Something I've wanted to do for years is have all custom dictionaries synching so i never have to add the same words ever again.

There are some guides for how to sync windows MS office dictionaries across windows machines using dropbox/similar, since Ms office allows one to move the custom dictionary file and point office to it (i.e., in the dropbox folder).

There's a guide for how to do this with Firefox in windows, using a program called SyncBack to sync the firefox dictionary between its location and dropbox, so this would keep all firefox dictionaries synched, probably irrespective of OS. [edit: can use hard symbolic links to do this in windows & linux: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/16226/complete-guide-to-symbolic-links-symlinks-on-windows-or-linux/ ]

What I really want: a way to sync all dictionaries, all the time. I dual boot between ubuntu & winXP at home, and I have winXP in the office which will be windows 7. This seems like 4 problems:

  1. Office on windows (easy)
  2. Firefox, OS unimportant (relatively easy with symbolic link)
  3. Libreoffice on Ubuntu (potentially easy with symbolic links: http://comments.gmane.org/gmane.comp.documentfoundation.libreoffice.user/17000)
  4. Sharing/syncing/merging MS office's custom.dic, firefox's prefdict.dat and libreoffice's standard.dic.

Number 4 seems like the biggie. My guess would be that libreoffice & word synching looks easiest simply because they're similar programs and use the same extension - I've not looked at the structures.

Can anyone pitch in with any ideas on how to accomplish this? It seems like this is a problem that (somewhat) plagues users of all OSs and text entry programs, that lends itself to cloud syncing more than many things (tiny files), and yet is still stuck in the wilderness...

  • For reference: office allows you to point to a user-set location for CUSTOM.DIC i.e. in Dropbox, you can symlink CUSTOM.DIC to persdict.dat so 2 firefoxes & office all sync from the same doc, since they use the same format (no header, alphabetical, trailing line space). Libreoffice remains the outlier.
    – dez93_2000
    Mar 14, 2018 at 1:10

1 Answer 1


The problem with syncing all of these things, is that they don't use the same spelling dictionaries and formats. So one would have to create a tool which converted the data between all of the different systems. And also because the systems are all different, they may store different pieces of data, so you may lose some information going from one to another, for example.

However, if all you need to sync is a list of words, and those lists simply have to be converted to different storage formats for each system, then u1db would be a perfect solution for the synchronization portion. You would just need to write all the translation pieces on top.

  • Interesting. It does feel like it'd be a worthy project to make something to completely address this. Similarly with auto-correct rules and such. It'd be nice to think that one day, cloud-stored profiles will allow one to log-in to any PC and appear as tho you're on your home desktop, replete with your dictionary & autocorrects and such. dreams
    – dez93_2000
    Aug 31, 2012 at 0:07

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