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: Adding Ampersands to Custom Dictionaries.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 31, 2020)
Richard is using the corporate name "at&t" in a document. Word does not like the lowercase name and wants to capitalize it. The wavy green line indicates a grammar issue, and Richard cannot find a way to fix this. He tried editing the custom dictionary but the dictionary would not accept words with ampersands.
It could be that Word kept suggesting capitalizing the name because it really should be capitalized. While the letters "at&t" are used in lowercase in some advertising for the corporate behemoth, it appears that the name really is uppercase. (See the www.att.com Website for examples of this.)
That being said, if you really want to make the letters lowercase without getting any notation that this is incorrect, there are a couple of things you can try. First, and perhaps easiest, is to simply add the letters to the dictionary. Don't do it by trying to add the letters directly, but instead type them in the document, do a spell check, and when the letters are displayed as an error, try to add them at that point. This approach lets Word deal with how the letters should be specifically added to the dictionary.
If this doesn't work for some reason, you can employ AutoCorrect to help you out. Follow these general steps:
Figure 1. The AutoCorrect tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box.
Now, when you type at&t, AutoCorrect kicks in and replaces the letters with the formatted version. How are they formatted? To ignore spelling and grammar checks, so the wavy underlines never appear.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11205) 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: Adding Ampersands to Custom Dictionaries.
The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!
Having problems making spell check work on a portion of your document? There are two primary causes for such an ...Discover More
Spelling errors can result from improperly ordering letters in a word, or from adding spaces where they shouldn't be. ...Discover More
If your document has enough spelling errors in it, Word informs you that you have too many and then refuses to display ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.