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Edit Custom Dictionaries in PowerPoint 365 for Windows

Learn how to edit custom dictionaries in PowerPoint 365 for Windows. You can add, alter, and remove words.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 365 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows 10 and higher



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Imagine this scenario: you have created a specialized, medical presentation, and you're troubled to see that all slides are full of squiggly, red, underlined words! These squiggly underlines indicate what PowerPoint considers to be misspelled words. Don't blame PowerPoint, because its medical terminology is somewhat limited. Yes, all words in your medical presentation are correctly spelled. The solution is to teach PowerPoint to spell those words, and enhance it's custom dictionary.

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.

Edit Dictionaries in PowerPoint, or in Office?

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, or Outlook because they all share the same dictionaries.

Typically, when you encounter a specialized term or word that's indicated as misspelled, you can right-click the word to bring up the contextual menu that you see in Figure 1, below, and then select the Add to Dictionary option, highlighted in red within Figure 1. This action adds the new word to PowerPoint's custom dictionary.

Add to Dictionary in PowerPoint 365
Figure 1: Add to Dictionary option selected

A custom dictionary contains a list of words you add; this makes it different from PowerPoint's regular, built-in dictionary. Typically, PowerPoint refers to both its built-in and custom dictionaries to identify any misspelled word.

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 a slipped mouse click or by error. Yes, you can remove that misspelled word from the dictionary, and also add new words to the dictionary by editing your Custom Dictionary.

Follow these steps to edit Custom dictionaries in PowerPoint 365 for Windows:

  1. If you have launched PowerPoint, choose Options, as shown highlighted in green within Figure 2, below. Alternatively, if you already have a presentation open, choose the File menu to bring up Backstage view, and select Options. You can also press both the Alt and T keys together, and next press O.
  2. Access Options in PowerPoint
    Figure 2: Options tab of Backstage view
  3. Either way, you bring up the PowerPoint Options dialog box. Click the Proofing option within the sidebar, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3, below.
  4. Proofing section of PowerPoint Options dialog box includes the Custom Dictionaries button
    Figure 3: Proofing tab in PowerPoint Options
  5. Click the Custom Dictionaries button, highlighted in blue within Figure 3, above. This action summons the Custom Dictionaries dialog box, as shown in Figure 4, below. We have selected RoamingCustom.dic, highlighted in red within Figure 4, below. You may have only one dictionary available unless you have created or added custom dictionaries.
  6. Custom Dictionaries dialog box displaying the list of dictionaries
    Figure 4: List of dictionaries in PowerPoint 365
  7. To edit 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.
  8. Doing so opens the Dictionary dialog box with a list of words, as shown in Figure 5, below.
  9. RoamingCustom.dic dialog box
    Figure 5: Dictionary dialog box
  10. Note that the Add button in the dialog box, highlighted in blue within Figure 5, above, is grayed out.
  11. Dictionary Dialog Box

    In Figure 5, 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 another dictionary, the dialog box will read the name of the other selected dictionary.
  12. To add a word within this dictionary, type the word within the Word(s) box, highlighted in red within Figure 6, below. Note that as soon as a new word is typed, the Add button, highlighted in blue within Figure 6 gets activated. Click the Add button to include this new word within your custom dictionary.
  13. Enter a new word within the Word(s) box to add it to the dictionary
    Figure 6: Enter a new word into the dictionary
  14. To delete any existing word, select the word, as shown in Figure 7, below, and click the Delete button, highlighted in red within Figure 7.
  15. Word selected for deletion in the Dictionary dialog box in PowerPoint 365
    Figure 7: Word selected for deletion
  16. Once you are done with adding and deleting words in the Dictionary dialog box (which is RoamingCustom.dic in this tutorial), click the OK button. This action will take you back to the Custom Dictionaries dialog box, where you can click the OK button to save any changes you made.
  17. Share Dictionaries?

  18. Do you want to share custom dictionaries you have created and compiled over the years? Yes, this is possible! To learn more, see our Sharing Custom Dictionaries in PowerPoint tutorial.
  19. Save your presentation often.

See Also:

05 08 14 - Spelling, AutoCorrect, and Reference Tools: Edit Custom Dictionaries in PowerPoint (Glossary Page)

Edit Custom Dictionaries in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Edit Custom Dictionaries in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Edit Custom Dictionaries in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Edit Custom Dictionaries in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

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