A guide to the Pegasus Mail
Dicts subdirectory

If you happen to look in the Pegasus Mail program directory there are a large number of files relating to Pegasus Mail, incorporating quite a range of suffices. Most of those files are explained in my Pegasus Mail files and extensions page.

Besides those files you will find some sub directories, one of them being the "Dicts" directory. Below you will find information about the files in that directory:

In normal operation there is hardly any need to work with those files, but you will need some of them when you want to add dictionaries in your own language.

This document is last updated 26-Dec-2022.

General purpose of the DICTS directory:

This directory holds the files related to the dictionary system, introduced in version 4.70. Pegasus Mail uses Honspell dictionaries for spell check. Spell check can be invoked in the Editor window (pop-up after New Message [CTRL+N], Reply or Forward with editing).

If you want to add dictionaries to the system, the actual place where the Honspell files are placed is not restricted, there is only one file needed: AA_BB.V5DICT. The description of the filename structure is listed below.

General purpose of this page:

This page will give you:

  • Information about the DICTS directory
  • Information about the extensions used
  • A description of the .V5DICT file
  • Access to a tool to automate the setup (Courtesy Euler German)
  • A comprehensive How-To on adding additional dictionaries (Courtesy Euler German)

Filename structure Dicts subdirectory Description
The base name of each 3 file-set must be the same in the format AA_BB.EXT where the abbreviations are:
AA A 2 character abbreviation of the language, like EN for English, DE for German. Those codes can be found on the internet.
_ The underscore character or the dash character.
BB An description of the variant of the language, like GB for Great Britain, US for American dictionary [as both are English] or classique+reforme1990 to indicate which language version is used.
EXT The extensions are listed below.

Extensions in the Dicts subdirectory Description
.aff An affix is either a prefix or a suffix attached to root words to make other words. For example supply -> supplied by dropping the "y" and adding an "ied" (the suffix).
This information is stored in the aff file.
You can get more information about this at http://www.openoffice.org/lingucomponent/affix.readme
.dic This is the actual dictionary. You can find (and download) dictionaries from http://www.openoffice.org/lingucomponent/download_dictionary.html
.v5dict This is the file that holds the dictionary information in the way Pegasus Mail for WIndows needs it. The file format is listed below.

The file .V5DICT format is quite straight forward like:
Field name Description
DictFile: Dictionary filename, or full path to the file
Like pt_BR.dic if placed in the DICTS directory or <path>\pt_BR.dic if it is anywhere else on the file system.
AffFile: Same as above but with .aff file extension.
Charset: ISO-8859-1 (charset used by the dictionary - this information is available from .aff file first line)
Here is an example of the .V5DICT format:

Name : British English Dictionary
DictFile : en_gb.dic
AffFile : en_gb.aff
Charset : ISO-8859-1

Tool available:

Euler German, one of the heavy Pegasus Mail for Windows users created a tool to automate the setup of additional dictionaries. More information on:


Here is an instruction on how to add dictionaries

Courtesy of Euler German ( efgerman at yahoo dot com ) I was allowed to place his How To on this subject on my pages. I really like to thank him to make this information available.

Pegasus Mail v4.7 now uses the same dictionary files as Firefox, Google Chrome, LibreOffice, OpenOffice, or any other application with the same Hunspell engine. All you need to make your favorite dictionaries available to Pegasus Mail is to provide the proper files (copy) to Pmail's \DICTS folder (directory, would say some).

Hunspell dictionaries come in pairs, usually in the form xx_YY.dic, and xx_YY.aff, where "xx" is the two letter code for the language, and "YY" is the two letter code for the country where it is spoken. You may find dictionary file names that do not follow this rule but this notation is the most common used. The prior file carries the dictionary words and the latter their affix, that is, the element added to a word to produce an inflected or derived form (plural, genre etc). All in all, a file pair like en_US points to a US English Dictionary, en_GB to the British English Dictionary, es_ES to the Diccionario Español (European), and so on. I'll be using the pt_BR that I named Dicionário Brasileiro (Brazilian Dictionary) to exemplify this How To. It has some elements that will help illustrating the installing and configuration process. By the way, like happened with English dictionaries, there is also a pt_PT one that better fits the Portuguese from Portugal. While both countries - Brazil and Portugal - are Portuguese speaking countries, they have their idiosyncrasies.

For a list of Country codes, click on link https://www.iso.org/obp/ui/ then select "Country codes", the language and hit the search button.

Download, copy and configuring If your desired dictionary did not come in the Pegasus Mail v4.7 installation package then you must get them yourself. This was my case, by the way. As I know these files are also used by LibreOffice and Firefox - and I use both - it was just a matter of search my computer after pt_BR.dic and pt_BR.aff, and I found both right here. In fact, I found them more than once or twice; I found several redundant copies of them! This brought my immediate attention to try another process, avoiding the creation of more extra copies, an approach we'll examine later on this How To.

Anyway's, if no file is found you must get yours from the Internet. Google is your friend here and looking after pt_BR.dic+download (make your correct file name) will present you with several download options. Get the pair of files (.dic/.aff), usually provided in a zip file. After that, extract those files into Pmail's \DICTS folder/directory. Now a remark: Mozilla (Firefox) offer their dictionary extensions in .xpi packages; LibreOffice (OpenOffice) use .oxt. On both cases, the best approach is to install the packages to the target application and them retrieve the files.

The next step is to create the xx_YY.v5dict so Pmail can correctly handle the new dictionary.

As usual in Pmail, this is a plain text file and all you will need is a plain text editor like Windows Notepad. Please, do not use Word, Wordpad type editors as it most likely will introduce garbage into xx_YY.v5dict file.

As I'm using pt_BR (Brazilian Portuguese) as an example, I need to create a pt_BR.v5dict file. I assume you have \DICTS folder conveniently open on Windows Explorer (I'm on WinXP) or other file browser of your choice/usage. Right-click on an empty part of the folder list and pick New " Text Document from the menu. A 0-byte file is then created on the folder, while a dialog pops-up asking if you want to rename the file. I choose pt_BR for name and v5dict for extension - pt_BR.v5dict was correctly named.

The final step is to provide textual data for this file. A double-click on it will open the file for edition on Notepad (Windows default) and this is what you have to type on each line (the leftmost numbering is just informational, do not type them). First, a description of its contents:

  • Name : Name of the Dictionary as will appear in Pegasus Mail - diacritics must be written in double-byte UTF8 characters
  • DictFile : Dictionary file name or full path to it (if file is placed on \DICT write only the file name)
  • AffFile : Affixes file name (same directions as above)
  • Charset : Inform the code of the character set used to build the dictionary - this information is provided in the first line of AffFile.

My pt_BR.v5dict file has this contents (please, note the 2-char UTF-8 representation of "á" so it will be properly shown inside Pmail):

o	Name : Dicionário Brasileiro
o	DictFile : pt_BR.dic
o	AffFile : pt_BR.aff
o	Charset : ISO-8859-1

And this ends this How To. I hope you may benefit from it. I enjoyed a lot making it. Have fun!

Euler German efgerman at yahoo dot com


If you have more information that should be placed on this page, please feel free to contact me by e-mail and I will make that information available.
Back to Han's Linkpage