The spelling checker is not recognizing words in a custom dictionary

Cause: The custom dictionary isn't selected

Solution:    Use Word to select the custom dictionary that you want to use

  1. Open a Word document.

  2. On the Word menu, click Preferences.

  3. Under Authoring and Proofing Tools, click Spelling and Grammar.

  4. Under Spelling, click Dictionaries.

  5. Select the check box next to the custom dictionary that you want to use, click OK, and then click OK again.

Cause: The custom dictionary is corrupted

Solution:    Use Word to create a new custom dictionary and add words from the corrupt dictionary to it

A custom dictionary has a special file format, and it can get corrupted if it's saved in a different format. If the File Conversion dialog box opens when you try to edit the custom dictionary, or if strange characters appear in the custom dictionary file when you open it, then the file is corrupted.

To recover, you can create a new custom dictionary, and then run the spelling checker on the corrupt custom dictionary to add your custom words to the new custom dictionary. Finally, remove the corrupt custom dictionary. Do the following steps in order:

Step 1: Create a new custom dictionary

  1. Open a Word document.

  2. On the Word menu, click Preferences.

  3. Under Authoring and Proofing Tools, click Spelling and Grammar.

  4. Under Spelling, click Dictionaries.

  5. Click New, and then in the Save As box, type a name for the custom dictionary.

    Important: If the Convert File or File Conversion dialog boxes open, don't make any changes—just click OK. (The correct text encoding setting is Other encoding: Unicode 5.1 (Little-Endian).)

  6. In the Save As box, type a name for the custom dictionary, and then click Save.

  7. In the Custom Dictionaries dialog box, make sure that check box next to the new custom dictionary is selected, clear check boxes for any other custom dictionaries, and then click OK.

  8. Click OK again to close the Spelling and Grammar dialog box.

Step 2: Open the corrupt dictionary

  1. Open a Word document.

  2. On the Word menu, click Preferences.

  3. Under Authoring and Proofing Tools, click Spelling and Grammar.

  4. Under Spelling, click Dictionaries.

  5. Leave the new custom dictionary selected, but highlight the corrupt dictionary by dragging the pointer across it, and then click Edit.

    Note: If the Convert File or File Conversion dialog boxes open, click OK to close them. You can safely ignore strange characters or blank lines in the file.

Step 3: Add words from the corrupt dictionary to the new custom dictionary

  1. On the Tools menu, click Spelling and Grammar.

  2. For each word that you want to add to the custom dictionary, click Add.

  3. Close the spelling checker, and then close the corrupt dictionary.

Step 4: Remove the corrupt dictionary

  1. Open a Word document.

  2. On the Word menu, click Preferences.

  3. Under Authoring and Proofing Tools, click Spelling and Grammar.

  4. Under Spelling, click Dictionaries.

  5. Leave the new custom dictionary selected, but highlight the corrupt dictionary by dragging the pointer across it, click Remove, and then click OK.

  6. If you want red, wavy lines that indicate spelling errors to show in your document, make sure that the Check spelling as you type check box is selected, and then click OK.

See also

Use a custom dictionary

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