How to Create a Custom Dictionary in Word 2007

Improve Word's limited dictionary by customizing it for your needs.

Create a Custom Dictionary in Microsoft Word 2007. Credit: / Google Images

The dictionary is one of the more useful features in Word 2007, helping you to avoid misspelled words.

Because language changes and new words are added on a regular basis, the Word dictionary is not exhaustive. It is very likely you will encounter terms that Word flags as misspellings but are actually correct. When this happens, it's time to customize your dictionary.

Create Your Custom Dictionary

To get the most out of Word's dictionary feature, you can create your own custom dictionary and add words that it doesn't recognize.

Start by creating your new custom dictionary:

  1. Click the Microsoft Office button in the upper left corner.
  2. Click Word Options at the bottom of the menu window.
  3. Click Proofing in the left pane of the Word Options dialog box.
  4. Click the Custom Dictionaries... button in the right pane under "When correcting spelling in Microsoft Office programs." 
  5. Click the New... button on the left side of the Custom Dictionaries dialog box. 
  6. Enter a filename for you dictionary in the field. Dictionary files have the .dic extension.
  7. Click the Save button.

Add Words to Your Custom Dictionary

When you save your custom dictionary file it will now appear in the Dictionary List in the Custom Dictionaries dialog box. You can now start adding words to it:

  1. Select your dictionary in the list.
  2. Click the Edit Word List... button.
  3. Enter the word to be added to the dictionary in the Word(s) field.
  4. Click the Add button. The word will appear in the Dictionary list. Continue entering your terms, clicking Add after each entry. You can delete entries by selecting them and clicking the Delete button.
  1. When you've entered all your terms, click OK.

Once you're finished creating and editing your custom dictionary, make sure there is a check in the box next to it so Word knows to use it. Click OK.

Word will now check the words in your document against your custom dictionary.

Customize Your Dictionary with Specialized Terms

Words you enter into your custom dictionary do not have to be words that are in the general language.

You may work in an industry that uses many specialized terms, abbreviations or acronyms, for example. 

Adding those specialized terms to your dictionary will save you from misspelling them (as long as you didn't misspell them when you entered them in your custom dictionary!). It will also save you from having a document rife with red underlines on every instance of those specialized terms Word thinks are incorrect. When you run a spell check, Word will breeze past those terms without halting, speeding up the spellcheck process.