I had a Microsoft Word document with a lot of pinyin in it and I got a weird error message that said, “There are too many spelling or grammatical errors in (document name)” and then the little red squiggly lines that show me misspelled words went away.
The problem was, apparently, Word has a “magic number” of spelling mistakes it can hold in it’s memory and still be able to display the red squiggly lines under misspelled words. Since it didn’t know any of the pinyin syllables, it thought of all of them as spelling errors.
The solution is, to install a new dictionary that I just whipped up based off the Pinyin Chart. It’s a simple text file that contains the 409 pinyin syllables so that Word will know those aren’t spelling mistakes.
UPDATE: Jens Farley has whipped up a dictionary for MS Word that includes the syllables with and without tones available here.
How to install the pinyin dictionary for Microsoft Word:
Pinyin Dictionary for Microsoft Word (1,000 hits)
- (right-click on this link and choose “Save link/target as…”) and save it in a place where you can store it forever (like My Documents)
- open Microsoft Word
- go to the Tools menu > Options > Spelling and Grammar tab > Custom Dictionaries button
- on the Custom Dictionaries screen click “Add…” and browse to wherever you saved the pinyin.dic file
- make sure the check mark is checked next to “pinyin.doc”
- click “OK” to get back to the “Spelling and Grammar” tab
- if you’ve already gotten the same error I got about having to many errors, click the “Recheck Document” button to let Word have a look at your document again now that the pinyin dictionary is installed.
- You’re done. Click “Close” to get out of the options screen.
Of course, this dictionary doesn’t contain compound syllables like “zhege” nor does it have tones on the syllables. If someone would like to add those things to this dictionary (or if it already exists) please let me know!