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On using dictionaries in Emacs

I use Emacs and I’ll frequently want to spellcheck words I type out. Occasionally, I’ll use a word that doesn’t typically exist in a dictionary (e.g., someone’s name or a scientific word).

In my Emacs configuration, I use flyspell. It is an on-the-fly spell checker and the program is uses to Aspell to spell check. Another similar program that can be used is Ispell1.

To create your own personal dictionary, create a file .aspell.lang.pws, where lang is a two or three letter language code.

This file starts with personal_ws-1.1 lang num, where lang is the language code and num is the estimated number of words in your dictionary.

So it should look something like this:

personal_ws-1.1 en 2
  1. Aspell works better with English, while Ispell is more international; see