How can I view the contents of a Word custom dictionary?

Bob Jones:

 

While I have your eyes:

 

I want to see the contents of my Word custom dictionary. I used to know how to do this but in Mac 2011 I can’t do it.

 

To get to the custom dictionary location I can go to:

 

Word >Preferences>Authoring and Proofing Tool > Spelling and Grammar > Dictionaries

 

but I can’t look inside of anything.

 

There is a path set forth in the dialog box but it is truncated and I thus can’t use it.

 

Could you please supply the path. I think that may be the way to see the contents of my custom dictionary? If that's not the way to see the contents, please tell me how.

 

Thanks, and add any comments you may have.


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Last updated November 7, 2018 Views 1,381 Applies to:

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You really don't need a "path"... Once you get to the list of Custom Dictionaries click to select then click the Edit button. The file will open in Word. [You may need to make a choice in the File Conversion dialog if it appears. Unicode 5.1 (Little Endian) is the most likely candidate.]

The file is stored in:
UserName:Library:Application Support:Microsoft:Office:Preferences:Office 2011

You can open it with TextEdit, Word, or most any text editing program.
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Regards,
Bob J.

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I took your advice and clicked on the Edit button; actually, I double-clicked on it and that’s when it opened in the word processor and I was able to see the contents and, if I chose, to change the entries. Thanks for that.

 

As to the path: the Preferences > Office 2011 is not located there. I have no idea where it would be.

 

If you have any ideas, please let me know.

 

Ideally, I would like to find the location of the folder that holds all the custom dictionary entries. Some day I will want to put the custom dictionary on a new machine, and having that folder is important.

 

As it stands, I would not know how to transfer the entries. I could of course copy them, but getting them into a new custom dictionary folder that the new machine would read is something I would not know how to accomplish. 


The only method I can think of, that does not utilize a folder, would be to copy the custom dictionary entries and, on the new machine, go to the Edit button (that you mentioned) and paste them there. Would that work?

 

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Hi Davie:

That's possibly the easiest way of transferring custom dictionary entries :-)

It's a slippery little fella, bounces around a bit (and of course, you can put it anywhere you like) but try here: /Users/<your name>/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/Preferences/Office 2011

You can simply copy the file and move it to another Mac or P{C.  If you get it in the correct folder, it will work on the other machine.

Cheers
John McGhie, Microsoft MVP (Mac Word), Consultant Technical Writer. http://www.john.mcghie.com.au

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Rather than Copy/Paste I'd just open the Custom Dictionary as you've already done, then do a Save As to create the duplicate copy in the location of my choice. Just make sure to keep the .dic file name extension for the new file.

I'm guessing that you can't find the file because you're looking in the wrong Library folder... not unusual if you're using OS X 10.7 or later. Apple chose to make the Library folder for User Accounts a hidden folder although they didn't do the same for the root Library folder for Macintosh HD. If you're using 10.7 or later see this article for one of the easier ways to access the Library folder for your User Account.
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Bob J.

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Thanks Bob.

 

I was using the correct technique to get to the Library folder (in Finder, click on Go and hold down the option key).

 

The “Preferences > Office 2011” is simply not located in the standard path that you described. Thankfully, that has not caused a problem so far, though not knowing where it is troubles me.

 

Based on your past helpful advice, for others reading this subject in the future I’m going to summarize the method of saving the custom dictionary to a “dic” file format so that the file can be used in the event one wants to transfer the custom dictionary to another machine.

 

1. Word > Preferences > Spelling & Grammar > Dictionaries;

2. Click on the custom dictionary;

3. Click once on the Edit button;

4. Double-click on Unicode 6.1. That opens the custom list up for copying or saving to a file of one’s choice;

5. Save the file using a “dic” fine name extension.

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What is your present update level of Office? The location of the Custom Dictionary & other support files originally was:

UserName:Library:Preferences:Microsoft:Office 2011

But that location was changed by the [IIRC] 14.2.0 update.
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Bob J.

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You nailed it Bob. I have version 14.0.0, and the Custom Dictionary file is located just where you said it would be in the absence of updates. However, the custom dictionary file only contains this: #LID 1033 and my last name. Under Word > Preferences… - the usual route to the custom dictionary - there is that file, but also another custom dictionary file with the full list of custom entries. So the #LID 1033 apparently is a pointer.

 

As to updates, here is a brief history:

I had used Office 2011 for the Mac with appropriate updates for about three years and it became unworkable, so I did a clean uninstall yesterday; every link with Office was deleted, per:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2398768

 

I then reinstalled it. But I was unable to bring it up to date. I get my updates via the “Apple logo > Software Update” and, in spite of repeated attempts to get it to do so, it would not update Office, contrary to my previous experience. After reading your post, and following some searching, I found this Miscrosoft Office for Mac 2011 update link:

http://www.microsoft.com/mac/downloads

 

So I I then installed:

SP-1 (14.1.0)

Update 14.3.7 (that’s where the location of Custom Dictionary Changed)

Update 14.3.8

 

Note to others reading this: when updating Office, first clear your Trash folder before each update, and quit Office before the update. Even though I had only 30mb of data in my Trash folder, SP-1 refused to be downloaded until I cleared the Trash, per an error message. And if it says you do not have enough disk space, reboot (that also happened to me).

 

 

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Bob,

 

If you are privy to any information as to the recent habit of Word for Office 2011 for the Mac being unable to open a file after the program has been running for a while, please supply a link. It requires a Force Quit to terminate the program, then a restart.

 

That was one reason I did a fresh reinstall of Office 2011; now, the problem has returned. Logic tells me the cause is either:

 

A. Mavericks (OS X 10.9)

Or

B. One or more of the Office updates (there was no problem after the reinstall until I downloaded the updates).

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This is an unrelated issue & would be better if you'd post it as a New Question including as much pertinent detail as possible. Otherwise, it's probable that no responders (other than myself) will see the issue tacked on here, but I do not use OS X 10.9 (Mavericks).

Also, I just noticed your reference to Software Update from the Apple menu. That pertains to Apple software only -- other than certain device drivers it does nothing to update software from other vendors, such as Adobe, Microsoft, etc. They all have their own update system.

Office updates are provided by the Microsoft AutoUpdte program which can be launched at any time by going to an Office app's Help menu & selecting Check for Updates or by launching it directly. When you do, you'll see that it can be set to check automatically @ Daily, Weekly or Monthly intervals... For most users, Monthly is the best choice. As long as you have an internet connection you will be notified when updates are distributed.
Please mark HELPFUL or ANSWERED as appropriate to keep list as clean as possible ☺
Regards,
Bob J.

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Thanks.

As to autoupdate, the Help menu simply says what the program can do. It does not link to the program nor describe where it is. How do I get to the autoupdate program?

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