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: Merging Custom Dictionaries.

Merging Custom Dictionaries

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 22, 2014)

4

Leonard knows how to back up any custom dictionaries that he creates. He wonders, however, if there is a way to merge custom dictionaries from two different computers.

There is no automatic way to merge them, but it can easily be done. The key is to remember that custom dictionaries are nothing but text files. Simply open both of them in a text editor, such as Notepad, and then copy the words from one dictionary file to the other. That's really it; you are done.

Since custom dictionaries are text files, you need to be careful with them. You don't want to open them in Word and inadvertently save them out as Word documents. If you do, then they won't work any more. (This is why I said to use Notepad. You thereby remove the risk of corrupting the dictionary by saving it in a non-text format.)

You may wonder about duplicates in your combined dictionary file or about sorting the words. Quite honestly, Word doesn't seem to care about either of them. If there are duplicates, then Word ignores them. Word also apparently sorts the words internally, so there is no need to do so. If you decide you want to get rid of duplicates in the combined dictionary file, you can take time to sort them so that detecting the duplicates is easier. Simply open the dictionary in Notepad, copy all the words into a blank Word document where you can sort and edit the file, and then copy the shortened (and ordered) word list back into the Notepad file.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7599) 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: Merging Custom Dictionaries.

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

Sorting an Album List

Word allows you to easily sort the information you store in a document. If you want to sort information as groups of ...

Discover More

Maintaining the Active Cell

Move from one worksheet to another, and Excel selects whatever cell was last used in the worksheet you are selecting. If you ...

Discover More

Changing the Start Screen's Theme

You'll spend a lot of time viewing the Start screen in Windows. If you want to change up things, you can modify which theme ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step 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. Finding ...

Discover More

Cannot Add Words to Dictionary

We all run across words that are spelled correctly, but that Word isn't aware of. The solution is to add those words to the ...

Discover More

Adding Ampersands to Custom Dictionaries

It appears that Word doesn't allow you to define custom dictionary entries that include ampersands. There are ways you can ...

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. 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 + 5?

2015-12-31 08:44:15

polk0987

In response to William, 30De15, who asks about a dictionary to look up word meanings in MS Word: "dictionary" as used here means simply a list of words, used for checking spelling (more accurately a "lexicon"). To look up meanings I expect there are downloadable dictionaries; and there are lots of online dictionaries (requiring Internet access) where words can easily be looked up. There may be some tools that integrate into MS Word to give a definition on a click. But that's not what this page is about. I'd do a search for something like <lookup word meanings OR definitions "ms office">.


2015-12-30 17:33:14

william

Hi,

I have visited your website soon,

Qn.can I have a dictionary that can be merged together for instance with a word document? in case that if I want the meaning of the word I just click it to follow it easily?

Thanks and

Thanks.


2015-12-30 12:05:35

Frank

This doesn't say where the text file can actually be found.


2014-08-16 08:27:17

pol098

With small effort there are tools to combine, sort, and remove duplicates from a text file. It's worth learning how to use some Unix tools that have been ported to Windows, and can be downloaded free of charge. In particular, "cat" will concatenate (join) several files; then "sort" will sort the merged result alphabetically; and "uniq" will remove duplicates, leaving only unique lines.

I combined personal dictionaries for several programs with a single command, which took about 2 minutes to write and worked first time (you have to download the 3 programs first). Copy the 3 program files and the dictionaries to combine in the same directory, open a Windows command prompt (CMD) there (or a Linux shell), and type

cat persdict.dat en_GB.usr standard.dic | sort | uniq > mydic.txt

It will create a single combined dictionary called mydic.txt from the 3 files, sorted case-insensitively and without duplicates. This file can be copied over the individual dictionaries for the different programs.


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.