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I was a little surprised to discover that in LibreOffice (, the spell check doesn't actually work. I was surprised since spell checkers have been around since....80's? Not a difficult thing.

I am running Ubuntu 12.04, on a relatively new install. I haven't done anything to my dictionaries or language files.

Under tools>options>languages> writing aids, I have the option selected to check as I type and to use the English dictionaries.

However, I get no errors when I type spelling mistakes on purpose, and when I run the checker it just says the spell check has completed and closes the window.

Is this a bug with Libre? or have I done something wrong?

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Do you have auto spell-check enabled. It is located under the 'Window' Drop-down menu. –  Ryan Dec 5 '12 at 17:13

5 Answers 5

up vote 14 down vote accepted

A quick fix for the current document (assuming English text) is Tools - Language - For All Text - English (USA).

I think the permanent fix is to make sure that the default language used for documents is supported by an installed dictionary. This solution has been documented by "idiota" on LibreOffice's questions forum:

"The problem is fixed by clicking Tools/Options/Language Settings/Languages. It allows dozens of flavours of English, BUT spelling is disabled for all the ones that don't have the little blue tick ABC icon beside them."


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Hoisted on my own sense of patriotism! I was set on English (Canadian), which doesn't have a dictionary apparently. English US works fine. Thanks. –  Michael Oct 22 '12 at 1:16
Thank you for posting, this is work for me –  Naveen Apr 12 '13 at 9:59
This was it! I wouldn't have chosen Canadian had I known that it would disable spellcheck. –  revnoah Aug 27 '13 at 21:26

When choosing your language do you see the check besides it?enter image description here

If not then open up "Language Support" and click on "Install / Remove Languages..." and install the language you want and close LibreOffice and try again.

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In my case the spell-check option to enable my language of choice was not present.

The dictionaries were installed so the problem was with the office program.

This was remedied by the following :

  1. killall soffice.bin

  2. rm -r .config/libreoffice/

  3. Start LibreOffice & go to Tools->Options-> Language Settings -> Default language for documents: English UK (now with spell check icon)

PS: For English UK I have libreoffice-l10n-en-gb and myspell-en-gb installed.

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Install the following:

sudo apt-get install myspell-en-us

Now restart the office suite to make the spell check work. Hope this helps

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To install the spell check packages for English and USA the terminal commands are:

sudo apt-get install myspell-en-gb
sudo apt-get install myspell-en-us
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

If you already have installed hunspell-en-gb then you have to remove it to install myspell-en-gb.
If you already have installed hunspell-en-us then you have to remove it to install myspell-en-us.

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your link may answer the question precisely but as per rules of AU you should have to mention either full or part of the answer. –  Raja Aug 19 '13 at 12:14

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