How To Backup a Custom Dictionary in Word

Microsoft Word’s dictionary is imperfect. It is not even close to a Webster Dictionary. No wonder why many people get used to adding red-underlined words to the Word dictionary. Doing this lets you add words that the Word does not recognize. Scientific terms, famous names, new popular words, and words in your dialect can now be added to the Word dictionary. So, the next time you use these words, they will not get the same red underline anymore.

If you are used to clicking the Add to Dictionary option, there is a big chance that you have already added so many words to the Word dictionary. You don’t want to setup the added words anymore or add them up again just in case you want to reformat your computer. Backing up the custom dictionary in Word should be done as early as now. Here’s the step-by-step procedure on how to do that:

  • Look for the custom dictionary files. By default, the custom dictionary is saved with the filename CUSTOM.dic. Dictionaries of other languages that are installed in your computer have the DIC file extension, too. The file is most probably saved in the same drive where the Microsoft Word is saved as well. The Drive C is the default location of installed files, unless you customized the location.
Here is the common location of CUSTOM.dic in a PC:
C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Microsoft\Proof
If the file is not there, better try another way—either search for the file manually or use the Search tool.
Searching each folder one by one will take a long time, though. Better use the Search feature by typing in “.dic” on the search field. Do not include the quotation. Look for a file with Custom.dic and that is your custom dictionary.
It may take some time to look for the file. If your first search is unsuccessful, better widen the location for searching. Instead of looking in one drive only, set the Search tool to look in My Computer. Searching will take some time but at least, you can be sure this will give you the result that you need.
  • Back up the custom dictionary. Click on the DIC file that you want to make a back up. Press CTRL + C or right click on the file and select Copy.
Go to the drive where you want the custom dictionary to be copied. It can be any drive in your computer. But it is better to use an external drive like a CD, memory card, or flash disk. Press CTRL + V or right click on a clear portion of the drive’s window and select “Paste.” Now, your custom dictionary has its back up copy.

Back up your custom dictionary regularly, like every month. You’ll most likely add more words in the dictionary. These new words are not included in the back up file you recently made. New words added to the custom dictionary should have their backup file, too. Follow the same steps above when you do that.


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