adding words to the macos dictionary



~2 min read


235 words

When writing about Javascript (or past lives writing about health care), I would often type words that don’t appear in Webster’s or Oxford’s dictionaries. This was the case even when the words were real. This was most commonly the case with jargon - which is useful shorthand to communicate information to people “in the know”.

Unfortunately, computers are about rules and when those rules are violated - they let you know about it. That’s the case with spell-checking. Even worse, as typing accuracy has decreased, auto-correct has tried to pick up the slack, changing words on your behalf.

Sometimes, you use the same words over and over and you don’t want to fight your auto-correct. In those cases, what do you do? Turn off all error checking? No. Add the word to the dictionary, so that it will look like a valid word!

Here’s how to do that on MacOS:

  1. Either right click in the body of the document you’re typing or look for the “Edit” menu in the top bar.
  2. Kick things off with running the spell check (⌘ + ;)
  3. Then open up the spell checker window with “Show Spelling & Grammar” (⌘ + :)
  4. Make sure you’ve spelled it the way you want it, then click “Learn”

That’s it! Now, not only will there be no red squiggly line, but auto-correct won’t jump in to change your sentence!

Hi there and thanks for reading! My name's Stephen. I live in Chicago with my wife, Kate, and dog, Finn. Want more? See about and get in touch!