How to add local place names to MS Word
February 18, 2010 1:42 AM   Subscribe

Is there a way to add local place names to Microsoft Word's spelling dictionary?

I'm currently working for the local council in Sheffield, England. Much of my time is spent producing documents which contain a lot of local place names. Whenever I run the spell check, all the local names are highlighted as mistakes. One solution for this problem would be simply to add each name as it occurs in my daily usage of the software and thus to slowly build up the dictionary with local names, but I would love to find a simpler fix which I could also pass on to my colleagues.

I was wondering if there exists a downloadable (preferably free) dictionary for MS Word of English place names?

Assuming this doesn't exist, my plan is to find a database of UK or local place names and paste the contents into a custom dictionary. Does anyone have any suggestions for how best to go about this or where to find the resources to do so?
posted by Captain Najork to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I just created a test dictionary and opened it in a text editor. The contents looks pretty vanilla: one word per line in a text editor.

So I would download a list of place names and save it as a text file, one place name per line, with a file name of the form filename.dic in the directory where the other dictionaries are kept. On my machine, that was:
C:\Documents and Settings\yourusername\Application Data\Microsoft\UProof

Here is one list of Sheffield place names you can get for free. You can probably find better if you look around.
posted by pracowity at 2:40 AM on February 18, 2010

Best answer: dont paste them in one by one.

make a new custom dictionary in word: tools/options/spelling&grammer

add a couple of words to it and save it with a distictive name

go find it and open it . It will open in notepad

paste in your list of place names and click save.

You can get 50,000 UK place names here for £15. Play with the file demo and see if it works.

I have no idea what would happen if you pasted 50,000 names into note pad.

BUT BETTER, I have a free workaround. Get the list of the 2500 biggest places from the the National Stats Office for free. You will need to cut and pastes and then parse the first column.
posted by priorpark17 at 2:48 AM on February 18, 2010

Sorry, 50,000 UK place names here
posted by priorpark17 at 2:50 AM on February 18, 2010

Response by poster: Just a quick follow up here. First, thanks for the great answers.

I started by copying the list of place names from the link pracowity suggested. I pasted these into a txt file and edited them into one column. Next I followed priorpark17's steps and then copied and pasted the list into my new custom dictionary. Works a treat! Just down to me now to add names as I use them and when I get time, find a bigger database of names to copy. Perfect starting point though, love it.

Thanks again for the help!
posted by Captain Najork at 3:54 AM on March 21, 2010

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