Adding new dictionaries to aspell

 - This is archive documentation, which means it is not supported or valid for recent versions of Zimbra Collaboration.
 - This article is a Community contribution and may include unsupported customizations.

ZCS 6.0 comes with dictionaries preinstalled for many languages. ZCS versions 5.0 and earlier only have English installed. To see the list of installed languages, run

/opt/zimbra/aspell/bin/aspell dump dicts

If you do not see your language in the list, follow the instructions below.

How to add a new dictionary to aspell

  • Download the dictionary from
  • Extract it from the tar file in a zimbra work directory
  • Set Zimbra's aspell in the path in /opt/zimbra/.bashrc with:
  • Change your login to "zimbra" (su - zimbra)
  • Configure and install the dictionary according to the README

make install

  • Verify the datadir and dictdir it must be /opt/zimbra/aspell-0.60.6/lib/aspell-0.60

Changes required for ZCS 5.0 and earlier

The following information is for ZCS versions 5.x or earlier. Starting with ZCS 6.x, the client passes the name of the dictionary to the server and multibyte character sets are handled properly.

  • Edit the file /opt/zimbra/httpd/htdocs/aspell.php to reference the new dictionary. For example to add the french dictionary:

$locale = "en_EN";
$locale = "fr_FR";

NOTE (fr): Read the README on the dict source directory to choice the right setup (fr_FR-40, fr_FR-60, etc)
NOTE: If you are using a non-english based language with special chars like tildes (spanish, for example), you have to modify aspell.php

This file is located at /opt/zimbra/httpd/htdocs/aspell.php. Replace this block (line 82 or so)

 $suggestions = implode(",", pspell_suggest($dictionary, $word));
 $misspelled .= "$word:$suggestions\n";

with this one:

 $suggestions = implode(",", pspell_suggest($dictionary, $word));
 $misspelled .= "$word:$suggestions\n";

NOTE: After changing the aspell language restart the spellchecker as the user zimbra with the following command:

 zmspellctl stop; zmspellctl start

There is also a problem when splitting words. Replace (line 48 or so)

$words = preg_split('/[^\w\'-] /', $text);

with this one:

$words = preg_split('/[^\w\'\xc0-\xfd-]+/', $text);

This regexp line should be enough for most western Europe languages (Spanish, French, German, Portuguese and Italian). It includes all ISO8859 europeean letters in the range 192-253 of the table below.


  • To add a set of custom words see this How-To

Adding Latin-2 dictionary support

Many aspell dictionaries do not use UTF-8 encoding while UTF-8 is encoding of a choice for Zimbra suite. This means that text should be converted from UTF-8 to ISO-8859-x, spell checked ant then misspeled and sugested word should be translated back to UTF-8 for browser display. The following patch shows (Slovenian) modifications to Zimbra 4.5.9 spelling processor:

--- /opt/zimbra/httpd/htdocs/aspell.php.orig   2007-11-01 14:44:25.000000000 +0100
+++ /opt/zimbra/httpd/htdocs/aspell.php        2007-11-01 15:50:04.000000000 +0100
@@ -18,7 +18,7 @@
 $filename = "";
 $text = "";
-$locale = "en_EN";
+$locale = "sl_SI";
 if (isset($_FILES["text"])) {
     $text = file_get_contents($_FILES["text"]);
@@ -33,12 +33,17 @@
 if ($text != NULL) {
     setlocale(LC_ALL, $locale);
+    // Convert all text into 8-bit dictionary locale
+    $text=iconv("UTF-8", "iso-8859-2", $text);
     // Get rid of double-dashes, since we ignore dashes
     // when splitting words
     $text = preg_replace('/--+/', ' ', $text);
     // Split on anything that's not a word character, quote or dash
-    $words = preg_split('/[^\w\'-]+/', $text);
+    // $words = preg_split('/[^\w\'-]+/', $text);
+    // Do not split visible characters in the range of 0xA0-0xFF
+      $words = preg_split('/[^\w\'\xa0-\xff-]+/', $text);
     // Load dictionary
     $dictionary = pspell_new($locale);
@@ -79,14 +84,15 @@
         } else {
             $checked_words[$word] = 1;
         // Check spelling
         if (!pspell_check($dictionary, $word)) {
             $suggestions = implode(",", pspell_suggest($dictionary, $word));
-            $suggestions = utf8_encode($suggestions);
             $misspelled .= "$word:$suggestions\n";
+   // Convert to dictionary locale
+   $suggestions=iconv("iso-8859-2","UTF-8",$suggestions);
+   $misspelled = iconv("iso-8859-2","UTF-8",$misspelled); 
     $response = new ServerResponse();
     $response->addParameter("misspelled", $misspelled);
Verified Against: unknown Date Created: 2/22/2006
Article ID: Date Modified: 03/30/2015

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