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: Expanding a Custom Dictionary.

Expanding a Custom Dictionary

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 8, 2018)

Leonard has received a message that his custom dictionary is full. He wonders if he can expand it or find a way to use the CUSTOM2.DIC file that his copy of Word doesn't seem to recognize.

There's a good chance that the custom dictionary isn't really full; Word sometimes gives this message in error. Word MVP Suzanne Barnhill discusses this error a bit at her website and provides a link to the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

http://wordfaqs.mvps.org/MasterSpellCheck.htm#NotAdded

There is no real way to expand a dictionary if it really is full, but you can instruct Word to recognize and use other dictionaries on your system. Follow these steps:

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

  4. Click the Custom Dictionaries button. Word displays the Custom Dictionaries dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  5. Figure 2. The Custom Dictionaries dialog box.

  6. Click the Add button. Word displays the Add Custom Dictionary dialog box. This looks very similar to a standard Open dialog box.
  7. Use the controls in the dialog box to locate and select the dictionary you want to be used by Word. (This is where you would select the CUSTOM2.DIC file.)
  8. Click OK. Word adds the selected dictionary to the list of available dictionaries in the Custom Dictionaries dialog box.
  9. Select the new custom dictionary in the list of available dictionaries; make sure there is a check mark next to the dictionary name.
  10. Click the Change Default button.
  11. Close all the open dialog boxes.

Word will now use the dictionary you specified in step 7 as the dictionary for its spell checking tasks.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3830) 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: Expanding a Custom Dictionary.

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

Controlling the Display of Toolbars

The various toolbars available in Excel are indispensable when it comes to easily accomplishing tasks. Here is a concise ...

Discover More

Repeating Rows on a Printout Except On the Last Page

When setting up a worksheet for printing, you can specify that Excel repeat some of your rows at the top of each page ...

Discover More

Removing Return Addresses

Word allows you to print return addresses on your envelopes. You may run across a scenario where the return address is ...

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)

Dictionaries for Microsoft Word

Word allows you to develop custom dictionaries or use custom dictionaries that have been developed by other people. ...

Discover More

Editing Custom Dictionaries

Custom dictionaries can be great, but they take quite a bit of time to create. Word provides a way you can edit your ...

Discover More

Merging Custom Dictionaries

It is possible to develop a custom dictionary on your computer that reflects the types of documents with which you work ...

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 two less than 5?

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.