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Disable, Enable, and Set the Default Custom Dictionary in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Learn how to disable, enable, and set the default custom dictionary in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows. The default custom dictionary contains all the new words you added.

Any custom dictionary that you create within PowerPoint or any other Microsoft Office program is used by all the Office applications installed on your computer. Also, any changes made to the list of words within a custom dictionary reflect in proofing tools of all Office applications. Each logged-in user has a default custom dictionary called CUSTOM.dic, and this is stored in a separate folder for each local user:

  • If you are running Windows Vista or Windows 7, you can find the custom dictionary at this location:
  • Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\UProof
  • If you are running Windows XP, the custom dictionary can be found in this location:
  • Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\UProof

So, what exactly is a default dictionary? Let's assume you are running a regular spell check, and encounter a word that PowerPoint flags as misspelled. You know that the word is correctly spelled, and you choose the Add option—any custom spellings that you add are saved to your default dictionary. We have already established in the preceding section that every user has a default custom dictionary called CUSTOM.dic, but you can change your default custom dictionary to any other if you please? we will show you how to do that later in this tutorial. There are other aspects of spell checking that you may want to explore: after adding a ready-made 3rd party dictionary or creating a new dictionary, you may want to temporarily disable a custom dictionary, and enable them it later.

Follow these steps to learn more about enabling and disabling custom dictionaries. You will also learn how you can set a default custom dictionary in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows:

  1. Launch PowerPoint 2010 for Windows, and choose File | Options, as shown in Figure 1.

  2. Figure 1: Choose Options within the File menu
  3. 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.

  4. Figure 2: Proofing section of the PowerPoint Options dialog box includes the Custom Dictionaries button
  5. Tip: If you are already doing a spell check, just click the Options button within the Spelling dialog box. This gets you to the Proofing section of the PowerPoint Options dialog box, as shown above in Figure 2. Want to know more about the Spelling dialog box? Head to our Spell Check in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows tutorial.


  6. Now, click the Custom Dictionaries button (highlighted in red in Figure 2, above).This summons the Custom Dictionaries dialog box (see Figure 3). All the custom dictionaries can be found under Dictionary List within the Custom Dictionaries dialog box. Note that we have three custom dictionaries (highlighted in red in Figure 3).

  7. Figure 3: Custom Dictionaries dialog box
    Tip: You may have just one custom dictionary available. You can add a ready-made 3rd party dictionary or create a new dictionary to end up with multiple spelling dictionaries.
  8. You can now enable or disable dictionaries to be used for spell checking. To do that, just select or deselect the check-boxes preceding the particular dictionary name, as shown highlighted in red in Figure 4.

  9. Figure 4: Enable/disable custom dictionaries for spell check
  10. To change the default custom dictionary, select any custom dictionary within the Dictionary List which you want to be used as the default dictionary, and click the Change Default button (highlighted in red in Figure 5) within the Custom Dictionaries dialog box.

  11. Figure 5: Change Default button
  12. This will set the selected dictionary to be the default dictionary. In Figure 6 you can see that legal-dictionary.dic is now set as the default dictionary, which is indicated by the word Default suffixed to it (compare with Figure 5, above).

  13. Figure 6: Suffixed word Default indicates the default dictionary
  14. Note: You should have a sound reason to change your default dictionary. Most of the time, PowerPoint expects CUSTOM.dic to be your default dictionary. Fortunately, you can always change back to the original default dictionary using the steps explained in this tutorial.
  15. Once done, click the OK button within the Custom Dictionaries dialog box to save the changes you made.
  16. Save your presentation often.

See Also:

Disable, Enable, and Set the Default Custom Dictionary in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Disable, Enable, and Set the Default Custom Dictionary in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Disable, Enable, and Set the Default Custom Dictionary in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac