Tag Archives: Thunderbird

Remove unwanted spell-check dictionaries from the right-click menu in Firefox and Thunderbird

20 Feb
This is ridiculous.

This is ridiculous.

Here is a quick fix for this bloody long list of available dictionaries crammed into the right-click spell-check sub-menu in Firefox and Thunderbird.

The problem with dictionaries in those two pieces of software is that when you install a particular language via an add-on, it includes all language variations available. I write in French, English and Spanish frequently, and in German sometimes. This means that I get plenty of regional variations, which results in a stupidly long list of languages to choose from (see picture).

The fix is very easy. You will need to open a terminal (summon it with the shortcut “ctrl+alt+T“) and start Nautilus (your file manager) as root by using the command “sudo nautilus” and entering your password.

In the file manager, navigate to /usr/lib/firefox/dictionaries and remove all the dictionaries that you do not need. When finished, make sure you close that particular window of Nautilus to avoid any accidental modification of important system files! You can do that properly by using “ctrl+C" in the terminal.

Short list of dictionaries after cleaning up. Don't mind the German language, I changed my system's locale in the meantime.

Short list of dictionaries after cleaning up. Way better. Don’t mind the German language, I changed my system’s locale in the meantime.

After closing all windows of Thunderbird and Firefox and re-opening them, you will find the dictionaries you culled are gone from the tooltip! (See picture on the left.)

For the record, this has been tested with Firefox 35.0.1 and Thunderbird 31.4.0 on Ubuntu 14.04.

Nota bene: as the Arch wiki mentions, these changes might not survive a software or add-on update, so you might have to repeat this when new versions are released.