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: Limiting Spell Checking.

Limiting Spell Checking

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 1, 2015)

When you run the spell checker in Word (or when Word checks your spelling as you type), the words in your document are compared against both the main dictionary and any custom dictionaries you may have opened. (The main dictionary is the one provided by Microsoft; custom dictionaries are those you create by adding your own words.) Sometimes you may not want Word to do this.

For instance, let's say that you have developed a rather extensive dictionary that is very specific to your industry or to your company. The dictionary may contain many specialized terms, but using those terms to spell-check a document you are preparing for your church or civic organization may be inappropriate. If you want to limit Word's spell checker so it only uses the main dictionary—not your custom ones—you can follow these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Spelling & Grammar tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Spelling & Grammar tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Make sure the Suggest From Main Dictionary Only check box is selected.
  5. Click on OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (907) 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: Limiting Spell Checking.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Getting Rid of Fixed Objects

Some dialog boxes in Excel refer to "fixed objects" in worksheets. What are they and how do you get rid of them?

Discover More

Spell-Checking from the Keyboard

If you hate to take your hands from the keyboard, even to right-click on a word, you'll love the information in this tip. ...

Discover More

Quickly Displaying the Tabs Dialog Box

Setting tabs in a paragraph is a common task. This is most easily done by using the Tabs dialog box. Displaying the dialog ...

Discover More

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!

More WordTips (menu)

Spell Checking Only Checking Grammar

Word has a built-in spelling and grammar checker that can help reduce errors in your prose. It may be a bit confusing if your ...

Discover More

Spell Check Misses Misspelled Words

If you do a spelling check and notice that Word doesn't catch a word that you know is misspelled, it is easy to get ...

Discover More

Setting Grammar-Checking Options

When Word checks the grammar it thinks you are using in your prose, it follows a set of rules. Fortunately the program allows ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 7 - 1?

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


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.