Note: if you just want a quick answer to the subject of this post (with no background story), then go to the end.
I had a customer that urgently needed to get his old win98 PC fixed.
It was a very old IBM, and it would get stuck at startup, displaying B4 in the top corner (probably a motherboard failure).
I transfer the data across to a slightly newer XP system… I can edit & print documents, so my job is done.
But I get called back the next day, as wordpad doesn’t have a “page counter”, nor a spell checker (which was on the old PC… I eventually figure out he was using MS word.
Customer doesn’t have any install media (his son set it up a while ago).
So I figure OpenOffice is the quickest solution.
Once installed, I open an existing word document, and I see it does the usual spell check, with the wavy red line under suspect words.
And running the spell check finds some spelling mishtakes.
I open a new office document, make some deliberate mis-spellings, but OOowriter doesn’t flag any of them… WTF?
After some research, I find that openoffice only installs the spell checker for US and UK English.
The problem will happen with any of the following english variants:
- New Zealand
- South Africa
The easiest fix is to use either USA english or UK english by:
start writer -> tools -> options -> Language Settings -> Languages -> Default languages for documents -> western -> pick either english (UK) or english (USA) -> OK -> restart openoffice.
A more “correct” way of doing it is to install the correct dictionary by:
start writer -> file ->wizards -> install new dictionaries -> english -> start dicOOo button -> English -> next -> retrieve the list -> English (Australia) -> (repeat for hyphenation dictionaries and thesaurus dictionaries -> next (to start the download) -> finish -> restart OOo