Can I remove a word from Office’s speller dictionary?

The other day, I was discussing a number of suggestions to improve Office’s spell-checker. A customer was suggesting we should allow users to delete individual items from Word’s spell-checker lexicon. This feature is already available, in fact: if you want to specify a preferred spelling for a word and to exclude a given spelling from the main lexicon used by the Office speller, you need to use an “exclusion dictionary”. Your speller comes with an empty exclusion dictionary and you can add words to it if you want them to be permanently red-squiggled.

You first need to locate your exclusion dictionary, which, if you use Vista and Office 2007, can be found in the following folder:

C:\Users\User Name\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\UProof\

Each language has a specific dictionary whose name starts with “ExcludeDictionary”, followed by the language code (EN for English, FR for French, SP for Spanish, GE for German…), followed by the LCID (locale identification number). The extension is .lex. For instance:

English (US):                 ExcludeDictionaryEN0409.lex

English (UK):                 ExcludeDictionaryEN0809.lex

English (Australia)        ExcludeDictionaryEN0c09.lex

English (Canada)          ExcludeDictionaryEN1009.lex

French:                          ExcludeDictionaryFR040c.lex


You can open the file with Notepad or WordPad and add a word which you want the speller to flag as misspelled. Save and close the file. You are done!


You can type “exclude dictionary” or “exclusion dictionary” in the Office help to get more information about this feature.

Of course, caution should be exercised when you decide to remove a word from your Office speller. If you decide to remove the word manger because you frequently type program manger instead of program manager, you should not be surprised when your speller flags manger in a sentence like “Jesus was laid in a manger”. This is why we have introduced a contextual speller, which tries to identify words which exist but are misspelled in a given context (see the post I was referring to, in which I showed how Office 2007 flags some erroneous uses of manger in program manger).

To give another example where contextual spelling might be preferred over exclusion, consider the user who had contacted the Word newsgroup to find out how to exclude the word “ahs” from the main speller lexicon. This user kept typing ahs instead of has. The new context-sensitive speller in Office 2007 flags a number of contexts where "ahs" should not be used, however, which should address this user's problem without having to remove the word altogether from the lexicon. You will see a blue squiggly line under "ahs" if you write something like "He ahs never done it before", for instance. But you will not get any flag under "ahs" if you write "we definitely got oohs and ahs all around when we launched this product".

Thierry Fontenelle – Program Manager

Comments (51)
  1. Mike says:

    Thanks for pointing out this (I presume new feature) in Word 2007.

    In my case, the prime word I wanted to add was "continuos", since I am not involved with music.  I had entered it as an AutoCorrect entry which fixes it if "I" type it, but does not show it in documents prepared by others.

    Also, note that the LCID needs to be in hexadecimal (as above), although Word’s help lists them as decimal, e.g. English (U.S.) = 1033 decimal = 0409 Hex.

  2. SeanCK says:

    How do I add a combination of words to the exclusion dictionary?  I’d like to add "in order to," but the spell checker isn’t catching it.

  3. Hello Sean,

    Only individual words can be excluded from the speller dictionary. This being said, we’d be interested in knowing why you would like "in order to" to be flagged by a spell-checker; it is a perfectly legitimate construction in English.



  4. SeanCK says:

    I work in law.  Often courts impose strict word limits on briefs.  "To" can almost always replace "in order to."  The change only saves two words, but those words add up over pages and pages of writing!

    Thanks for the quick response.


  5. Hi Sean,

    If you wish to use "to" instead of "in order to", I would then advise you to modify your AutoCorrect file:

    In Word 2007: Office button, Word Options | Proofing | AutoCorrect options.



  6. MSN Plus says:

    The thing is this just doesn’t really do it for me, prefer something a little less… mainstream.

  7. IT Support says:

    Interesting, has given me a great idea for a project!

  8. marsha says:

    it has lots of custom words already in it.  It does not allow me to open with notepad or wordpad.

  9. req says:

    I’d like to get it to stop suggesting cannot of can not.  I really only use "cannot" over can’t if I intend to draw emphasis, in which case I prefer use the two seperate words "can" and "not."

  10. J’avais écrit un billet , il y a quelques mois, sur la façon dont on peut enlever un mot du dictionnaire

  11. The post I wrote a few months ago about how users can remove a word from the main dictionary of their

  12. Daniel García says:

    I was trying to use the exclude dictionary in Word XP and it works very well.

    I cannot make it work with hyphenated words. For instance, I would like "co-operation" to be branded as an error because "cooperation" is our preferred form but it does not flag "co-operation" as a spelling error, even if I add it to the list. Is there any workaround?


  13. Clare says:

    Word in Windows 7 is change for the sake of change.  XP is hard to beat for simplicity and ease of use.  7 is button happy and not concise at all.  I work in the medical industry and Autocomplete was fantastic – Quick Bits is just not appropriate for small pieces of content.  This is supposed to be progress – it's a backward step.  Give us some upgrades and take us back to the XP functions!

  14. Ron Swonger says:

    Regarding contextual speller: Is there a way to teach this function that a specific word can be an adjective as well as being a noun?  We make equipment that measures holes in machined parts. When I type "Our capability to perform hole measurement is….", the speller insists on flagging "hole" and wanting to change it to "whole". As I read your material it seems that my only recourse on this annoyance is to exclude the word "whole".  So how can a user change the context rules for a word?

  15. I need to remove a word misspelled from a former employee in the dictionary: "informaiton". Any suggestions?

  16. Jeff says:

    this apparently does not work in Office 2010 – there is no App/Data folder

  17. Greg Maynard says:

    Same question as Katherine Ward's.  My dictionary recognizes "numb3r" as a valid spelling.

  18. Archie Rowe says:

    Same question as Katherine Ward and Greg Maynard.  I use Office 2010 and clicked 'Add to Dictionary' by mistake.  It was easy to remove an incorrectly spelled word in Office 2003.  Why can't it be done in the latest edition of Office? (See Jeff's comment above.)  It seems that Thierry Fontenelle – Program Manager, is no longer responding to these queries.  Why not?

  19. John Gee says:

    Previous versions of word allowed you to remove words from the local dictionary. I can't find this feature inWord 2007. I have now many mispelt words in the dictionary which I can't correct.

    Seems to be a retrograde step, perhaps Microsoft rather than charging for upgrading to the latest version, should provide refunds instead.

  20. John D says:

    I have the same problem. A couple of misspelled words added incorrectly in haste. Looks like no fix for this problem.

  21. António Batista says:

    What is the limit of the word that i can put in the excluision file ?

  22. Владислав (Украина) says:

    Спасибо Thierry.

    Удалил неправильное слово.

  23. suzyf says:

    There is a misspelled word in the Word dictionary  – "activites" – I found that when I typed this instead of "activities" it didn't correct it.  I wonder how  many other misspellings are in the dictionary? It seems like there should be an easy way (and I don't have administrator privileges on this stupid machine!) to fix these things. Even if it doesn't require admin privileges, I wish it was easy. (Using xp and word 2007).

  24. Dan says:

    "This feature is already available"

    GREAT! So why don't you tell us how to do it?

  25. Mike says:

    I suspect all such corrections (and miscorrections) go into Autocorrect?

  26. Mike says:

    Or in Word File tab then Options/Proofing/click on Custom Dictionaries/click on Custom.dic/then Edit Word list

  27. Ted says:

    Thierry gave a really great answer full of useful information to be sure.  Only problem is that you didn't really answer the question.  In my case I inadvertantly clicked on add to dictionary for a word that was incorrectly spelled.  I don;t want to add the mispelled word to the exclusion dictionary I want to delete it from the dictionary.  How do I do that?

  28. Mike says:

    Ted – Have you tried following my post immediately preceding yours? It works for me (in Word 2010)

  29. Christine says:

    Mike – THANK YOU!  Your info was very useful, the most concise help on here!

  30. Mike says:

    Thanks for the compliment, Christine. I'm no geek, and sometimes it helps to have the simple approach!

  31. Toni says:

    Absolutely useless.  All I wanted was some simple instructions on the steps to take to remove a word that had incorrectly been saved to the dictionary.   Not a blog!

  32. joy says:

    MIke, thank you. Found your tip easy to follow and it worked. Could not find another explanation of how to remove a word.

  33. Herbert says:

    Hello, gives this Site in German, because my English is very bad?

  34. Pat says:

    How do you delete a word from the dictionary if you have added it and found out later that it was incorrect?

  35. Oscar says:

    I have the same problem, bad mispelled word in the dictionnary and now i can't remove it…

  36. Mike says:

    My problem is that Word 2007 wants to automatically hyphenate the word "coop." I assume it thinks I'm writing "co-op." I've tried the various tricks gleaned from the web for removing hyphenation from a single particular word and can't seem to fix the problem. So, I thought if I removed "co-op" from the main dictionary, only "coop" would be left and presumably Word isnt going to hyphenate that. Any suggestions? Remember, we're talking about the main dictionary, not a word I've accidentally added to a custom dictionary or a word that is misspelled in the main dictionary. Rather a word I don't want Word to think exists anymore.

  37. Carole Saylor says:

    All I wanted was some simple instructions on the steps to take to remove a word that had incorrectly been saved to the dictionary.  These comments didn't seem to address the original question at all.  How do I get my question answered???

  38. Alan Seymour says:

    This help is pathetic. God please help Micro Soft

  39. Dave H. says:

    I agree with Alan…this was useless!

  40. Andrew Abela says:

    Hi Everybody

    The below link will tell you how to do it. It is far less useless than the above.…/remove-add-words-to-office-2010-word-dictionary

  41. Rodney says:

    Wow. So many people complaining that this particular blog post doesn't answer their question and is therefore a pointless post. Egomania.

  42. Hogak says:

    This blog post is not about removing user added words. If you arrived on this page in attempt to learn how to remove the words either you or someone else who has used your system has added, then the problem is not with the content of this article, but with your ability to adequately search the internet.

    Office 2010 Users

    In Excel (Word,Access,etc.) Click File (top left corner)

    On the very bottom right of the drop down menu, select Options

    Select Proofing from the menu list on the left hand side.

    Click the Custom Dictionaries button in the middle of the screen.

    Select CUSTOM.DIC  (default) – This will most likely be the only .DIC file you have

    Click on the Edit Word List… button

    Find the misspelled, user added word

    Click Delete




    Office 2007 Users

    In Excel (Word,Access,etc.) Click Windows Icon (top left corner)

    On the very bottom right of the drop down menu, select Excel Options (Word Options, Access Options, etc.)

    Select Proofing from the menu list on the left hand side.

    Click the Custom Dictionaries button in the middle of the screen.

    Select CUSTOM.DIC  (default) – This will most likely be the only .DIC file you have

    Click on the Edit Word List… button

    Find the misspelled, user added word

    Click Delete




    Office 2003 Users

    THIS PROCESS ONLY AVAILABLE IN WORD – Changes should apply to Excel too

    Click on the Tools menu at the top

    Select options

    Select Spelling & Grammar tab

    Click on the Dictionaries button (alternatively Custom Dictionary button).

    Select CUSTOM.DIC – This will most likely be the only .DIC file you have

    Click the Edit or Modify button.

    Dictionary is opened.

    Manually change/delete the misspelling.

    Close the dictionary.



  43. Ben says:

    I have glaring spelling errors in a document.  The spell checker doesn't find them.  The misspelled words are not in the custom dictionary as 'added to dictionary' by mistake.  Is the spell checker just crap?

  44. MileKING says:

    Please help. I'm using Word 2010, and in Serbian language there is latinic and cyrilic letters. I have two files, ExcludeDictionarySR0c1a and ExcludeDictionarySR081a. Which is for cirillic and which is for latin letters? Thanks, m.

  45. Telzey says:

    How annoying: looks like there is a way to edit the words the custom dictionary, but no way to correct the dictionary that comes with the software.  The word "warranty" is misspelled as "warrenty" in the dictionary (the one that Office came with!  Not the custom dictionary we created!) and I work in a law office, so everyone keeps misspelling warranty all the time.

  46. Doris says:

    @Telzey – the dictionary that my version of Word came with does not allow "warrenty", so if it were me, I would check to see if there is custom dictionary that is company rather than product specific.

  47. Erin says:

    Essentially useless.  Followed directions to add "qword" to Exclusion Dictionary, because it must have been added to the lexicon at some point and I'm not allowed to delete it.  The word is still not recognized as misspelled.  Why on earth does Help drop me in a Blog post?!?!?  I need Help – not discussion!

  48. graduatesbrick says:

    Thats excellent…

  49. DonnellBieker says:

    Its brilliant

  50. Yarnspinner says:

    My favorite part of this is the text in the initial help window (the one that *really, really* doesn't answer the question… and then you end up here):

    5.Optionally, check the spelling and grammar. For more information on where you can find the spelling checker in other Office pgorams, see Check spelling and grammar in a different language.

    My problem is, like some of the others, that I inadvertently added a misspelled word to the dictionary. I am using a SurfacePro and the %*^@& pen slipped. Now I'm stuck with 'reoughly' (which is roughly what I wanted).

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