The basics

Language settings   Dictionaries   Other resources  


 Language settings

Use the right proofing tools for the language you’re writing in.
For AU texts, this means that you should select British English as your proofing language when writing in English.

Microsoft Office:



AU has a subscription to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) that’s available to all employees. Use the OED if you need detailed information about the meaning of a word.

Collins English Dictionary allows you to hear how words are pronounced and provides good sample sentences that show you the word used in context. There is also an excellent thesaurus on the Collins site.

If you need to know how to divide a word into syllables (syllabification), we recommend Merriam Webster.

Note: Even though it’s an English dictionary that describes itself as “the definitive record of the English language”, OED does not recognise the –ise ending commonly used in British English, but prefers –ize. Both Collins and Merriam Webster recognise both variants. See Spelling, vocabulary and usage for a more detailed discussion of when to use  –ise.

 Other resources

  • You’ll find a variety of external online references at AU’s Language Portal.
  • You’ll find thousands of AU-related and general educational terms in AU Dictionary (da-en and en-da).