When I write an email in Mozilla, the spellcheck shows:

  • 21 entries for Spanish (Cuba, Ecuador, Spain ...)
  • 3 entries for English (Australia, UK, US)
  • 4 entries for French (modern, classic, reform, classic/reform)

Is there a way to make it show up only the ones I am interested in (for example, Spanish (Spain), English(US), French(modern))?

It is very uncomfortable to search for the language I need among them all. I found this bug report: lp#651586 but seems it is not solved. Any clues? Thanks in advance


There is a more humanistic solution than removing files.

  1. Create a directory in you home directory:

    mkdir "$HOME/.local/share/myspell-selected"
  2. Make symlinks of your favorite dictionaries (*.aff, *.dic) from /usr/share/myspell or /usr/share/hunspell to this directory, e. g.

    ln -st "$HOME/.local/share/myspell-selected" /usr/share/myspell/ru_RU.aff /usr/share/myspell/ru_RU.dic


  3. Launch Firefox/Thunderbird and open about:config via Edit → Preferences → Advanced → Config Editor.

  4. Change or create the variable spellchecker.dictionary_path to the value /home/your_account/.local/share/myspell-selected (substitute your_account with the name of you home directory).

  5. Restart Firefox or Thunderbird.

That is all. You have removed nothing, and even not needed root access (you are able to do it even at you university/office as well without asking your sysadmin!). Other users of your computer (if any) may customize the set of languages in their accounts according to their own tastes.

  • 1
    PS: In Thunderbird about:config is openned via Edit -> Preferences -> Advanced -> Config Editor – Michael Lashkevich Jun 25 '15 at 21:20
  • In my Thunderbird (52.2) the key spellchecker.dictionary_path does not exist (only spellchecker.dictionary which just lets me choose a (default?) language) – Scz Aug 1 '17 at 15:31
  • 1
    I now noticed that it works if you just create a new variable with that name and will try to update the answer. – Scz Aug 4 '17 at 7:39

I finally found the solution: (close Mozilla Thunderbird then)

  1. for the English and Spanish dictionaries: go to /usr/share/hunspell/ and remove everything but
    • en_US.aff
    • en_US.dic
    • es.dic
    • es_ES.aff
    • es_ES.dic
  2. for the French dictionary: go to ~/.thunderbird/***.default/extensions/fr-dicollecte@dictionaries.addons.mozilla.org/dictionaries/ and remove everything but
    • fr-modern.aff
    • fr-modern.dic

Obviously, instead of actually removing those entries, you can create a folder named "hide" and put the entries you don't want in it.

Now when you write a email and right-click, it only shows up English (US), Spanish (Spain), French (modern)

  • You're removing files that belong to a system package. Isn't that going to cause all sort of problems when hunspell gets updated? – Calimo Jul 30 '18 at 14:25

1) Select Languages

If you go to System Settings, the click on Language Support.

If you then click on the Install/Remove languages... button. This allows you to deselect/select the languages you want on your system.

Once the correct languages are selected, click on Apply Changes.

To sort them to your preferred defaults, click and drag the default item on the list of installed languages to the top of the list.

To make these settings apply System wide, click on the System Wide button

2). Regional Formats

The Regional Formats tab allows you to choose the way dates and numbers are displayed on your system.

  • 1
    Already tried that: 1) When I click Install/Remove languages there are only English and Spanish checked. In the language tab of Language Support I can see all the languages showing up in the spellcheck, but they are all grayed out a part of English and English(United States). 2) The Regional Formats tab has nothing to do with this problem I think. – gg-79 May 24 '13 at 9:14

I am not sure since I have not that many languages installed bud did you check the tools -> add-ons -> Languages section. can you disable the required languages?

  • Yes, I did. In the section Languages of tools, there are only three entries: English(GB), Español(AR), Español(España). The French dictionary is showing up in the Extension section of tools, but again as a single entry. Obviously if I disable one of those, I will disable all the dictionaries in that language. – gg-79 May 24 '13 at 8:45

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