Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. 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: Expanding a Custom Dictionary.

Expanding a Custom Dictionary

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 3, 2018)

Leonard has received a message that his custom dictionary is full. He wonders if he can expand it or find a way to use the CUSTOM2.DIC file that his copy of Word doesn't seem to recognize.

There's a good chance that the custom dictionary isn't really full; Word sometimes gives this message in error. Word MVP Suzanne Barnhill discusses this error a bit at her website and provides a link to the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

http://wordfaqs.mvps.org/MasterSpellCheck.htm#NotAdded

There is no real way to expand a dictionary if it really is full, but you can instruct Word to recognize and use other dictionaries on your system. Follow these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 or a later version display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click the Proofing option at the left of the dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Proofing options of the Word Options dialog box.

  4. Click the Custom Dictionaries button. Word displays the Custom Dictionaries dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  5. Figure 2. The Custom Dictionaries dialog box.

  6. Click the Add button. Word displays the Add Custom Dictionary dialog box. This looks very similar to a standard Open dialog box.
  7. Use the controls in the dialog box to locate and select the dictionary you want to be used by Word. (This is where Leonard would select the CUSTOM2.DIC file.)
  8. Click Open. Word adds the selected dictionary to the list of available dictionaries in the Custom Dictionaries dialog box.
  9. Select the new custom dictionary in the list of available dictionaries; make sure there is a check mark next to the dictionary name.
  10. Click the Change Default button.
  11. Close all the open dialog box.

Word will now use the dictionary you specified in step 7 as the dictionary for its spell checking tasks.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6092) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Expanding a Custom Dictionary.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Adding Diagonal Borders

Borders on all sides of a cell are easy to do in Excel. You can also create diagonal borders that run right through the ...

Discover More

Deletions Don't Work as Expected

We all get into habits, including in how we use Word. If you are used to deleting text in a particular way, and all of a ...

Discover More

Default Cell Movement when Deleting

Delete a cell or a range of cells, and Excel needs to figure out how to rearrange the void left by the deletion. You can ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Spell Checking Only Checking Grammar

Word has a built-in spelling and grammar checker that can help reduce errors in your prose. It may be a bit confusing if ...

Discover More

Forcing a Complete Spelling and Grammar Check

There are a couple of ways that various parts of a document can have spelling and grammar checking "turned off." This tip ...

Discover More

Words Disappear from the Custom Dictionary

The spell-checking tool built into Word allows you to easily add words to a custom dictionary. What happens, though, if ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is two less than 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.