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Keep Your E-mail Custom Dictionary When You Upgrade Your Computer

Updated: 20-Jan-2007

When you make the decision to convert from Windows to Linux, (or even when you simply purchase a new computer) wouldn't it be nice to be able to keep all of the custom spellings, industry buzzwords, and brand names you have added to the custom dictionary in your e-mail client? (This is the dictionary your e-mail client uses when you perform a spelling check.)

To move your spell-check dictionary from one computer to another, first locate (on the first computer) the dictionary file for your specific e-mail client, then copy it to the second computer. As an example, here are the steps for locating the dictionary file of a popular open source e-mail program that works in both Windows and Linux, Thunderbird. (Note: If you want to know how to move ALL of your Thunderbird information, including saved and sent e-mails, themes, extensions, custom spellings, etc., see this article.)

Thunderbird Mail

You can use these instructions if you use Thunderbird for e-mail on both the old computer and the new one--even if the old computer runs Windows and the new one runs Linux. The file name for Mozilla Thunderbird's custom dictionary is persdict.dat and it is located in your Thunderbird profile folder. To locate your profile directory (folder) look in these paths.

On a Linux computer, the path is usually one of these, depending on your distribution:
"~/.thunderbird/xxxxxxxx.default/"
"~/.mozilla-thunderbird/xxxxxxxx.default/",
where xxxxxxxx is a random string of 8 characters. Note that Linux recognizes the character "~" as shorthand for your home directory. Also, directories that begin with a dot (period) are normally hidden directories.

If you are moving from Windows XP or 2000, the path is usually:
"C:\Documents and Settings\[User Name]\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\xxxxxxxx.default\"

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