When spell checking in Microsoft Office, the words in your document are compared against the main dictionary in Office.

The main dictionary contains most common dictionary words, but it might not include some proper names, technical terms, acronyms, or specialised capitalisation.

You can add words and terms to your custom dictionary to prevent them being highlighted as errors.

Follow the steps below for Office 2010 and later:

In Word, PowerPoint, and Excel:

Click File Tab > Options > Proofing.

Clear the Suggest from main dictionary only check box.

Click [Custom Dictionaries].

Click the [Edit Word List] button.

Enter your new word into Word(s) field.

Click [Add].

When all words have been added, click [OK].

Click [OK].

In Outlook the path is via: File > Options > Mail > Spelling and Autocorrect > Proofing.

For Office 2007:

In Word, PowerPoint, and Excel: Click the Microsoft Office Button > Options > Proofing > Steps 2-8.

In Outlook: Click Tools > Options > Spelling > Spelling and AutoCorrection > Proofing > Steps 2-8.

NOTE: Any custom dictionary setting that you change in one Office application affects all the other Office applications.

Have you used the Custom Dictionary to set up your own words?

If so, I’d love to hear from you.


Lynette embodies an intrinsic ability to save business owners money by delivering back the all-elusive “spare” time so they can use it to do what they love. She puts these principles into practice in her own business – Kits and Bits. Lynette is an avid genealogist and tango dancer.

Lynette Delane

Tech Translator, Kits and Bits

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