Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Limiting Spell Checking.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 28, 2016)
When you run the spell checker in Word (or when Word checks your spelling as you type), the words in your document are compared against both the main dictionary and any custom dictionaries you may have opened. (The main dictionary is the one provided by Microsoft; custom dictionaries are those you create by adding your own words.) Sometimes you may not want Word to do this.
For instance, let's say that you have developed a rather extensive dictionary that is very specific to your industry or to your company. The dictionary may contain many specialized terms, but using those terms to spell-check a document you are preparing for your church or civic organization may be inappropriate. If you want to limit Word's spell checker so it only uses the main dictionary—not your custom ones—you can follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Proofing options for the Word Options dialog box.
Don't forget to reverse this process later, when you want to again take your custom dictionaries into account. Follow the same steps but, in step 3, make sure the Suggest From Main Dictionary Only check box is cleared.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6041) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Limiting Spell Checking.
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