DLL Problem with Spell Check

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 22, 2018)

The spell checker provided with Word is a handy tool that can improve the accuracy of your writing. (Well, at least it can help you avoid any egregious spelling errors :>).) If you choose to spell-check your document, and you get an error message such as "Word cannot find the spelling file MsSpell3.dll or mssp232.dll," then you may be rightly curious as to the reason.

Apparently, Microsoft knows about this Word 2002 error, as it is addressed in their Knowledge Base article 273965. It only pops up if both of the following conditions are met for a selection of text:

  • The text is formatted for a language for which you don't have a spelling dictionary installed.
  • With the text selected and the Language dialog box displayed (Tools | Language | Set Language), the Do Not Check Spelling or Grammar check box is clear. (See Figure 1.)
  • Figure 1. The Language dialog box.

If, and only if, both of these conditions are met, Word generates the error message when you perform the spell check.

There are two ways you can correct this problem. Obviously, the first possible solution is to make sure that you change one of the two options that must exist in order for the error to occur. For instance, you can select the offending text and make sure the Do Not Check Spelling or Grammar check box is selected. Similarly, you could change the formatting of the text so that it uses a different dictionary that you have installed on your system.

The second option is to install the language proofing tools for the languages you are using in your document. You can find out more information about language proofing tools on the Microsoft Web site.

If you are encountering this DLL problem even if neither of the above conditions are met--for instance, if you are only working in English throughout your entire document--it is possible that you may have a problem with your DLL being corrupted. If that is the case, you can try to copy the problematic DLLs from a different installation of the same version of Word, or you can download them off the Internet. (A good place to try for DLL files is http://www.dll-files.com/.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (63) applies to Microsoft Word 2002.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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