Changing to the Right Thesaurus

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 22, 2014)

David lives in Canada and all documents he opens in Word must conform to Canadian spelling conventions, so he uses the English (Canada) spell checker dictionary. His copy of Word used to use the English (Canada) thesaurus also. David notes that Word mysteriously changed to using the English (UK) thesaurus recently, even though spell checking and other grammar tools all use the proper English (Canada) settings. He's tried to change it back to the English (Canada) thesaurus dictionary, but failed. The English (UK) thesaurus is OK, but David would rather that Word use the English (Canada) thesaurus.

The problem appears to be that Microsoft does not provide a thesaurus for Canadian English. If you press Shift+F7 (to display the Research task pane) and click Research Options at the bottom of the pane, Word displays the Research Options dialog box. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Research Options dialog box.

The dialog box lists all the various languages and tools available in Word. You'll note that there are English thesauri for Australia, the UK, and the US, but not for other English-speaking countries. (I should note that this is the case in my installation of Word; it could be different in your installation.) If you see a thesaurus there for English (Canada), then you could select it so that Word would use it. I have it on good authority from folks in Canada, however, that such an option is not available, even on versions of Word sold in that country. Thus the conclusion that Microsoft does not provide a thesaurus for Canadian English.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8374) applies to Microsoft Word 2002 and 2003.

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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