Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Updating the Spelling Exclusion List Automatically.

Updating the Spelling Exclusion List Automatically

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 2, 2015)

If you find yourself updating the spelling exclusion list quite a bit, it can be a bother to always load the file, add the word, and then resave and close the file. When you are using custom dictionaries, Word allows you to add a word to them by a click of a button. There is no such simple approach, however, when it comes to the exclude list.

The following macro will allow you to quickly add a word to the exclude list. You can assign this macro to a button on the toolbar, and then you can update the list by simply highlighting a word and then clicking on the button:

Sub Exclude()
    Dim sAddWords As String

    sAddWord = Trim(Selection.Text)
    ChangeFileOpenDirectory _
      "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Proof\"

    ' The file name in the next line should be changed so it
    ' reflects the proper exclude file name for your system
    Documents.Open FileName:="mssp2_en.exc", _
      ConfirmConversions:=False, ReadOnly:=False, _
      AddToRecentFiles:=False, PasswordDocument:="", _
      PasswordTemplate:="", Revert:=False, _
      WritePasswordDocument:="", WritePasswordTemplate:="", _
      Format:=wdOpenFormatAuto
    Selection.TypeText Text:=sAddWord
    Selection.TypeParagraph
    ActiveDocument.Close SaveChanges:=wdSaveChanges, _
      OriginalFormat:=wdOriginalDocumentFormat
End Sub

This macro "cleans up" the selected word in your document and adds it to the beginning of the exclude file. You will see a quick flash on your screen as the exclude file is loaded, modified, and then closed, but the word is then available in the exclude file for when you use Word in the future.

You should make sure that you change the name of the file being used for the exclude file. As you have learned in other issues of WordTips, the name of the file can vary from system to system.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10081) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Updating the Spelling Exclusion List Automatically.

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. ...

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