Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Backing Up Custom Dictionaries.

Backing Up Custom Dictionaries

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 24, 2015)

The Excel spell-check program allows you to create a number of custom dictionaries for your use. At some time you may want to copy the custom dictionaries, either for a personal backup or to transfer to a different computer.

The default custom dictionary used by Excel has a file name of Custom.dic. However, custom dictionaries can be saved under any number of different names. You can see the name of the custom dictionary you are using by first displaying the Excel Options dialog box. (In Excel 2007 click the Office button and then click Excel Options. In Excel 2010 or Excel 2013 display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.) At the left side of the dialog box click Proofing and then click the Custom Dictionaries button. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Custom Dictionaries dialog box.

The safest course to backing up custom dictionaries is to look for any file that has the DIC file name extension. Use the Windows Search tool to locate the files. You can then copy these files to some sort of backup media, such as an external hard drive, CD-ROM, or flash drive.

Remember, as well, that the custom dictionaries are used by more than Excel—the are used by other products in the Microsoft Office suite, such as Word and PowerPoint.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6154) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Backing Up Custom Dictionaries.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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