Word custom dictionaries: 2003 to 2007, Exclude to Exclusions, ANSI to Unicode, sucks to ROCKS!

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/03/28, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2008/03/28/8340751.aspx

Content of Michael Kaplan's personal blog not approved by Microsoft (see disclaimer)! 

Over in the Suggestion Box, Daniel García Magariños asked:

Hello there!

My proposed topic is "Exclude dictionaries" in Microsoft Word.


They are very useful but they only work in plain text.

This means that:

a) You can only use them with languages which match the encoding of the "Language for non-unicode applications" in XP. We cannot change this setting in our environment... :(
b) It does not work at all with unicode-only languages like Maltese (one of our official working languages here)

We are using Windows XP and Office XP. Is this featur Unicode-compatible in newer versions of MS Word?



It is very true that this limitation exists, though luckily Word 2007 has something better in its new renamed exclusion dictionaries (what they are called in the help files and such, with no KB article to give hints about this!).

The steps are a little different than the KB article since you have to unravel the ribbon and all....

But open up the Word Options dialog and select the Proofing tab:

and then make sure to hit that Custom Dictionaries... button.

It will open another dialog:

Now you see that file path, right? The one with the UProof rather than Proof directory?

Let's click the New... button there for a second:

You can look at those .lex files -- right click them and try to do the Open With trick, open in Notepad, and do the Save As thing to see what encoding Notepad detects.

The files are indeed Unicode encoded!

This is very cool, though the fact that the previous five versions were not doing it right was not very inspiring. :-(

At least they got it right eventually!


This post brought to you by(U+0cb9, aka KANNADA LETTER HA)

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