How to add dictionary to Mac Office 2011?


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 13, 2012
Hi all

I got an English version of Office on my MacBook, which can be very annoying sometimes because my native language is Dutch.
For example when I type in word, it autocorrects some words and after I finished writing I can't check my spelling because there's only an English dictionary.

Thanks in advance



macrumors 6502a
Apr 26, 2011
The Dictionary file was moved in an update for Office 2011. (I believe it was SP2 update.) While they moved the file(s), they left the old one in place.

Old Location: ~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Office 2011/ (you can delete this folder.

New Location: ~/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/Preferences/Office 2011/Custom Dictionary

The following steps is info I had for previous versions of Office for Mac. Let me know if this is still correct.

  • Be sure the Custom Dictionary is at the top of the list of dictionaries.
  • Go to MS Word/Preferences/Spelling & Grammar/Custom Dictionary, and browse again to your Custom Dictionary. You're best leaving language as (none).
  • Restart your computer.


Forgot to add, that Outlook uses this file to store custom words:


You can open in any text editor to edit or add. You should be able to paste the contents of the Word custom dictionary.


macrumors 6502a
Apr 26, 2011
More info from Microsoft MVP John McGhie:

"The language of the custom dictionary has no effect on the language in
which the spellchecker operates. The spelling language is controlled by
the language defined in the text, or in the style applied to the text if
there is no language marked in the text.

A language set for the Custom Dictionary controls ONLY from which language
that specific custom dictionary will accept added words.

There are 29 different English dialects. If you set your custom
dictionary to English US, that dictionary will be disabled in all the
other flavours of English. If you came to a word in text copied from a
Canadian website and wanted to add it, "Add to dictionary" would be greyed
out. You would need to create 28 more custom dictionaries, one for each
other version of English. It is highly recommended to have only ONE
custom dictionary and set that to "no language" which enables you to add
words from any version of English from which you may copy text."