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Hiding Spelling Errors

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Hiding Spelling Errors.

Word includes a feature that checks up on the spelling and grammar in your document as you type. You've seen the results—the red and green squiggly underlines that mark spelling and grammar errors that you may want to create.

For some people, the red underlines that denote spelling problems can be distracting, since their appearance can break your concentration as you are composing your document. Perhaps you would rather do your spell checking as a discrete phase of document development at a later time. If you find the red squiggly underlines distracting, you can turn them off. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Spelling & Grammar tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Spelling & Grammar tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Make sure the Hide Spelling Errors in This Document check box is selected.
  5. Click on OK.

Any existing red squiggly underlines should disappear. In order to check your spelling you will now explicitly need to start the spell checker.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (905) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Hiding Spelling Errors.

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