How to Find the Dictionary in Microsoft Word


If you need to check the definition or usage rules of a certain phrase or word, Microsoft Office contains a built-in dictionary for this purpose. You can also view the proper pronunciation of a word. While there is not direct "dictionary" button to click on, there are two ways to bring up the dictionary feature. The dictionary is accessed the same way in Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Excel.

  • Locate the "Review" tab in the top menu bar across the top of Microsoft Word and click on it once.

  • Click on the word "Research" under the "Review" tab. Depending on your computer's layout the "Research" link may be on the left side or on the far right across the top of Word.

  • Type in the word or phrase that you want to look up into the "Search" text box that appears in the "Research" window. The "Research" window appears within Word on the right side of the screen.

  • Press the "Alt" key and click once on the word or phrase in your document that you want to look up. This option is useful if you do not see the "Research" link and allows you to directly access the dictionary through the document itself.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure your computer is connected to the internet as Word will access Microsoft's web site to get the latest dictionary information.

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  • Photo Credit dictionary image by Ben Higham from
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