Create a custom dictionary

To prevent Microsoft Excel from flagging the spelling of words that aren't in the main dictionary, you can use a custom dictionary. Custom dictionaries are shared with other Microsoft Office programs, such as Microsoft Word.

After you create a custom dictionary, you can add words to that dictionary. If you have Microsoft Office Word 2003 installed, you can also edit words in the custom dictionary, disable the dictionary, or remove it from the Custom dictionary list.

What do you want to do?


Create a custom dictionary

  1. On the Standard toolbar (toolbar: A bar with buttons and options that you use to carry out commands. To display a toolbar, press ALT and then SHIFT+F10.), click Spelling Button image.
  2. In the Spelling dialog box, do one of the following:
    • When the spelling checker identifies a word that you want to add to a custom dictionary, click Options.
    • In the Not in Dictionary box, type a word that you want to add to a custom dictionary, and then click Options.
  3. In the Add words to box, type a name for your new custom dictionary.

The following are default locations for custom dictionaries.

ShowIn Microsoft Windows 2000 or later

Custom dictionaries are stored by default in C:\Documents and Settings\User_name\Application Data\Microsoft\Proof.

ShowIn Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition or Microsoft Windows 98

Custom dictionaries are stored by default in either C:\Windows_folder\Application Data\Microsoft\Proof or C:\Windows_folder\Profiles\User_name\Application Data\Microsoft\Proof.

ShowIn Microsoft Windows NT 4.0

Custom dictionaries are stored by default in C:\Windows_folder\Profiles\User_name\Application Data\Microsoft\Proof.

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Add a word to a custom dictionary

  1. On the Standard toolbar (toolbar: A bar with buttons and options that you use to carry out commands. To display a toolbar, press ALT and then SHIFT+F10.), click Spelling Button image.
  2. In the Spelling dialog box, do one of the following:
    • When the spelling checker identifies a word that you want to add to a custom dictionary, click Options.
    • In the Not in Dictionary box, type a word that you want to add to a custom dictionary, and then click Options.
  3. In the Add words to box, click the name of the custom dictionary, and then click OK.

 Note   If you want to use a custom dictionary from an earlier version of Excel, type the name of the dictionary in the Add words to box to make the dictionary available in the current version of Excel.

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Edit or remove a custom dictionary

 Important   Although you can create a custom dictionary in Excel and add words to that custom dictionary, you cannot edit, delete words from, or remove this custom dictionary in Excel. However, because custom dictionaries are shared with other Office programs, such as Word, you can use that program to edit and delete words that you added, or to remove the custom dictionary from the Dictionary list, if needed.

If you have Word 2003 installed, you can use the following instructions to edit or remove a custom dictionary.

  1. In Word, on the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. Click the Spelling & Grammar tab.
  3. Under Spelling, click Custom Dictionaries.
  4. Select the custom dictionary that you want to edit. Make sure that you do not clear its check box.
  5. Click Modify.
  6. Do one of the following:
    • To add a word, type it in the Word box, and then click Add.
    • To delete a word, click it in the Dictionary box, and then click Delete.
    • To edit a word, delete it, and then add it with the spelling that you want.
  7. To prevent a custom dictionary from being used to check spelling, clear its check box in the Dictionary list.
  8. To remove a custom dictionary from the Dictionary list altogether, clear its check box, and then click Remove.

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Applies to:
Excel 2003