Sunday, 30 March 2008

Error in OpenOffice DicOOo wizard

The dictionary installation wizard of OpenOffice 2.3 is not working correctly. You can start it, start DicOOo macro and download language specific dictionaries, thesauruses and hyphenation module. However, after launching OpenOffice again, spellchecking is still missing.

What's wrong?

Apt-get installs OpenOffice with a set of language packs. If one wants to install more language packs, OpenOffice offers a wizard to install them. I need some extra language packs for my work:
There are two officially announced methods to install:
  1. Use the wizard as root will install additional dictionaries into the /usr/lib/openoffice branch of the file system (I didn't try this, so I don't know whether it works)
  2. Use the wizard as user to install into the local home directory (I tried this and it definately did not work)
If you use local installation, all files fo into ~/.openoffice/user/wordbook directory. All files get copied. A special file - dictionary.lst - contains a list of installed language packs. You can install spell checking, hyphenation and thesauruses seperately (or exclude them by editing dictionary.lst)

In Windows installations local dictionaries get installed into a directory ...dict/ooo in the local application tree. It turns out that OpenOffice looks in ~/.openoffice/user/dict/ooo for additional language packs.

A better solution

Installing something into a directory which is not maintained by the installation scripts of the distribution may backfire later. If you want to give a user a specific language pack, installing into ~/.openoffice/user/dict/ooo is the only working solution.

If you want to install language packs globally, there is a better solution: Install the myspell localized languages.
This will not only install spellchecking, hyphenation and thesaurus for OpenOffice but will provide the same functionality for Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird.


No comments: