Dictionaries in FM9

Wednesday, December 16 2009 @ 2:55 PM, By Amit Agarwal


In this blog, we are going to describe the various kinds of dictionaries available in FrameMaker.

Dictionaries in FM9

Dictionary Type





FM Installation Specific



User Specific



Document Specific



Language Specific

When you spell-check a document, FrameMaker validates each word of the document with a master list of correctly spelled words, also known as a dictionary. FrameMaker has following dictionaries:

1) Site Dictionary:

The words which you want to be available for all users in a work-group, you should add them in site dictionary. For example: company name, product names and acronyms which are very commonly used in your documents. If you want to add/remove words from site dictionary, you can do it by editing the dictionary file manually (the changes take effect on next FrameMaker launch).

  • Dictionary Location:

  • By default FrameMaker uses “$INSTALLDIR\dict\site.dct” as a site dictionary. You can also change it by changing the maker.ini preference “SiteDictionary”, which is currently set to dict\site.dct.

2) Document Dictionary:

This dictionary is used when you allow certain words in a particular document but not in other documents. FrameMaker uses this dictionary for a document, regardless of who is editing the document. You can add a word in document dictionary by clicking on Allow in Document through SpellChecker dialog. You can also remove the added word by entering the word in correction textbox and then clicking on UnLearn.

Allow In Document And Unlearn Buttons

  • Dictionary Location:

  • Unlike the other dictionaries, the document dictionary is part of the document rather than a separate file.

  • Dictionary Functions:

  • These are the following operations you can do with the document dictionary:

    Document Dictionary Operations

      a) Clear: Clears the words stored in the document dictionary.

      b) Write To File: Saves the words stored in the document dictionary to a external file in DCT format.

      c) Merge From File: Merges the DCT file specified by the user to the current document dictionary.

3) Personal Dictionary

This dictionary is user specific, and a word learnt by one user will not be available to other users and vice-versa. You should use this dictionary for words, which are neither site specific nor document specific(For example: your name). You can change the contents of your personal dictionary by clicking Learn, or Unlearn in the Spelling Checker dialog box as you spell-check.

Learn And Unlearn Buttons

  • Dictionary Location:

  • Prior to version 9, FrameMaker used to persist learnt words in a file named user.dct which was created under “%appdata%\Adobe\FrameMaker\8″ folder. But now, as FrameMaker has moved to a different technology for dictionary operations, it persists learnt words in a file named added.txt which is created at the following path: “%appdata%\Adobe\Linguistics\Dictionaries\FMUserDictionary\all”. It is recommended for users not to edit this file directly. If you wish to add/merge a set of words to FM Personal Dictionary, you can create your own DCT file and follow these steps:

      1. Choose Edit > Spelling Checker.

      2. Click Dictionaries.

      3. Choose Import Dictionary/Merge from File from the Personal Dictionary pop-up menu and click OK.

      4. Specify the file you want to merge with the current dictionary.

  • Dictionary Functions:

  • These are the following operations you can do with the document dictionary:

    Personal Dictionary Operations

      a) Set To None: Do not use any personal dictionary.

      b) Clear: Clears the words stored in the document dictionary.

      c) Write To File: Saves the words stored in the document dictionary to a external file in DCT format.

      d) Import Dictionary: It first clears the current personal dictionary and then merge the DCT file specified by the user to personal dictionary.

4) Language Dictionary:

This dictionary contains predefined words as you find them in any standard dictionary. Each language has a corresponding language dictionary file. The list of words in this dictionary file can’t be modified by the user.

  • Dictionary Location:

  • The files corresponding to main dictionary are installed under “C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Linguistics” folder.

Site, Document and Personal dictionaries are language independent dictionaries. It means, if you add a word to any of these dictionaries, then it would become valid for all languages supported by FrameMaker.

Format of DCT File

  • Words can be added in DCT file as a simple text separated by Return.

  • You can add a hyphenation point in a word by specifying (-) in between the characters of a word. For example: hyphen-at-ion.

  • You can also suppress the hyphenation of a word by prefixing the word by (-). If there are no hyphenation points specified in the word, then their hyphenation should be strictly suppressed, and all such words should be prefixed by (-).

  • To add hyphenated compound word (a word or phrase made up of multiple words connected by hyphens) in a dictionary file, you can type a (\) before each hyphen that connects words. For example: -heavy\-duty.


Harsh Gupta
FrameMaker Engineering


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