One of the most useful options available in Word, the active spell-check, comes packed full of easy to use features to make spelling errors disappear with a simple (right) click of the mouse. Of particular significance are the “Ignore All” and “Add to Dictionary” options. Both options allow a user to tell Word’s active spellchecker to ignore all instances of a word or set of words, which Word may erroneously mark as misspelled (i.e. people and place names,) with only slight differences with the way in which both option accomplish their tasks (i.e. “Ignore All” only tells Word to ignore these “misspellings” for a single session.)
Obviously quite handy to have, having these options suddenly go missing from Word’s active spellchecker can be quite a blow to productivity.
If you find yourself unlucky enough to have these options disappear from your Word spellchecker, worry not: there is a way to get this all important functionality back by making a few modifications to Word’s dictionary files and shortcut settings.
To regain the “Add to Dictionary” option in Word, follow these steps:
(Note: as mentioned in the title, this procedure works in Microsoft Word 2007, but may vary slightly in other versions.)
1. Open Word and press the big round “Office” button in the upper left corner.
2. At the bottom of the menu which appears, press the “Word Options” button.
3. In the Word Options dialog box which appears, select proofing from the left side menu. The Word Options window will change to display available Proofing Options.
4. Under the “When correcting spelling in Microsoft Office programs” heading, click the “Custom Dictionaries” button. The “Custom Dictionaries” dialog box will appear.
5. In the Dictionary List portion of the dialog box, select any dictionaries which are listed, and delete each from the list by clicking the “Remove” button.
This will remove any incorrectly set and/or possibly corrupt dictionary files from being referenced by Word in the future.
6. Once the Dictionary List has been cleared, click the “New” button. You will be prompted to create and save a new custom dictionary file within the Microsoft Office data folders on your computer. Enter in the name you wish to give your custom dictionary in the “File Name” field, and click the “Save” button to create your new dictionary file.
7. With your new dictionary file selected, click the “Dictionary language:” drop down box, and select the “All Languages:” option.
8. Click “Ok” in both the “Custom Dictionaries” and “Word Options” dialog boxes, shut down and re-open Word.
9. Right click a word/set of words you would like to have added to the dictionary. The “Add to Dictionary” option should now be available once again in the right click context menu.
As mentioned earlier, the “Add to Dictionary” option offers the same functionality as “Ignore All,” without the session limited usage rules. However, if you absolutely must have the functionality of the “Ignore All” feature, but the option is still not available after fixing the “Add to Dictionary” feature, you will likely need to obtain Administrator rights (if you do not already have them) and attempt a repair or complete uninstall/reinstall of Word 2007 to fix any corrupt file(s) which may be causing the “Ignore All” option to malfunction.