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moving user dictionary 8.1 to OSX


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I just finished migrating our office from classic mac 8.1 to OSX 10.2. The biggest hold up was moving the user dictionaries. I exported as text in 8.1, but could not import in as text in OSX. The staff was not happy with me as there are thousands of medical terms accumulated over years of use. Now that i have survived this, is this a known issue? Does anyone know of a medical dictionary that can be imported into FMP6/OSX?


Running FMP Server 5.5 (OSX 10.2) and FMP6 clients (OSX 10.2/ NT)

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Umm. User.usr? The staff has been adding words when they use FMP 3.0's built in spell checker for many years. When I migrated to FMP6.0 i could not migrate the custom list of added words. This made the staff unhappy. FMP help states that you cannot migrate the dictionary from classic to X, but states that you can export to text and then import as text. This does work on OS8.6, but _not_ on OSX. I tried saving in every format i could think of and even opened the file as raw code in slick edit (windows) and could not see what the problem was. I spent the better part of my weekend trying to fix this and finally went to a brute force workaround. Oh the joys of migration.

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Does Filemaker in OSX give you an option to import a text file into the dictionary? If it does but doesn't recognise the actual file, it may be a common OSX problem. OSX often doesn't recognise text files as text files. You may need to use some kind of utility program to change the file's type to text. You can also do this with applescript with this code:

tell application "Finder"

set theFile to choose file

set UserChoice to display dialog "Change to type:" default answer "TEXT"

set Filetype to text returned of UserChoice

if ((length of Filetype = 4) and ((button returned of UserChoice) = "OK")) then

set file type of theFile to Filetype

end if

end tell

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Bob.... Thanks! I have printed out your script for future use. My workaround was to paste the entire text file into a field and spell check it, accepting every word with a mouse click. Oh my aching hand.

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  • 10 months later...

I had a similar problem with a cross-platform project where a large list of industry-specific words needed to be imported into the user dictionary. In OS X (which I use for development), I was unable to import the list, as FM's import dialog seemed to not recognize any text files. Testing in Windows and OS 9 revealed that it was only a problem in OS X.

I tried Bob's script, but found no success. The strange thing was that I could export a text file with words I had entered manually, and import that list back into the user dictionary BUT only if I made no changes. Simply just saving the exported list again with some other application (such as TextEdit) resulted in a file unreadable by FM. It turns out that FM (in OS X) can import text files to the user dictionary that are created and modified by FM only.

Here's what I did for a workaround:

1. Created a new database in FM with one text field: "Word"

2. Imported my custom word list (text file) into the database.

3. Exported the words from this database into a tab-separated text file.

4. Imported this FM-created text file into the user dictionary.

It worked perfectly, and now we're using FM to generate the list of words so that all our users can import it into their databases.

Just thought I'd share that with you to save some of the frustration I experienced!

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