What are the steps to install the Spelling Check and other language supports for LibreOffice. For example spanish, french, italian, etc..

10 Answers 10


This is apparently managed at the system level. Go to the Language Support menu in the System Settings menu and add the languages you want to support. After that restart LibreOffice and you will see that the spellchecker for example will give you the option of using the newly installed languages.

  • 1
    Ok I was into old school way of looking for the language support packages. This saves me a lot of hazzle. Thanks. Oct 25 '11 at 23:37
  • 6
    @cirosantilli, did you try the other "command-line" answers below?, for example: sudo apt-get install myspell-es or aspell-es or hunspell-es
    – alfC
    Aug 12 '13 at 22:15
  • 5
    does not work that way for most languages in Ubuntu 14.04 with LO 4.2
    – user47206
    Dec 12 '14 at 9:59
  • 3
    Comment from Andre Blecha: a note of caution: the system will download language dependent files such a help and documentation for ALL your applications installed. This may be disc-space and time consuming.
    – Fabby
    Jan 4 '15 at 12:53
  • 1
    This answer didn't work for me (using kubuntu 20.04 beta). I already had my system in spanish, I had to run sudo apt install myspell-es and it worked ok
    – opensas
    Apr 21 '20 at 3:04

The command: sudo apt-get install aspell-<language pack> will do the trick

For example, the spanish dictionary is:

sudo apt-get install aspell-es The command: sudo apt-get install aspell-<language pack> will do the trick

For example, the spanish dictionary is:

sudo apt-get install aspell-es

In Kubuntu the package is called myspell-es

  • That's specifically for the spell-checker though, right? That doesn't actually give you the thesaurus or other features in the language, does it? May 30 '12 at 16:24
  • you are right Eliah its just the spell-checker Jun 5 '12 at 21:23
  • 3
    recently I had a similar problem with Evolution email, in that case the solution was to do a similar thing but with hunspell instead, sudo apt-get install hunspell-es
    – alfC
    Sep 4 '12 at 23:42
  • To list all available dictionaries sudo apt-cache search aspell May 26 '14 at 9:56
  • 12
    Installing aspell dictionaries didn't work for me (Kubuntu 16.04, LibreOffice, but installing myspell did the job.
    – datka
    Nov 5 '16 at 20:46

If you can't install system packages, you can install a spell checking dictionary extension manually. You'll need to restart LibreOffice.

US English Dictionary available here: extensions.libreoffice.org.

Instructions for installing extensions:

  1. Download an extension and save it anywhere on your computer.
  2. In LibreOffice, select Tools → Extension Manager from the menu bar.
    Tools > Extension Manager...
  3. In the Extension Manager dialog (Figure 2), click Add. Using the Extension Manager
  4. A file browser window opens. In Add Extension(s) dialog, you can find the extension's files in your system folders. The extension's files have OXT file extension. Add Extension(s) dialog
  5. Find and select the extension you want to install and click Open.
  6. If this extension it is already installed, you'll be prompted to press OK to confirm whether to overwrite the current version by the new one, or press Cancel to stop the installation. Replacing an extension
  7. After, you are asked whether to install the extension only for your user or for all users.
    • If you choose Only for me option, the extension is installed only for your user (the extension will be stored in your user profile and other users will not have access to it).
    • If you choose For all users, you must have system administrator rights. In this case, the extension is installed in LibreOffice system folder and will be available for all users.
    • In general, choose Only to me, that doesn't require administration rights on the operating system.
      Installation options: Only for me or For all users
  8. After, you may be asked to accept a license agreement. Use Scroll Down button to verify the license
  9. Use Scroll Down button to read the license agreement. At the end of license text, the Accept button will be enabled.
  10. Click Accept to proceed the installation.
  11. When the installation is complete, the extension is listed in the Extension Manager dialog. Extension Manager dialog (again), now contained the installed extension

Instructions stolen from libreoffice.org


To install Spanish spellchecker on Libre-Office, You need the next package:

sudo apt-get install myspell-es
  • 3
    +1. For me aspell-nl was not working, but myspell-nl was working Nov 7 '13 at 8:44
  • 3
    For German, unlike expected from the above example, the package name is myspell-de-de.
    – orschiro
    Feb 2 '16 at 12:32
  • sudo apt install myspell-nl yields Note, selecting 'hunspell-nl' instead of 'myspell-nl' Feb 24 '19 at 8:42

For Ubuntu 12.04 and German (Austria), installing the hunspell package solved my problem:

sudo apt-get install hunspell-de-at

Remember to restart LibreOffice Writer after installing the package!


Only hunspell is needed

If only an additional spell check dictionary is needed, without files for an additional user interface (UI) language, then open a command line terminal and type:

sudo apt install hunspell-xx

where xx is the ISO 639-1 two-letter language code.

On some occasions, the language code needs to be supplemented with either a ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code as in hunspell-en-gb and hunspell-de-ch or a three or more letter abbreviation for specialist dictionaries as in hunspell-en-med for English medical terms.

All available hunspell dictionaries are listed using the command:

apt search hunspell

Restart LibreOffice to make any new dictionary available for spell checking.

  • 2
    Got svenska (swedish) by "sudo apt install hunspell-sv-se" in ubuntu 20.04 with libreoffice AND tools->options-Language settings->Writing aids marked with Hunspell SpellChecker. Restart libreoffice and svenska is available when Tools->Spelling is selected.
    – Christer
    Jan 5 at 11:16

There is also a very popular extension supporting up to 20 languages which may also detect not only typos but some grammar mistakes and "false-friends". The extension is called LanguageTool.

  • Best answer in my opinion. LO specific, many languages included (as originally asked), updated extension, not system-wide, doesn't require root, not an "apt-get install" guessing game.
    – berbt
    Nov 23 '15 at 9:56
  • 1
    You need to install the "libreoffice-java-common" package for this to work (otherwise it fails with an UNO / java / NoClassDefFound error) Aug 10 '16 at 15:29

sudo apt-get --install-suggests install libreoffice-l10n-fr

This will install: hunspell hunspell-fr-comprehensive hyphen-fr libreoffice-help-fr libreoffice-l10n-fr mythes-fr

It was supposed to install libreoffice-grammarcheck-fr but for some reason the package is not available on my install of linuxmint

  • Still working as of Ubuntu 18.04. To see available language packs, type sudo apt-get --install-suggests install libreoffice-l10n- and press the "Tab" key to see autocomplete suggestions.
    – tanius
    Oct 28 '18 at 23:40
  • 1
    Still working as of Ubuntu 19.04. This is the best command-line answer as it works for whatever spellchecker system you are using under the hood (myspell, hunspell etc.).
    – tanius
    Jan 1 '20 at 20:26

You need to apply changes system wide in-order to reflect it in LibreOffice, Go to System Settings, Select your language preferences to get the language pack not just for LibreOffice but for your system.

  • No, you don't need to. See other answers.
    – berbt
    Nov 23 '15 at 9:53

Ensure that the document language is correct, e.g. "English (USA)" and not {en}

On LibreOffice Write 7.1.4, I received a .docx document for which spellcheck wasn't working, even though everything worked fine when I created a new document from scratch.

The solution was to go:

  • Tools
  • Language
  • For All Text
  • English (USA)

Before doing this, I could see that the selected language was a bogus {en} under "For All Text". After I selected "English (USA)", {en} disappeared as a choice completely, and spellchecking started working.

So this indicates that {en} was some bogus value that was not properly imported by LibreOffice. This is likely a bug, I'll report it if I ever manage to produce a minimal .docx example from word that I can share.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.