with no documents open, the new dictionary becomes a program default and applies to all new documents. If a document is open, the change applies only to that document.

Adobe InDesign CS Bible
Adobe InDesign CS3 Bible
ISBN: 0470119381
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 344
Authors: Galen Gruman

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