Version: 3.0 (14 November 2012)

This electronic dictionary file is generated from the information systems at the Western Australian Herbarium. It aims to provide an authoritative listing to aid with the correct spelling of these scientific names within common word processing software.

The dictionary file wacensus.dic contains 12,641 entries representing botanical names, at various taxonomic ranks for the native and naturalised flora occurring in Western Australia. Specifically, the names are derived across kingdoms (5), divisions (26), classes and subclasses (46), orders (118), families and subfamilies (816) and genera (2715), the remainder belonging to the ranks of species, subspecies, varieties and formas.

This compares with 10,751 entries in 2009. This version contains vascular (angiosperm, gymnosperm, conifer, cycad, fern), non-vascular (moss, liverwort, hornwort), algae and fungi (including lichen) names now on the Census of Western Australian Plants. Note also that both current and synonymous names have been included.

This dictionary is summarised from 20,278 current and synonymous names, drawn from entries for 16,341 dicotyledons, 3,758 monocotyledons, 141 pteridophytes, 38 conifers and cycads, 201 bryophytes, 1117 alga, 827 lichens and 173 fungi. It also includes 1,224 alien plant names (cf.


  1. the dictionary file now contains 125,680 characters, and may not be compatible with word processors limited to a single 65,535 character dictionary file.
  2. early releases of this dictionary file were encoded in UTF-8 (cf. This version release also has the dictionary file in strict Unicode format (cf., for compatibility with recent software; eg. MS-Word 2007). So, if installing the wacensus.dic (UNICODE) file doesn't work for you, remove it and add the wacensus-utf8.dic (UTF8) version instead.
  3. a Mac version of the dictionary file is now also included - wacensus-mac.dic, also in Unicode format.

Compiled by Alex Chapman; last updated on 14 November 2012.

Installation for Microsoft Word for Windows

  1. Download and unzip to a temporary directory. It contains two files: wacensus.dic and install.txt.

  2. Find the folder where the dictionary file needs to be placed. Depending on the software version, this may be: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Proof
    C:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Microsoft\Proof
    where “user” is your login name.

    Hint 1: in Word, select Tools > Options > Spelling & Grammar, click the “Dictionaries...” button, where the default path for custom.dic should be visible.

    Hint 2: In Windows Explorer, if you can't see the folder you need to get to (eg. Application Data), select Tools > Folder Options > View from the menu and ensure “Show system files and folders” is selected in Advanced Settings, then click OK.

  3. Copy the file wacensus.dic to the Proof folder.

  4. Start Word, select Tools > Options > Spelling & Grammar, click the “Dictionaries...” button then “Add”. Select the folder where you have placed wacensus.dic from the dialog box.

    Hint 3: before exiting, ensure you now have both custom.dic and wacensus.dic selected for use.

For other word processors, consult the relevant manual for how to install custom dictionaries.