Although PowerPoint provides a spelling dictionary which contains a list of all common words, you might be working on a particular project that uses uncommon words not found in everyday language. You could edit a custom dictionary or load a ready-made 3rd party dictionary within PowerPoint 2010 for Windows. Even better, you can actually create your own dictionary that includes a set of words for a particular project. So, if you need to do a legal presentation for a client once a year, you could create a separate dictionary for just this one project, and then edit it as required within a text editor such as Notepad.
Follow these steps to create a new dictionary and edit it within Notepad:
- Launch PowerPoint 2010, and choose File | Options, as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Choose Options within the File menu
- This opens the PowerPoint Options dialog box. Click the Proofing option on the sidebar to view the interface that you see in Figure 2, below.
Figure 2: Proofing section of the PowerPoint Options dialog box includes the Custom Dictionaries button
- Now, click the Custom Dictionaries button (highlighted in red in Figure 2, above). This summons the Custom Dictionaries dialog box (see Figure 3). Note that there is only one custom dictionary loaded at this point of time. This dictionary is called CUSTOM.DIC (highlighted in red in Figure 3).
Figure 3: Custom Dictionaries dialog box
- Within the Custom Dictionaries dialog box, click the New button (highlighted in blue in Figure 3 above). This brings up the Create Custom Dictionary dialog box with the default custom dictionary location, as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4: Create Custom Dictionary dialog box
- Provide a name to your new dictionary within the File name text box. We named our new dictionary legal-dictionary.dic (highlighted in red in Figure 4 above). Navigate to the location where you want to save the dictionary and click the Save button (highlighted in blue in Figure 4 above).
- The locations where you want to store the dictionaries depends on who you want to access it:
- To make the dictionary accessible to only the current Windows user, store it in the default custom dictionary location:
- Windows Vista or Windows 7: Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\UProof
Windows XP: Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\UProof
- If you don’t want to save in user-specific folders to make the dictionary accessible to all users of your PC, create a new folder anywhere on your computer, and store dictionaries there.
- This adds the new dictionary to the Dictionary List within the Custom Dictionaries dialog box as shown highlighted in red in Figure 5.
Figure 5: New dictionary added to the Dictionary List
- At this point of time, the new dictionary has no words added. To start adding words, you can click the Edit Word List button (highlighted in blue in Figure 5 above). This process is explained within our Edit Custom Dictionaries in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows tutorial. If you have many words to add to the dictionary (probably you need to copy and paste a list of words you received from a client within an email),you will prefer to edit the dictionary file manually within Notepad or any other text dictionary. Dictionary files (*.DIC) are plain-text files.
- Close any instances of PowerPoint, or any other Microsoft Office applications that may be accessing your new dictionary file. Then, navigate to the folder containing your dictionary file using Windows Explorer, as shown in in Figure 6.
Figure 6: New dictionary file accessed within the windows explorer
- Thereafter, run Notepad and then drag that file into the Notepad window. Since our new dictionary does not contain any words as of now, you will see a blank text file, as shown in Figure 7.
Figure 7: New dictionary file opened in Notepad
- Start typing new words (or paste them from the source you copied). Make sure you save the text file often. Figure 8 shows the same dictionary with some words added (compare Figures 7 and 8).
Figure 8: New dictionary with words added
- Since this new dictionary is already loaded into PowerPoint, you will find that any new words you added to the dictionary are no longer flagged as misspelled. Also do remember that all loaded dictionaries are shared by all Microsoft Office programs such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc.
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