Checking Spelling and Grammar

Using spell check in Word can prevent errors from appearing. Use the Word spell check function to produce error-free Word documents.

Introduction

Lesson 6

Are you worried about making mistakes when you type? Don't be. Word provides you with several proofing features that will help you produce professional, error-free documents. In this lesson, you will learn about the various proofing features, including the spelling and grammar tool.

Checking spelling and grammar

Video: Spelling and Grammar in Word 2010

Launch video!Watch the video (3:07).

To make your document appear professional, you'll want to make sure it is free from spelling and grammar errors. Word has several options for checking your spelling. You can run a spelling and grammar check, or you can allow Word to check your spelling automatically as you type.

Optional: You can download this example for extra practice.

To run a spelling and grammar check:

  1. Go to the Review tab.
  2. Click on the Spelling & Grammar command.
    The Spelling and Grammar command The Spelling & Grammar command
  3. The Spelling and Grammar dialog box will open. For each error in your document, Word will try to offer one or more suggestions. You can select a suggestion and click Change to correct the error.
    Correcting a spelling error Correcting a spelling error
  4. If no suggestions are given, you can manually type the correct spelling.
    Typing a correction Typing a correction

Ignoring "errors"

The spelling and grammar check is not always correct. Particularly with grammar, there are many errors Word will not notice. There are also times when the spelling and grammar check will say something's an error when it's actually not. This often happens with people's names, which may not be in the dictionary.

If Word says something is an error, you can choose not to change it. Depending on whether it's a spelling or grammar error, you can choose from several options:

For spelling "errors"

For grammar "errors"

If you're not sure about a grammar error, you can click Explain to see why Word thinks it's an error. This can help you determine whether you want to change it.

Automatic spelling and grammar checking

By default, Word automatically checks your document for spelling and grammar errors, so you may not even need to run a separate spelling and grammar check. These errors are indicated by colored wavy lines.

A contextual spelling error occurs when the wrong word is used but the word is spelled correctly. For example, if you write Deer Mr. Theodore at the beginning of a letter, deer is a contextual spelling error because dear should have been used. Deer is spelled correctly, but it is used incorrectly in this letter.

To use the spelling check feature:

  1. Right-click the underlined word. A menu will appear.
  2. Click the correct spelling of the word from the listed suggestions.
  3. The corrected word will appear in the document.
    Correcting a spelling error Correcting a spelling error

You can choose to Ignore an underlined word, add it to the dictionary, or go to the Spelling dialog box for more options.

To use the grammar check feature:

  1. Right-click the underlined word or phrase. A menu will appear.
  2. Click the correct phrase from the listed suggestions.
  3. The corrected phrase will appear in the document.
    Correcting a grammar error Correcting a grammar error

You can also choose to Ignore an underlined phrase, go to the Grammar dialog box, or click About This Sentence for information on the grammar rule.

To change the automatic spelling and grammar check settings:

    1. From Backstage view, click Options.
      Clicking the Options command Clicking the Options command
    2. Select Proofing. The dialog box gives you several options to choose from.
      • If you don't want Word to automatically check spelling, uncheck Check spelling as you type.
      • If you don't want grammar errors to be marked, uncheck Mark grammar errors as you type.
      • To check for contextual spelling errors, check Use contextual spelling.
Changing the Proofing Options Changing the Proofing Options

If you've turned off the automatic spelling and/or grammar checks, you can still run a check by going to the Review tab and clicking the Spelling & Grammar button.

To hide spelling and grammar errors in a document:

If you're sharing a document like a resume with someone, you might not want that person to see those annoying red, green, and blue lines. Turning off the automatic spelling and grammar checks only applies to your computer, so the lines may still show up when someone else views your document. Luckily, you can hide spelling and grammar errors in a document so the lines will not show up on any computer.

  1. From Backstage view, click Options.
  2. Select Proofing.
  3. In the drop-down box next to "Exceptions for:" select the correct document (if you have more than one document open).
    Creating exceptions for a document Creating exceptions for a document
  4. Put a check mark next to Hide spelling errors in this document only and Hide grammar errors in this document only.
  5. Click OK.

Challenge!

  1. Open an existing Word document. If you want, you can use this example.
  2. Correct the spelling errors.
  3. Correct the grammar errors.