Adding your name and other personal words to Microsoft Word

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If Word doesn’t recognize personal words such as your name, the name of your hometown or the name of your favorite actor, it flags it as a mistake with the familiar red squiggly line.  Here’s how to fix that.

You can choose to add your words to the app’s custom dictionary. This is one of the simplest action you can perform on your document. Right-click on a personal word that shows a red wavy mark and select Add to dictionary from the context menu.

To save time you can also choose the Add to dictionary button when doing a spellcheck on the entire document.

You can also manually add them to the dictionary. Simply navigate to File | Options | Proofing | Custom Dictionaries

  • Select Custom.dic or RoamingCustom.dic, whichever is enabled.

  • Click Edit Word List.

Type the word you want to add in the box at the top of the window, then click on Add. This would add your word to the dictionary and you will never get to see the red wavy lines in your documents.

You could use the Add …’  button but ‘Edit Word list …’ lets you check the existing dictionary and add/delete items at the same time.

If you type in a new word and the ‘Add’ button is greyed out, the ‘new’ word is probably already in the dictionary.

Capitals are important!

If the new dictionary word is a proper name, make sure you add it with the Capital letter.  If you don’t Word won’t warn you if the capital is missing.

For example:  add the name   ‘Kirkenes’ to a custom dictionary.  Kirkenes is a town in very northern Norway.

kirkenes is marked as wrong with a red squiggly

Kirkenes is OK.

But if you added ‘kirkenes’ to a custom dictionary …

kirkenes and Kirkenes are OK.


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