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 January 19, 2019)

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 Pictures Out of Word

If you receive a Word document from someone, you may want to get any graphics it contains into their own files. You can ...

Discover More

Calculating Statistical Values on Different-Sized Subsets of Data

Discovering different ways to analyze your data can be a challenge. Here's how to work with arbitrary subsets of a large ...

Discover More

Putting an X in a Clicked Cell

Need to click on a cell and have it replaced with an "X"? Macros make it easy to do, as illustrated in this tip.

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

Editing While Spell-Checking

When you run a spell-check on a document, you may end up seeing other things that need to be edited. Never fear; you can ...

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 ...

Discover More

Spell-Checking Abbreviations

Need to make sure that Word includes abbreviations when you check a document's spelling? Here's how to make sure that ...

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 one more than 3?

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.