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[SOLVED] Unable to add words to Word custom dictionary

This is a discussion on [SOLVED] Unable to add words to Word custom dictionary within the Microsoft Office support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I noticed today that I was unable to add a word with a red squiggly underline to my custom dictionary


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Old 05-08-2011, 02:15 PM   #1
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I noticed today that I was unable to add a word with a red squiggly underline to my custom dictionary in Word (Office 2007, Windows 7). I had been able to do so previously (last date stamp on the CUSTOM.DIC file was 4/27/11). The option to add the word to the dictionary is greyed out. If I right click on the underlined word, click on Spelling, then Options, then Custom Dictionaries, then Edit Word List, then add the word in question in the Word(s) space and click "Add", the word gets added to the list in the Dictionary portion of the window, but when I then click "OK" at the bottom, I get a Microsoft Office Word error message saying "Proofing engine could not write to specified Custom Dictionary". If I check the CUSTOM.DIC file in Notepad, the word has indeed not been added to the file. I can, however, add the word manually to the file in Notepad and save the file; the word then shows up without a red squiggly line in my Word document, so the modified dictionary is being read by Word. I just can't write to it in the usual way. The file is not marked as Read Only, and I don't notice any Permissions issues (though I'm not well-versed in those). Does anyone have any ideas what might be going on here and what I might do to get that functionality back? The problem persists after a computer restart. I used CCleaner yesterday to clean the registry, but do not see any items in the list of entries removed that stand out as relevant (though I know very little about the registry). Thanks for any help you can give!

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Old 05-08-2011, 05:03 PM   #2
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Highlight the word and try as you did before. Be careful with CCleaner. The Registry doesn't really need cleaning.

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Old 05-09-2011, 07:56 AM   #3
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Thanks for the suggestion, Corday. I tried highlighting the word, but that didn't change the situation -- the "Add to Dictionary" option is still greyed out. Any other thoughts? And thanks for the caution about registry cleaners.
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:39 PM   #4
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Tools>Options>Spelling & Grammar>Custom Dictionaries. Create a new one and choose it as the default. See if you can put a word in it. If so, copy and paste the contents of your old dictionary into it.. Make sure everything works. If so you can delete the old one although I'd leave it for a while.
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:43 PM   #5
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Brilliant. That worked. I did some playing and discovered that, for some reason, the original CUSTOM.DIC file had lost its Unicode encoding. When I went back and resaved it as Unicode text and then renamed it from .txt to .DIC, it worked fine. I have no idea how that change happened. Anyway, thank you so much for your help!!

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