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Backing Up Custom Dictionaries

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Backing Up Custom Dictionaries.

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 choosing Options from the Tools menu, then displaying the Spelling tab. (See Figure 1.) The Add Words To drop-down list shows the name of the custom dictionary.

Figure 1. The Spelling tab of the Options 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 (3320) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Backing Up Custom Dictionaries.

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