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Edit Custom Dictionaries in PowerPoint 2013

Learn how to edit custom dictionaries in PowerPoint 2013.

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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
OS: Windows 7 and 8







Imagine this scenario -- you have created a specialized, medical presentation that's full of squiggly, red, underlined words! These squiggly underlines indicate what PowerPoint considers to be as a misspelled word! Don't blame PowerPoint, because its medical skills are somewhat limited -- we do know that almost all the words in your medical presentation are perfectly valid as far as spelling is concerned. The silver lining here though is that you can teach PowerPoint to spell those words -- and enhance PowerPoint's custom dictionary. Of course, not only can you teach PowerPoint how to spell medical words, but you can also teach the program how to spell words that enhance lexicons in various other subjects such as research, law, computing, etc. Any changes you make by adding new spellings of words in PowerPoint will also influence spell checking in other Microsoft Office programs such as Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.

This is what you need to do to add a word that is indicated as misspelled, but one that you know is correct. Right-click this word to bring up the contextual menu that you see in Figure 1, and then select the Add to Dictionary option.

Add to Dictionary option selected
Figure 1: Add to Dictionary option selected

A custom dictionary is essentially a list of words that is different from PowerPoint's regular, built-in dictionary. Typically, PowerPoint refers to both its built-in and custom dictionaries to ascertain if any word is misspelled.

Here is a typical side-effect of adding new words to your custom dictionary: you may click the Add to Dictionary option sometimes due to your cursor slipping, or just by mistake otherwise -- yes, you can remove that misspelled word from the dictionary, and also add new words to the dictionary by editing your Custom Dictionary:

  1. Launch PowerPoint 2013 if it is not already open, and choose File | Options, as shown in Figure 2.

    Options within the File menu
    Figure 2: Options within the File menu

  2. This opens the PowerPoint Options dialog box, click the Proofing option within the sidebar to view the interface that you see in Figure 3, below.

    Proofing section of PowerPoint Options dialog box includes the Custom Dictionaries button
    Figure 3: Proofing section of PowerPoint Options dialog box includes the Custom Dictionaries button

  3. Click the Custom Dictionaries button (highlighted in red within Figure 3, above). This summons the Custom Dictionaries dialog box, as shown in Figure 4. Note that there is only one dictionary at this point of time named RoamingCUSTOM.dic (highlighted in red within Figure 4) -- however it is entirely possible to have more than one custom dictionary.

    Custom Dictionaries dialog box displaying list of dictionaries
    Figure 4: Custom Dictionaries dialog box displaying list of dictionaries

  4. To edit the words within the selected RoamingCUSTOM.dic dictionary (or any other dictionary), select it and click the Edit Word List button, as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 4, above.

  5. This opens the RoamingCUSTOM.dic dialog box with a list of the words in the dictionary, as shown in Figure 5.

    RoamingCUSTOM.dic dialog box
    Figure 5: RoamingCUSTOM.dic dialog box

    Note that the Add button in the dialog box (highlighted in blue within Figure 5) is grayed out.

    Note: In Figure 4 above, you can see that the dialog box is named RoamingCUSTOM.dic -- the name of this dialog box differs based upon the dictionary you have selected within the Custom Dictionaries dialog box -- in this case, we had selected the RoamingCUSTOM.dic, hence the name. If you have selected other dictionary, the dialog box will read the name of the other selected dictionary.


  6. To add a word within this dictionary, type the word within the Word(s) box (highlighted in red within Figure 6). Note that as soon as a new word is typed, the Add button (highlighted in blue within Figure 6) is activated. Click the Add button to include this new word within your custom dictionary.

    Enter a new word within the Word(s) box to add it to the dictionary
    Figure 6: Enter a new word within the Word(s) box to add it to the dictionary

  7. To delete any existing word, just select it (refer to Figure 7), and click the Delete button (highlighted in red within Figure 7).

    Word selected for deletion
    Figure 7: Word selected for deletion

  8. Once you are done with adding/deleting words in the *.dic dialog box (which is RoamingCUSTOM.dic in this tutorial), click the OK button. This will take you back to Custom Dictionaries dialog box, where click the OK button to save any changes you made.

  9. Save your presentation often.

See Also:

Edit Custom Dictionaries in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Edit Custom Dictionaries in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

 

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003

Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado? Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?

Go and get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences E-Book.

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