Category: Office

Installing Dictionaries in LibreOffice – Ubuntu 12.04

Dictionary-ThesaurusYou just installed or updated to Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin), and now you realize you need correction tools for a language that didn’t come by default? Follow these very simple steps, and you’ll be ready to go in a matter of minutes.

Make sure you have sudo access

First, you need to make sure you have administrator (sudo) rights on your system (which you most probably have if you installed it yourself). If you are not sure you have sudo access on your system, try the following:

  • Open a terminal (can be done from the Dash Home menu)
  • Type the command written below (it updates APT’s local package index and is totally inoffensive)
  • The command will ask for the sudo password, enter your usual password
  • If you have sudo access,  you should see a list of package update URLs go through the terminal window
  • If you don’t have access, find who does! (sorry, we can’t really help you here)
sudo apt-get update

Install dictionary packages

Two packages must be installed. The first is the dictionary itself, the second will add correct hyphenation patterns to LibreOffice’s corrector. Examples here are for French, but you only need to change the last part (fr) for the language of your choice. For example: sp for Spanish, or de for German.

sudo apt-get install myspell-fr
sudo apt-get install hyphen-fr

Thesaurus (synonyms and antonyms) for your language

If you are interested in having thesaurus features for your newly installed language, you only need to install one package:

sudo apt-get install mythes-fr

The shortcut to access thesaurus in LibreOffice is CTRL+F7.

Change the default language for all documents

Now that you have installed a new dictionary (and maybe more correction tools), you probably want to change the default language/dictionary for new documents you will create. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Open Writer
  2. From the top menu go to: Tools / Options. A new windows will open
  3. In the left menu of this new window, go to: Language Settings / Languages
  4. Look for Default languages for documents, and just under it, choose your preferred language
  5. Take a look at the other options above if you want to
  6. Close the Options windows
  7. You should see the language you have just selected at the center-left of Writer’s bottom toolbar

Install LibreOffice Dictionaries Under Ubuntu

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UPDATE: read this article if you’re using Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin)

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Since the arrival of Natty Narwhal (11.04), LibreOffice LogoLibreOffice has become the default productivity suite under Ubuntu. Being a French speaking person, installing the French dictionary turns out be really useful. It may sound stupid, but it took me about an hour of googling before finally finding this page: LibreOffice – Ubuntu Wiki.

Installing the good package

It turns out the only thing you have to do is install the right package for every language you need. For example:

  • French: language-support-writing-fr
  • Spanish: language-support-writing-es
  • Italian: language-support-writing-it

Open Synaptic Package Manager, install the package of your choice, and you’re done!

Installing an OpenOffice extension

For some reason, you might want to install a dictionary as an OpenOffice extension (also works with LibreOffice). In this case, visit this page, and download the extensions (one extension per language) you need. Double click on each downloaded extension file (.oxt) and LibreOffice will do the rest. For most users, I suggest installing the package instead of the extension though.

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