Windows 7 - How do I change dictionary?

Asked By AltaEgo on 11-Jul-08 08:06 PM
Windows Live mail is currently using English US as default spell checker. I
need it to use an Australian dictionary (UK would possibly suffice).

Tools, Options, Spelling does not list any English alternatives to English
(United States).

Dave replied on 11-Jul-08 08:36 PM
How to add the UK English Spell Check Option in Windows Live Mail - The
Winhelponline Blog:

open spell.ini (in %programfiles%/Windows Live/Mail/Proof/prf0009/2)
and change lang=1033 to lang=2057

Vista Home Premium 32 SP1
Michael Santovec replied on 11-Jul-08 09:30 PM
UK is fairly easy.  It's built into the US English dictionary, but

For Australian, you'll likely need to find a special file (see below).
You might already have it if you have suitable Microsoft proofing tools
(e.g. Word/Office 2003 or earlier).

For English Spelling variations:

Edit in Notepad (copy/paste the following line into the Windows Explorer
address bar)

%programfiles%\Windows Live\Mail\Proof\prf0009\2\spell.ini

and enter desired lang= and change Lex= if needed

lang=1033  ; US
lang=2057  ; UK
lang=4105  ; Canada
lang=3081  ; Australia

Lex=MSSP3EN.LEX     for: US, UK and Canada
Lex=MSSP3ENA.LEX    for: Australia  - file may not be included in WLM.
Copy to
%programfiles%\Windows Live\Mail\Proof\prf0009\2\MSSP3ENA.LEX   from
%programfiles%\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Proof\MSSP3ENA.LEX or other

Tools, Options, Spelling will still show "English (United States)" with
any of the above selected, but it will check with the correct variation.

If you would like the correct variation listed as well as the ability to
switch between variations, do the following:
- COPY (do not Move or Rename or else WLM will get upset) the folder
%programfiles%\Windows Live\Mail\Proof\prf0009\2
to either
%programfiles%\Windows Live\Mail\Proof\prfxxxx\1
%userprofile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows
Live Mail\Proof\prfxxxx\1
where xxxx is the lang value in hexadecimal:
UK=prf0809, Canada=prf1009, Australia=prf0c09
- Make the appropriate spell.ini changes in the new folder as outlined

Note: if copied to %userprofile% there will be an Uninstall option, but
not at %programfiles%


Mike -
...winston replied on 12-Jul-08 01:31 AM
If you want to have the UK dictionary as an option see this link
It provides an explanation and how to....

Adding English(UK) as an additional Spell Checker in Windows Live Mail!F92775FC46A390CA!223.entry

ms-mvp mail
AltaEgo replied on 12-Jul-08 02:07 AM
Thank you. Although it now marks (for example) both realise and realize as
correct. I guess I should be happy it marks reelise as wrong!

Earle Horton replied on 14-Jul-08 06:04 PM

Bob Lucas replied on 15-Jul-08 05:06 AM
I have an HP laptop, with Win XP (SP3).  It came with Microsoft Works as
a pre-installed program.  I have installed Microsoft Office 2000
Professional, in preference to Works.

A search of my hard drive and the Office 2000 CDs identified suitable
DLL and LEX files at the following locations-

%programfiles%\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Works Shared:
MSSP3EN.LEX  (English for USA, Canada and UK)
MSSP3ENA.LEX  (English - Australia)

%programfiles%\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Proof:
MSSP3ES.DLL (Spanish)
MSSP3EN.LEX  (English for USA, Canada and UK)
MSSP3ENA.LEX  (English - Australia)
MSSP3ES.LEX  (Spanish)
MSSP_FR.LEX  (French)
MSSP_PFR.LEX   (A different French Directory, perhaps ??)

These files are also available on the Office 2000 CDs (O9PRMCD01 and/or

If anyone has difficulty locating spell check programs for different
languages, a Google search identified the following download source for
various DLL and LEX files:

The only problem is deciding which files relate to which languages.
Furthermore, some languages seem to have dedicated DLL and LEX files.
For others, there is a LEX dictionary - but no DLL file.  Perhaps these
languages use MSSPELL3.DLL, which seems to be a common file?
Earle Horton replied on 15-Jul-08 01:16 PM
This may help.

Microsoft Locale ID values

File Properties sometimes has version strings that tell you which language
the file is for.  If the files are installed you may find this information
in a ".inf" file somewhere close.  I am assuming that the ".dll" files are
parsers which find word boundaries and in some cases check grammar.

Office (at least) from 2000 to 2003 seems to have used the same proofing
tools and dictionaty format.  For some languages such as Chinese, Hebrew,
Cyrillic alphabet based you may also need an additional "input method", but
if you have one of these chances are that you have the input method as part
of the operating system.  Office 2007 French is a puzzle.  I would guess
that Microsoft couldn't persuade the authors to convert to the new Office
2007 format.  For versions from 2000 to 2003 there are "Proofing Tools"
software with proofing tools for 50+ languages installed.  If you can find
one of these CDs for a reasonable price it is worth getting.  I don't
presently know about inter-version compatibility, but I could test it.

Saludos cordiales,

Gar replied on 27-Jul-08 06:35 AM
Hi Michael - very helpful post - thank you.
I have 2 questions tho:

1)... Is there a way of only using the English dictionary (ie. only checks
'English' and not 'English' and 'English (American)')?

2)... Why does WLM, when you select the correct spelling from the suggestion
list change the font of the incorrect word to times new roman?

Thanks again
Bob Lucas replied on 27-Jul-08 10:44 AM
The choice of dictionary is governed by:

a)    The default dictionary, if you have specified a default in
b)    The Windows input language for your computer, if you have ticked
the box marked "Check spelling in current input language"

Normally, Windows Live Mail will use one spelling dictionary at a time.
I don't know whether it is possible to use more than one dictionary for
a message that contains text in multiple languages (as per Microsoft
Outlook, which allows the user to identify different parts of the text
with the relevant language).

Turning to the choice of spellcheck directory, you have two

You can change the default English dictionary from English (United
States) to English (United Kingdom) or English (Canada).  To do so, you
need to edit the "spell.ini" in "%programfiles%\Windows
Live\Mail\Proof\prf0009\2\" - and change the country code.

For English versions of WLMail, the country code is 1033 (English - US)
by default.  You can continue to use the standard MSSP3EN.LEX dictionary
file (which includes the three variants), if you change the country code
in "spell.ini" to 2057 (English - UK) or 4105 (English - Canada).

If you adopt this option, the spell check menu in Windows Live Mail will
still list the English language spellchecker as English (United States).
However, WLMail will perform spell-checking exclusively in UK English or
Canadian English, as the case may be.  However, you select different
variants easily, without editing "spell.ini".

The other alternative, which involves copying files to the
Mail\Proof\prfxxxx\1"directory allows you to install the other language
variants as separate, standalone options.  Then, each of the variants
will appear separately in the WLMail list of spell-check languages.

However, WLMail will still perform spell-checking exclusively in English
(US), English (UK) or English (Canadian), as the case may be.  In other
words, it will always use the default spellchecker - or the Windows
input language, depending upon the way you have configured WLMail.
Michael Santovec replied on 27-Jul-08 05:51 PM
1) I'm not quite sure what you mean by  "only checks 'English' and not
'English' and 'English (American)".

By default, WLM checks for the US spelling variations.  You can
configure to it to check for your choice of US, UK, Canada or Australia.

So in US mode, "color" is the correct spelling but in UK mode, it's

So what exactly do you want to happen?

2) That's a bug in WLM.  When in HTML mode and the word being corrected
is at the beginning of a line, the font can get changed.  Maybe that
will be fixed in the next release.


Mike -
Gar replied on 27-Jul-08 06:42 PM
Hi Bob,

I have changed the country code in the 'spell.ini' file to use the English
(United Kingdon) version of the spell checker - but when using it the
correction suggestions it suggests both English (American) and English
(United Kindom) versions of the words?

Specialised and Specialized are suggested for Speciallised.

It seems to be using both the American and United Kingdom dictoniaries at
the same time?

Many thanks
Bob Lucas replied on 28-Jul-08 04:04 AM
Not strictly correct.  If you investigate further, I think you will find
that the spellcker is using one dictionary at a time.  Specialised /
specialized is not a good test.

In the USA, the correct spelling is "specialized".  In the UK, most
people use the "...sed" spelling.  However, my UK English dictionary
confirms that "...zed" and "...sed" are alternatives, so a UK English
spellchecker will accept either variant.  A US spellchecker will reject

Similarly, US and Canadian spellcheckers will accept "center" OR
UK spellchecker will only treat "centre" as a correct spelling.

What happens, if you type "color", followed by "colour".  The correct UK
spelling is "colour" - NOT "color".  The US spelling is "color" - not
The same principle applies to traveller / traveler.
Gar replied on 28-Jul-08 05:33 AM
Thank you Bob, you were spot on!

I did use a bad example and it is (like you said) only using the one (UK)
spell checker.

Thanks again, Gary

PS. Do you have any idea about when words are corrected by the spell
checker, as to why the font on that word is changed to times roman?

Bob Lucas replied on 28-Jul-08 07:16 AM
I have tried, but cannot replicate that behaviour with my installation
of WLMail and Windows XP (SP3).

My default font in WLMail for composing messages is HTML 10 point Comic
MS (in Blue).

I installed English (UK) an additional spellchecker in WLMail (as
opposed to editing the spell.ini file).  I also configured WLMail to
check spelling in the current input language (which in my case, is UK
English).  Other settings are to "Check spelling as I type" and

I typed "I traveled to New England to admire teh colored foliage",
using English (UK) as the current input language.  WLMail underlined
words.  When I right-clicked on the words and selected UK spellings,
WLMail allowed me to change the words to "travelled", "the" and

Then, I changed the default spellchecker to English (US) and typed "I
travelled to New England to admire teh coloured foliage".  This time,
WLMail objected to "teh" and "coloured".  Again, it did NOT auto-correct
and when I instructed WLMail to change the spellings to US English, it
did NOT change the font.

Other contributors to this newsgroup have noticed that auto-correct does
not seem to work.  Some contributors have reported that it works OK.

Surprisingly, when I copied plain text from this reply and pasted it
into an HTML message in WLMail, it appeared as 12 point, Times New

Are these symptoms evidence of further "bugs" in WLMail?  Or perhaps
they are special, Microsoft design features.
Joanne MacRae replied on 04-Sep-09 08:10 AM
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sarah mccluskey replied to AltaEgo on 07-May-11 10:19 PM
is there a way to use real English in spell checker?? as in English in England?
sarah mccluskey replied to AltaEgo on 07-May-11 10:26 PM
I would like to use an d England dictionary on window vista x
sarah mccluskey replied to AltaEgo on 07-May-11 10:27 PM
i would like to use an enlgish uk dictioary on windows vista x
sarah mccluskey replied to AltaEgo on 07-May-11 11:14 PM
i need 2 use an english dictionary"!! is there a way??? as in british english??? x
R. C. White replied to sarah mccluskey on 07-May-11 11:01 PM
Hi, Sarah.

How did you manage to dredge up this 3-year-old post?  Most of the comments
in your quoted LOOONG thread apply to versions of WLM that are long
out-of-date and retired - so I have SNIPPED them.

More to the point, which newsreader are you using?  The answer to your
question depends partly on that point.  The headers on your post do not
reveal which program you used to post it.

In Windows Live Mail 2011, click the WLM icon (in the upper left corner),
then Options | Mail.  Then you should see the familiar Tools | Options menu,
very much like on OE or WM.  Click the Spelling tab and choose your
language.  I see 4 versions of English:  United States, United Kingdom,
Australia and Canada.

If that does not do it, please tell us which news client you are using.

R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
Microsoft Windows MVP (2002-2010)
Windows Live Mail 2011 (Build 15.4.3508.1109) in Win7 Ultimate x64 SP1

i would like to use an enlgish uk dictioary on windows vista x
KCB replied to sarah mccluskey on 08-May-11 09:46 AM
As R.C.White said, you have not given enough information to help you.  What
program are you using that you would like to have a British English
Magnus replied to sarah mccluskey on 08-May-11 04:24 PM
Your spelling is OK, but your use of capitalization and punctuation
is not going to be helped with a dictionary. Neither is asking the same
question 4x.

Is there a bookstore nearby? What app are you using?
han rap replied to Magnus on 13-May-11 03:38 AM
My question / issue with the WLM 2011 I have installed Hebrew & English for spell checking. I marked "spell check as I type" but when I also checked the "Correct according to the inoput language" - still, Hebrew ill not be recognized.

Only if I set Heb as default - then it is ok, but if I write in 2 languages - I have to manually change the setting for each language ?!

Thanks very much for any clue