Tag Archives: spelling

Add A Word To The Dictionary In Word 2013

Word 2013 comes with its own dictionary, with which it checks your spelling. However, that dictionary does not contain every single word in use by English speaking folk, and may soon become an annoyance when highlighting words you know to be valid.

Just as language is a continuously evolving animal, so too is the Word dictionary. If you use a word that Word 2013 thinks is wrong, you will see the dreaded wavy red squiggle beneath it, added in typical critical schoolteacher style. You can tell Word that it is a real word by adding it to the Word dictionary. You can do this even if the word is utterly made up, too. Think of street slang, or words invented for children’s books.

To add a word to the Word 2013 dictionary, right click on it and select Add to Dictionary.

Add To Dictionary

From this time forwards, Microsoft Word will finally understand what you mean and accept that word as being valid.

But it’s not over yet. You can view the additional words you have supplied to the Word dictionary by clicking the File tab > Options > Proofing and then click the Custom Dictionaries button (about halfway down).


Custom Dictionaries In Word 2013

Click to enlarge

There are two entries in our list, and the roaming custom dictionary is the one we want. Select that and then click Edit Word List.

Roaming Custom Dictionary

The next window that opens displays all the new words you have added to the dictionary.

Word List In Word 2013

The input box at the top allows you to search for a particular word in the list. Once you’ve found it, you can select it and then delete it, if you no longer require it. Alternatively, you can type a word into that input box and then click the Add button to add it to the dictionary. You don’t need to wait until you use it in your document and then right click on it like we saw before. This is handy if you have a few words you know you want to add to the dictionary.

You can also delete all additional word with the Delete all button. Note that this deletes all the words that have been added by you to the base dictionary, not all the words in the dictionary.

Good To Go

Proofing Errors In Word 2013

Word 2013 comes with a new proofing errors panel. If you have a document open, and that document has some grammatical or spelling errors in it, you will see the Proofing errors were found icon in the Status Bar. The Status Bar is seen at the bottom of the Word interface and displays a few visual clues to the status of your document.

Proofing Errors

When you click on the Proofing Errors icon, the spelling and grammar window slides open on the right. The errors that Word has found are highlighted in this window, one at a time, starting with the first error that occurs after the cursor.

Spelling Window

The buttons at the top of this window are pretty straightforward. The options are:

  • Ignore – ignore the current error and move on to the next one.
  • Ignore All – ignore all errors and deem the document “good to go”.
  • Add – add the errored word to the dictionary, so that Word knows it to be a real word.
  • Change – change the errored phrase to the one that Word suggests.
  • Change All – is supposed to change all errored phrases to the suggested ones, but didn’t work for us!

If at any point you move the cursor to a different point in the document, you will see the Resuma button appear in the spelling and grammar window. If you click that, Word will continue looking for errors from that point onwards.

When all errors have been corrected, you will see the No proofing errors icon in the Status Bar.

No Proofing Errors

Clicking on this icon will trigger the display of the Spelling and grammar check complete confirmation dialog. Just click the OK button on that, and you really are good to go,

Good To Go

Word 2013 does offer limited grammar checking. For example, it will highlight as an error “a pear of shoes”, but doesn’t see a problem with “I picked a flour”.

In the document, grammatical errors are underlined in blue, like this:


… whereas spelling errors are underlined in red, like this:


In the spelling and grammar window, Word does try to be helpful by offering advice. In the “pear of shoes” example, Word explains to us (courtesy of Merriam-Webster), what pear and pair mean.

Any time you want to close the window down, just click on the ‘X’ in the top right corner.