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What File Contains My Personalized Dictionary in Word 2003?

by Candid11 / October 17, 2006 8:03 AM PDT

I have to reinstall my entire XP professional Operating system. However, I do a lot of writing and have personalized the dictionary and "auto-correct spellchecker" in my copy of Word 2003. I have added many words that are in the English dictionary but that Microsoft?s Word for some reason doesn't recognize as being correct English. Further, I have added many of my own misspellings; common ways that in my rush to type, I misspell words, thus letting Microsoft Word know how to correct those spelling mistakes accurately.

My question is... what file in Microsoft Word 2003 contains those files? Can I copy this file and save it? Then can I paste the saved file to Microsoft Word after I reinstall the operating system? Can anyone out there help me?

Thank you in advance... Candid11

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Re: word files
by Kees Bakker / October 17, 2006 5:27 PM PDT


I don't know about Word 2003, but I can tell you about Word XP and previous versions.

I would start with having a look at Tools>Options>File Locations. That shows the folder these files are in, but it might be wrong or incomplete.

Custom dictionaries have a file extension of .*** (like custom.***, the default one) and the autocorrect list has a file extension of .acl.

Go into My Computer>Tools>Folder Options>View and UNCHECK "hide extension for known file types". Then search for *.*** and *.acl. I suppose they are somewhere in your My Documents and Settings.

You can copy these files to a safe location (burn to CD or copy to a USB stick) or do a non-destructive reinstall of Windows XP, so they they where they are. If you configure everything the same after the reinstallation of Windows, you can just copy them back to the same locations. But it could be the new config expects them on a different location. Then simply fill a few entries, check where the new files are and copy the old ones to that location.

If these files contain information you don't want to lose, I would recommend to include them on your regular backup, combined with all other files you do backup (like documents and photo's).

- The autocorrect lists seem to be different in Word 2003. tells all about it. I don't really now:;en-us;207748 was the old one for Office 2000, and it doesn't mention .acl either. You have some research to do, I'm afraid.

Hope this helps.


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by entrecon / October 17, 2006 10:59 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: word files

To find where a custom dictionary is located in office 2003:

Tools>Options>Spelling&Grammer>Custom Dictionaries

The full path will be listed at the bottom when you click on the dictionary.

BTW: If you are using specialized words you can add in dictionaries. i.e. if you are doing medical transcription you might want to add a medical dictionary.

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