How to “edit” the Turbo Type prediction dictionary

If you’re using TurboType in the US and a word you want is behind several British spellings, it can take a while for your word to move up a level. However, if you really use that word often, you can trick the dictionary (a.k.a. lexicon) into bumping it up a level or so. In my case, the word was “programs” — it was behind “programme” and “programmes” so that I had to type the whole word before it appeared. But now, “programs” appears third after typing p-r-o-g. Much better. To speed the prediction process, I did the following (after typing “programs” many times and getting tired):

1. Click the TurboType icon and choose Add New Word.

2. Type the word you want to move up (or bury, as the case may be). It’s not technically a new word, but that doesn’t matter.

3. Pick a frequency number — but don’t overdo it! To bury a word you don’t use, set it to 1. To accelerate a word you want, 2 is safest to start.  (If it turns out you over- or underestimated the number, you can go to TurboType’s program file, edit that entry in the custom_words file and save the change.)

This is the closest thing to editing the dictionary and/or getting unused predictions out of the way. I also want to remind you that certain phrases are found by typing inward a little, especially if you’re predicting with a 2-letter threshold. For example, typing n-o offers “now,” but the phrase “now that” appears only after typing n-o-w. “Because of” appears after typing b-e-c-a. Experiment.

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