Microsoft KB Archive/162970

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Article ID: 162970

Article Last Modified on 1/19/2007


  • Microsoft Office 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Outlook 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Project 4.1 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Project 4.1a

This article was previously published under Q162970

IMPORTANT: This article contains information about editing the registry. Before you edit the registry, you should first make a backup copy of the registry files (System.dat and User.dat). Both are hidden files in the Windows folder.


When you attempt to use the spelling checker in any of the programs listed at the beginning of this article, you may receive one of the following error messages:

Out of memory.

The custom dictionary is full. The word was not added.

Cannot open main dictionary.

Cannot read custom dictionary.

Cannot open dictionary. Try reinstalling the spelling checker, run Microsoft Project setup from your Microsoft Project disks.

Winword caused an Invalid Page Fault in module MSSP32.DLL

Cannot read memory.

The version of the spell checker does not understand the language formatting of the custom dictionary.

These problems may also cause damage to the custom dictionary (Custom.dic) file.


If you installed Microsoft Project for Windows 95 after you installed Microsoft Office 97 for Windows, some of the Windows 95 Registry settings were changed to files that do not function correctly with Office 97 programs.


To work around this problem, use one of the following methods:

Run Setup

Run the Office 97 Setup again. After the Setup program starts and you receive the "Welcome to the Microsoft Office 97 installation maintenance program" message, click Reinstall. The Setup program will correct the registry settings automatically, and will also replace any files that were not installed during the previous setup.

You can also run Setup using the command line setup switch "/y" (without the quotation marks). NOTE:If you do not have Office 97, then run Setup for the program that you have installed. For example, if you have Microsoft Word 97, you should run the Word 97 Setup program to correct the registry settings.

Modify Incorrect Registry Keys

WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall Windows 95. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

For information about how to edit the registry, view the Changing Keys And Values online Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe). Note that you should make a backup copy of the registry files (System.dat and User.dat) before you edit the registry.

  1. Quit all Office 97 programs.
  2. click the Start button, and click Run.
  3. In the Open box, type regedit, and click OK. This will open the Windows 95 Registry.
  4. In the registry window, open the following key:

          HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Shared Tools\ 
          Proofing Tools\Spelling\1033\Normal

    This is where you will find the Dictionary and Engine keys.

  5. Click the Dictionary key to select it. On the Edit menu, click Modify. In the Edit String dialog, change the String Value to

           C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Proof\MSSP2_EN.LEX

    then click OK.

  6. Click the Engine key to select it. On the Edit menu, click Modify. In the Edit String dialog box, change the Value Data to

          C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Proof\MSSP232.DLL

    then click OK.

  7. On the Registry menu, click Exit. The Windows 95 Registry automatically saves your changes.

Create A New Custom Dictionary

  1. Rename the old custom dictionary file. For example, change Custom.dic to Custom.old.
  2. Start Microsoft Word 97.
  3. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Spelling & Grammar tab.
  4. Click Dictionaries.
  5. Click New.
  6. In the File name box, type a name for the custom dictionary; for example, Custom.dic.
  7. Click Save.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the products listed at the beginning of this article.

Additional query words: 4.10a 8.00 word8 word97 off97 xl97 spelling proof proj95

Keywords: kbfaq kbproof KB162970