How to fix Outlook Express Spell Check when Office 2007 is installed

Installing Windows Office 2007 on a Windows XP machine causes Outlook Express to loose it’s dictionaries except for French (not sure why just the French survives).  And as such, spell check is broken as well.

Microsoft does know about the issue but apparently does not want to do anything about it.  It seems that it is in their best interest to not fix the issue since they have a new operating system out.  Microsoft replaced Outlook Express in Vista with Windows Mail.

Microsoft’s KB: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/932974

Solution:

You have two options, If you have the install CD for any of the previous Windows 2003 Office Programs or Stand alone Word, Excel or Outlook then you can fix the issue by installing the proofing tools via the Custom Install Option.  Or you can download a 3rd Party Dictionary Such as SpellOE, Spell Checker for OE or TinySpell.

Proofing Tools

  1. Insert the CD and run the setup
  2. Enter the Key, User Info and accept the EULA
  3. Choose the Custom Install option
  4. Remove the check marks from all of the programs and place a check in the “Choose advanced customization of applications”
  5. In the nest screen, set each top level item to Not Available.
  6. Expand the Office Shared Features branch
  7. Expand Proofing Tools
  8. Choose English, setting it to Run from my computer
  9. Complete the installation.

When the installation is completed, start Outlook Express and check to see that the Spelling is configure to use the English dictionary.

  1. Open Outlook Express
  2. Go to Tools > Options > Spelling Tab

– OR –

Install a Third Party Outlook Express Spell Checker.  A simple search on Google will result in a few listings.  Here are three that seem to work well, are easy to install and are free.

SpellOE:

http://www.snapfiles.com/get/spelloe.html

Spell Checker for OE:

http://www.majorgeeks.com/download.php?det=2952

TinySpell:

http://www.tinyspell.m6.net/

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