Q. Window’s spell check is one of my favorite features—except for one thing: Every now and then I OK a word (usually a name) and later learn I misspelled it. But once it’s in the dictionary, I can’t figure out how to change it. Any suggestions?
A. You can edit the dictionary. It used to be a real chore in pre-XP versions of Windows Office, but now it’s a breeze. Note, however, that the spell-check dictionary is used by all Windows applications—Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint and OneNote—but you can edit only in Word. So to change a spelling in its memory, no matter what Office application you’re working in, you must first open Word. Then go to Tools , Options , Spelling & Grammar and click on Custom Dictionaries . Unless you added a special dictionary, you probably only have one, called CUSTOM.DIC (default) .
To add, remove or modify a word, click on Modify , which brings up the CUSTOM.DIC screen below. Don’t click on New or Add ; those buttons are for adding a dictionary, not a word. You can find many specialty dictionaries on subjects from accounting to zoology by searching the Internet.
To fix a spelling, first delete the incorrect version by scrolling to the word you want to change and deleting it. Then type the correct version in the space under the Word heading and click on Add and OK .