Posted Mon, 12/06/10

Microsoft Word is ideal for most text documents, which is a good thing because it's universally accepted by 99.9% of publishers and agents.

However, Microsoft Word has its touchy areas. One of my projects over the weekend included spellchecking Part Two: Quixotic Crossings from Collective Obsessions. Sounds simple, right? It might be under normal circumstances, but not when attempting to spell-check with Canadian-English.

According to All Experts, changing the default dictionary in MS Word is easy:

On the Microsoft Windows Start menu, point to Programs, point to Microsoft Office Tools, and then click Microsoft Office 2007 Language Settings. Click Enabled Languages tab.

In the Default version of Microsoft Office box, select the language you want and then click OK. A message appears describing the effects of the change. To continue, click Continue and lose customizations.

No matter how many times I set the default to Canadian-English, the command wouldn't function beyond checking the first initial word in a document. After that, I had to manually set the dictionary back to Canadian-English from US-English. The spellchecker stopped several times per page, which grew tiresome very fast considering the document contained more than two hundred pages.

I tried pasting the text into Word Perfect, but ran against the same obstacle. Beyond the first flagged word in a document, the Canadian-English dictionary stopped working again.

Finally, I resorted to the word processor in Microsoft Works. Who would have thought this little-used program would function like it's supposed to? I was able to spell-check with the Canadian-English dictionary in Microsoft Works very quickly, and then paste the content back into Microsoft Word. Some of the formatting was a bit off, but it was easily fixable.

It might be a roundabout way of accomplishing a Canadian-English spell-check, but it worked. Better yet, I didn't have to buy a new dictionary or online service in the process.

*Related Posts: Quick Format Fix (formatting paragraphs, 08/05/10); Puter Learning (table headings on every page, 09/29/10); Uncommon Headers (inserting a header on first page only, 11/21/10); Canadian English (spell-check using MS Works, 12/06/10); Typeover Tools (typeover function on keyboard, 12/23/10); Nested CSS Menus (vertical css menus, 03/19/11). For more tips and goodies, visit the Design Notes page at Webs Divine.

Tags: Collective Obsessions; Web Design/Computer Misc