MS Word

Remove Mistakes from a Dictionary

The Problem:

I was clicking my way through a spellcheck to meet a deadline, and I accidentally added a couple of misspellings to the dictionary instead of making Word ignore them. How can I get these misspellings out of the dictionary so that Word doesn't keep accepting them?

The Solution:

Choose Tools » Options, click the Spelling & Grammar tab, and click the Custom Dictionaries button (Dictionaries button in Word 2000). In the Custom Dictionaries dialog box, select the appropriate dictionary and click Modify to open a dialog box showing the contents of the dictionary. Scroll down to the word (or type the first few letters in the Word text box to scroll automatically to it), select the word, and click Delete. Repeat this maneuver to delete all the other misspellings in the dictionary, and then click the OK button in each of the three open dialog boxes to return to your document.

Adding words to a custom dictionary

You can also use the dictionary's dialog box (which you display by selecting it and clicking the Modify button in the Custom Dictionaries dialog box) to add words to a dictionary one by one, but doing so tends to take more effort than adding them when the spelling checker queries them in your documents.

If you need to add a whole list of terms to a dictionary, open the dictionary file in a text editor such as Notepad so that you can add the terms easily. Open a Windows Explorer window to the folder containing the dictionary and double-click the dictionary file to open it in Notepad (or your default text editor, if you have set a different one than Notepad). You can then type or paste in the words, one to a line. Save the dictionary file as usual, making sure that it retains its .dic extension.