Adding to the Thesaurus on Microsoft Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding to the Thesaurus on Microsoft Word is a simple process that can enhance your writing experience. To do this, right-click on a word, select ‘Synonyms’, and then ‘Thesaurus’. In the Thesaurus pane, add your desired words to the list by clicking on ‘Add’ or ‘Add to Thesaurus’.

After adding new words to the Thesaurus, you’ll have a customized database of synonyms to choose from, making your writing process smoother and more efficient.


When writing in Microsoft Word, have you ever found yourself stuck trying to find the perfect synonym for a word? Well, there’s good news! Microsoft Word has a built-in Thesaurus that can help you find alternative words, and the best part is, you can actually add to this Thesaurus. But why is this important, and who could benefit from such a feature?

The Thesaurus is a writer’s best friend, whether you’re a student aiming for diversity in your essays, a novelist looking for that perfect descriptor, or a professional drafting an engaging business proposal. A robust Thesaurus helps avoid repetition, enhances vocabulary, and enriches language usage, making your writing more compelling and varied. However, sometimes the provided synonyms may not suffice, or you may want to include industry-specific jargon or slang. That’s where adding to the Thesaurus comes in – it personalizes your writing tool, tailoring it to your specific needs and writing style.

Step-by-Step Tutorial to Add to the Thesaurus

Before diving into the steps, it’s worth noting that by adding words to the Thesaurus, you’re essentially creating a personalized writing assistant. This tailored approach will not only improve your vocabulary but will also save you time by having your preferred synonyms at the ready.

Step 1: Open the Thesaurus

Right-click on the word you’d like to find synonyms for, then select ‘Synonyms’ and click ‘Thesaurus’.

The Thesaurus pane will open on the right side of your Word document, displaying a list of synonyms for the selected word.

Step 2: Add Your Words

In the Thesaurus pane, click on ‘Add’ or ‘Add to Thesaurus’ to include your new words.

Remember that you can add multiple synonyms for any given word, which will give you more options to choose from when editing or revising your work.

Step 3: Save the Changes

Once you’ve added your words, make sure to save the changes to update your Thesaurus.

By saving the changes, your personalized synonyms will be available for you every time you use Microsoft Word.


Enhances VocabularyAdding to the Thesaurus allows for a richer vocabulary, providing more options for word choice.
Saves TimeHaving a customized list of synonyms saves time during revision, as your preferred words are readily accessible.
Improves Writing QualityA diverse vocabulary can elevate the quality of writing, making it more engaging and professional.


May be Time ConsumingInitially, adding to the Thesaurus may take some time, especially if you have a long list of words to include.
Limited to One DeviceThe customized Thesaurus is typically limited to the device on which you’ve added the words, which can be inconvenient if you switch computers.
Potential for OveruseHaving a set of preferred synonyms can lead to overuse of certain words, which may hinder the variety of your language usage.

Additional Information

When adding to the Thesaurus on Microsoft Word, there are a few things to keep in mind. Make sure that the synonyms you add are accurate and contextually appropriate. Adding words that have nuanced meanings can enhance your writing but be careful not to dilute the intended message with ambiguous synonyms. Also, consider the audience and the context of your writing. Industry-specific terms may be beneficial for technical reports, but they might confuse readers in a more general context.

Another tip is to regularly review and update your personalized Thesaurus. Language evolves, and the relevance of certain terms can change over time. By keeping your Thesaurus up-to-date, you ensure its effectiveness and maintain the freshness of your writing.

Finally, while the process of adding to the Thesaurus is relatively straightforward, it’s worth exploring Word’s other language tools. Features such as the Dictionary, Translation, and Read Aloud can also significantly enhance your writing and editing process.


  1. Open the Thesaurus by right-clicking on a word and selecting ‘Synonyms’ > ‘Thesaurus’.
  2. Add your preferred words by clicking on ‘Add’ or ‘Add to Thesaurus’.
  3. Save the changes to update your Thesaurus with the new words.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I add phrases to the Thesaurus?

No, the Thesaurus in Microsoft Word is generally limited to single words.

Will my added synonyms sync across devices with Microsoft 365?

Synonyms added to the Thesaurus are typically stored locally on your device and won’t sync across devices unless you’re using a shared custom dictionary feature in Microsoft 365.

Is there a limit to how many words I can add to the Thesaurus?

There isn’t a specific limit, but excessive additions could potentially slow down the performance of Microsoft Word.

Can I share my customized Thesaurus with others?

While there’s no direct feature to share the Thesaurus, you can guide others through the process of adding words, or use a shared custom dictionary if available.

Can I remove words I’ve added to the Thesaurus?

Yes, you can remove words from the Thesaurus by editing the custom dictionary where the additions are stored.


In conclusion, adding to the Thesaurus on Microsoft Word is a nifty way to make your writing more dynamic and suited to your personal or professional needs. With this feature, you can expand your vocabulary, save time on editing, and ultimately improve the quality of your written work.

Remember, the key to a powerful Thesaurus is not just in the quantity of synonyms available, but in the careful selection of words that truly enhance the clarity and impact of your writing. Keep experimenting with language, and happy writing!

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