Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Symbols in Words Added to the Dictionary.

Symbols in Words Added to the Dictionary

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 20, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Steve's company name requires the use of a symbol within the name. In his case, the symbol is a lowercase letter "a" with a straight line over it. Steve can create the correct spelling just fine in Word, and he can even add the proper spelling to the dictionary. However, Word insists on marking the spelling as incorrect, even though Steve added it to the dictionary. He wonders how he can get Word to accept the correct spelling of the company name with the symbol in place.

The line over the lowercase "a" is technically referred to as a macron. Word should accept the word as correctly spelled (once added to the dictionary) provided that the macron is part of the actual character itself. Normally, you would use a Unicode character in your document (such as the character using code 0101), so that Word sees it as a regular character.

Important! that once you get Word to accept the spelling of the word on your system, that doesn't mean that other systems won't mark it as incorrectly spelled. The reason being, that when you add the word to the dictionary, it only affects a single system. Transfer the document to another system that hasn't added the word to the dictionary, and it will be marked as incorrectly spelled on that system.

If that is the issue you want to avoid, then the only solution is to mark all instances of the company name so that Word doesn't check its spelling. How you exempt words from checking has been covered in other issues of WordTips.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10171) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Symbols in Words Added to the 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. ...

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