Microsoft Word’s spell-check is quite good. However, it occasionally puts that squiggly red line under something that is spelled correctly. Maybe it’s a product, place, or company name. Maybe it’s a person’s first or last name. Regardless, most of us just right-click and select “Add to Dictionary” if we know we’ll be using that word again.
But, have you ever wondered where all those words go once you’ve added them to your custom dictionary in Word? And more importantly, have you ever wondered if you could update your custom dictionary in Word? If so, this tutorial is for you because it shows how to access and edit your custom dictionary in Word.
This tutorial is available as a YouTube video showing all the steps in real time.
Watch more than 150 other writing-related software tutorials on my YouTube channel.
The images below are from Word for Microsoft 365. These steps also apply to Word 2021, Word 2019, Word 2016, and Word 2013, and are similar for Word 2010.
Visit “How to Create a Custom Dictionary in Microsoft Word” for step-by-step instructions on creating custom dictionaries that can be applied to individual documents in Word.
Edit Your Custom Dictionary in Word
1. Select the File tab.
2. Select Options in the Backstage view.
3. Select Proofing in the Word Options dialog box.
4. Select the Custom Dictionaries button in the When correcting spelling in Microsoft Office programs section.
5. Select RoamingCustom.dic (Default) in the Custom Dictionaries dialog box. (You may also see a dictionary called Custom.dic., which is a carryover from Word 2010 and Word 2007. You can edit Custom.dic using the same method shown here.)
Pro Tip: These steps apply to all custom dictionaries, so you can select any dictionary listed in the Custom Dictionaries dialog box.
6. Select the Edit Word List button.
7. Use the RoamingCustom.dic dialog box to add or delete words from your custom dictionary.
8. Select the OK button to save your changes and close the RoamingCustom.dic dialog box.
Pro Tip: RoamingCustom.dic is the default custom dictionary file for your entire Microsoft Office suite, so you can edit it from any of your other Office programs by following steps similar to those shown above.
Updated February 23, 2022