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: Turning Off a Dictionary for a Style.

Turning Off a Dictionary for a Style

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated May 20, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


If you use styles in your documents, chances are pretty good that you will end up defining styles for things such as tables, illustrations, and the like. There is also a good chance that you will want these types of paragraphs to be skipped when doing a grammar- or spell-check. You can ensure this by doing the following if you are using Word 2002 or Word 2003:

  1. Select Styles and Formatting from the Format menu. Word displays the Styles and Formatting task pane at the right of the document window.
  2. In the list of styles shown, hover the mouse pointer over the name of the style you want to alter. A drop-down arrow should appear at the right side of the style name.
  3. Click the drop-down arrow and choose Modify. Word displays the Modify Style dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Modify Style dialog box.

  5. Click on Format and select Language from the pull-down list. Word displays the Language dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  6. Figure 2. The Language dialog box.

  7. Make sure the Do Not Check Spelling or Grammar check box is selected.
  8. Click on OK.
  9. Click on OK to close the Modify Style dialog box.
  10. To change other styles, repeat steps 2 through 7.
  11. When you are done, click on Close.

If you are using Word 97 or Word 2000, these are the steps you should follow:

  1. Select Style from the Format menu. You will see the Style dialog box.
  2. In the list of styles, select the name of the style you want to alter.
  3. Click on Modify. The Modify Style dialog box is displayed.
  4. Click on Format and select Language from the pull-down list.
  5. In the Mark Selected Text As list, select (no proofing) if you are using Word 97; it is the first choice in the list. If you are using Word 2000, make sure the Do Not Check Spelling or Grammar check box is selected.
  6. Click on OK.
  7. Click on OK to close the Modify Style dialog box.
  8. To change other styles, repeat steps 2 through 7.
  9. When you are done, click on Close.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1511) 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: Turning Off a Dictionary for a Style.

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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