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Editting the N900 custom dictionaryJanuary 11th, 2011
Nokia’s N900 has quite a nifty way of helping you type. If you enter a word during an SMS, an email or on a web page it tries to predict what the word will be an gives you the option to auto-complete.
The phone has 3 dictionaries to help do this. The dictionaries have a precedence. As you type, the word is checked against the personal dictionary which is a list of words that you have only used a couple of times, these are generally recent words. If the sequence is not in there, then it is checked against the used dictionary which contains personal words that have been reused or selected from a previous auto-complete. If it isn’t in there it is checked against the uneditable system dictionary. As you type more letters you are more likely to get to the one you are looking for or the end of the word. If the end of the word was reached and the word is not a member of any of the dictionaries then it is added to the personal dictionary. Neat!
One of the problems with this is that the personal dictionary usually fills up with typos and it becomes really easy to turn those typos into used dictionary entries. Another problem is that the Nokia N900 didn’t have any way to edit the auto-complete dictionary other than to delete the dictionary files, switch off predictive text and switch it back on again (because it cached the dictionaries in memory). The files are located here:
As you can imagine this was a pain. I started writing an App to edit these files for you and then I got wind of one that was hidden in the develop-extras repository. It’s been in there for a while and hasn’t changed so I think it’s pretty stable.
Here’s a few instructions on installing it from the developer’s extra software repository:
- Load in the App Manager.
- From Uninstall/Download/Update screen open the drop down menu.
- Select Application catalogues.
- Select New.
- Enter Catalogue name: Maemo extras-devel
- Enter Web address: http://reposityory.maemo.org/extras-develop
- Enter Distribution: fremantle
- Enter Components: free non-free
- Make sure the Disabled box is unchecked
- Then click Save.
- The phone will then check for updates and download the latest lists from all of the repositories.
- Click the Download picture in the centre of the Application Manager.
- Click the Utilities section button.
- Type “au” to narrow the search and Auto-Complete Editor will appear in the list.
- Click the App, say that you agree with the Terms and Conditions and click Continue.
- The App will download and install in a few seconds.
- The App will appear as AutoComp Edit in the App list.