Word.Tips.Net WordTips (Menu Interface)

Adding Ampersands to Custom Dictionaries

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Adding Ampersands to Custom Dictionaries.

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:

  1. Type "at&t" (without the quotes) and select it.
  2. Mark the selection so that it is not checked for spelling or grammar.
  3. With the "at&t" still selected, display the AutoCorrect tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box. (See Figure 1.) (You are going to create a new AuotCorrect entry.) The selected text should be displayed in the Replace With box.
  4. Figure 1. The AutoCorrect tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box.

  5. In the Replace box, enter "at&t", without the quotes.
  6. Click the Formatted Text radio button. It is important that this radio button be selected.
  7. Click the Add button to create the AutoCorrect entry, and then close the 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 (518) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Adding Ampersands to Custom Dictionaries.

Related Tips:

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!


Leave your own comment:

  Notify me about new comments ONLY FOR THIS TIP
Notify me about new comments ANYWHERE ON THIS SITE
Hide my email address
*What is 5+3 (To prevent automated submissions and spam.)
           Commenting Terms

Comments for this tip:

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

Our Company

Sharon Parq Associates, Inc.

About Tips.Net

Contact Us


Advertise with Us

Our Privacy Policy

Our Sites


Beauty and Style




DriveTips (Google Drive)

ExcelTips (Excel 97–2003)

ExcelTips (Excel 2007–2016)



Home Improvement

Money and Finances


Pests and Bugs

Pets and Animals

WindowsTips (Microsoft Windows)

WordTips (Word 97–2003)

WordTips (Word 2007–2016)

Our Products

Helpful E-books

Newsletter Archives


Excel Products

Word Products

Our Authors

Author Index

Write for Tips.Net

Copyright © 2016 Sharon Parq Associates, Inc.