This tutorial shows how to create an exclusion dictionary in Microsoft Word. An exclusion dictionary is a list of words that will always be marked as incorrect by Word’s Editor even if they are spelled correctly. You may want to add frequently confused or “inappropriate” words to your exclusion dictionary.
This tutorial is also available as a YouTube video showing all the steps in real time.
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Important Notes: These steps are for Word for Microsoft 365, Word 2021, Word 2019, Word 2016, and Word 2013 running on Windows. These steps won’t work on older versions of Windows or on a Mac.
Your exclusion dictionary applies to your entire Office suite (e.g., Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook), not just Word.
How to Create an Exclusion Dictionary in Microsoft Word
The location of your exclusion dictionary may differ from the location shown here.
- Press the Windows key + E on your keyboard to open the File Explorer. (Alternatively, you can search for “File Explorer” in the search box in the taskbar.)
- Select Windows (C:) in the File Explorer.
- Select the Users folder.
- Select your username folder. For example, my username is Erin.
- Select the View tab.
- Select Hidden items to show the hidden folders.
- Select the AppData folder.
- Select the Roaming folder.
- Select the Microsoft folder.
- Select the UProof folder.
- Locate the file that says ExcludeDictionary followed by a letter and number code matching your language and geographic region.
Each language–region combination has its own exclusion dictionary file. So, you may see more than one exclusion file in your UProof folder if you have used more than one language while working in Word or your other Office apps.
Here are several English-language examples:
You can find the complete list of codes in the Documentation section of the Microsoft website.
- Right-click the file and select Open with from the shortcut menu.
- Select Notepad from the “How do you want to open this file?” dialog box. You may have to select the More Apps link to locate Notepad. (You can also choose WordPad.)
- Select the OK button.
- Type the words you want to exclude (i.e., the words you want Word to mark as incorrect) on separate lines in Notepad.
- Select the File tab.
- Select Save from the drop-down menu.
- Select the X to close Notepad.
- Select the X to close the File Explorer.
- If Word is open, save your file, close Word, and then reopen it. Your exclusion dictionary changes should take effect after you reopen Word and run the Editor.
Updated October 20, 2021