Spelling and Grammar Checking
Tips, Tricks, and Answers
The following articles are available for the 'Spelling and Grammar Checking' topic. Click the article''s title (shown in bold) to see the associated article.
Adding Phrases to the Grammar Checker
Word’s grammar checker dutifully tries to mark all the questionable grammar in your sentences. If you are tired of a certain phrase or group of words triggering the squiggly green line used by the grammar checker, you may wonder if you can add acceptable phrases that will be skipped in the checking. You can’t, but there are some things you can do, as described in this tip.
Allowing Passive Voice in Writing
When you have Word do grammar-checking on your document, it typically marks everything it considers wrong with the way you write. This includes marking sentences that appear to use "passive" voice. You can, however, turn off this grammar rule so that Word ignores whether you use passive voice or not.
Allowing Sentence Fragments
Grammar, particularly in English, has a perplexing array of rules and exceptions to those rules. Word does a fairly good job of checking the grammar of your prose, but you may want to adjust what it checks. For instance, you may not want it to check for sentence fragments. Here’s how.
Changing between English Variants
What is the easiest way to switch between English spelling variants in a document? This tip examines a couple of ways you can handle the desired conversion.
Changing How Word Flags Compound Words
It is not uncommon to add hyphens between words to help clarify the meaning of your prose. You might even add non-breaking hyphens so that the two connected words stay on the same line. But if doing so means that Word flags your connected words as somehow in error, then you might rightly question what is going on. This tip examines the problem and discusses a couple of ways you can try to get around it.
Checking for Incorrect Numbers in Text
One of the grammar rules you can check for in a document is the incorrect use of numbers. If you are unsure when to use digits and when to spell numbers out, this tip shows you how to make Word double-check your prose.
Checking for Sentences Beginning with Conjunctions
In my English classes in junior high, I would get marked down if I started sentences with a conjunction. (“There’s a reason they are called conjunctions,” said the teacher. “They serve as a junction between two independent phrases.”) If you are tired of getting mark-downs for a grammatical bad habit, here’s how Word can help.
Checking Up On Numbers
When do you use digits in your prose and when do you spell out the numbers? Why not let Word help you make the decision? Here's how.
Configuring Spell Check for Internet Addresses
When writing technical documents, URLs are a common thing to include in your text. Normally Word will mark these as incorrectly spelled. You can, however, configure Word so that it ignores them.
Context Menus, Spell Checking, and Common Tasks
Automatic Spell Checking can change your menu options.
Correctly Repeated Words
There are times when you need to repeat a word in a document, but doing so triggers an "error reaction" from Word's spelling checker. Here are some ways that you can force Word to accept your intentional repetitions.
Dictionary Shortcut Key
Need a quick way to display the dictionary or other grammar tools? Use one of the handy built-in shortcuts provided by Word.
DLL Problem with Spell Check
Word 2002 has an issue with the SpellCheck feature returning a dll error.
Editing While Spell-Checking
When you run a spell-check on a document, you may end up seeing other things that need to be edited. Never fear; you can do the edits without jumping out of the in-process spell-check.
Ensuring that Spell Checking is Enabled in All Styles
Ever want to enable spell checking in all of the styles within a document, but don’t want to check each and every one individually? Here are some ideas you can use to make sure that all the styles in a document (or template) don't turn off the spell checking of a paragraph.
Fast Spelling Corrections
Want to correct the spelling of a word that Word thinks is improperly spelled? A quick way to do it is to right-click the misspelled word, as explained in this tip.
Getting Rid of Fragment Warnings
Word provides a wide variety of tools that ostensibly help make you a better writer. One of those tools is the grammar checker. You might not like all the suggestions provided by this tool, however. Here's how to tailor what warning messages you see when your grammar is checked.
If you find the green and red squiggly underlines that Word adds to your document distracting, you might want a quick way to hide them. Here's the absolute fastest way to get them out of your sight.
Hiding Grammar Errors
Are you bothered by the green underlines that Word uses to mark potential grammar errors in your document? You can hide those potential errors by following the steps in this tip.
Hiding Spelling Errors
When you are typing in a document, Word normally checks your spelling in the background, marking possible spelling errors as you go. If the markings bother you, here's how you can turn them off.
Ignoring the Spelling of Proper Nouns
Proper nouns (such as the names of people) are routinely marked as incorrect by Word's spell checker. If you are tired of them being marked incorrectly, you may be interested in the ideas presented in this tip.
Ignoring Words Containing Numbers
If your writing often contains words that include numbers, you’ll want to make sure you set up the spelling checker to ignore them. Here’s how to do it.
Limiting a Spelling Check
When you perform a spelling check, Word typically checks everything in your document. If you want to limit what is checked, the key is to understand how Word determines what should be checked and what shouldn't. This tip examines how you can place limits on what is being checked.
Limiting Spell Checking
Spell check a document, and Word normally checks several different dictionaries. Here's how to limit the dictionary consulted by Word when doing the check.
Making Ignore All Work for a Document on All Systems
When you tell Word's spell checker to ignore all instances of a misspelling, you may expect that the misspelling will be ignored on other systems that may open the document. This isn't how Word works, however. This tip explains what you can do to get the results you want.
Making Spell Check Ignore Characters
The rules of professional editing often require that editorial changes in a quote be noted with brackets. These brackets, while essential, cause problems with Word's spelling checker. This tip discusses some options to remove those problems.
Marking Gender-Specific Grammar
Some people feel that your writing can be better if you remove gender-specific language it may contain. Here's how you can enlist Word's help in tracking down potential violations so you can get rid of them.
Normal Words Flagged by Spell Check
What do you do when Word’s spelling check marks some common, everyday words as wrong? Here are some ideas of places you can check.
Only Showing Readability Statistics
Perform a grammar check, and Word displays some statistics that represent an analysis of your words. By writing a macro you can access these statistics and display whatever part of them you want.
Pulling Out Spelling Errors
Unless you are creating a very short document, chances are good that your prose will contain spelling errors. If you want to collect all those spelling errors in a single place, you’ll find the macro in this tip to be invaluable.
Quickly Accessing Spelling and Grammar Options
You can change the way Word handles spelling and grammar checks through the menus. But there is a quicker way to access the dialog box where you set your preferences. This tip will save you valuable time when making simple changes to this feature.
Rechecking Spelling and Grammar
If you ever need to check the spelling or grammar of a document from scratch, it can be confusing knowing the proper steps to follow. Here's how you can instruct Word to start checking all over, with a clean slate.
Replacing Two Tabs with a Space in Limited Situations
The Find and Replace feature of Word is very powerful, allowing you to finely target exactly what you want to search. This tip examines one such scenario, where fine targeting is required.
Separating Grammar-Checking from Spell-Checking
Most of the time Word will check both grammar and spelling at the same time. You can, however, instruct the program to separate the two checks from each other. Here's how.
Setting Grammar-Checking Options
When Word checks the grammar it thinks you are using in your prose, it follows a set of rules. Fortunately the program allows you to adjust how those rules are applied. Here's how.
Setting Spell-Checking Options
Like many things in Word, you can configure the way the spelling checker does its job. If you want to exercise more control over the spelling checker, use the steps in this tip.
Spell Check Misses Misspelled Words
If you do a spelling check and notice that Word doesn't catch a word that you know is misspelled, it is easy to get frustrated. The reasons for the misses could be many, as explored in this tip.
Spell Checking Forms
Word may be used to create protected forms that limit where the user may input data. Normally spell checking is disabled in protected documents. This tip shows how to enable spell checking in protected forms.
Spell Checking Only Checking Grammar
Word has a built-in spelling and grammar checker that can help reduce errors in your prose. It may be a bit confusing if your spelling checker stops working, but the grammar checker keeps plugging along. Here's some ideas on things you can check to correct this condition.
Spell Checking when Closing Documents
When you close a document, you might want to do one final check of the spelling, just to make sure that you didn't miss anything. Using one of Word's automatic macros (AutoClose) you can make sure that the final spelling check is done.
Spell Checking with Text Boxes
Text boxes are a common design element in a document. You may wonder if the text you place in a text box can be spell checked. The answer is definitely positive, as discussed in this tip.
Spell Checking Your Document
One of the final touches that many people perform is to check the spelling of their document. This can help improve the document’s quality and save you from potentially embarrassing gaffes. Here’s how you can quickly check your document’s spelling.
Spell-Check Won't Work
Having problems making spell check work on a portion of your document? There are two primary causes for such an occurrence, and both causes are discussed in this tip.
Need to make sure that Word includes abbreviations when you check a document's spelling? Here’s how to make sure that those abbreviations are not left out.
Spell-Checking from the Keyboard
If you hate to take your hands from the keyboard, even to right-click on a word, you'll love the information in this tip. You'll discover that you need the mouse even less than you thought!
Spell-checking Uppercase Words
When Word checks the spelling of a document, it can either check or ignore words that are in uppercase letters. Here's how to throw the switch that controls this option.
Spelling Errors on Internet Addresses
Tired of Word marking Internet addresses as spelling errors? You can turn off this check by applying the steps in this tip.
Spelling Errors Resulting from Erroneous Spaces
Spelling errors can result from improperly ordering letters in a word, or from adding spaces where they shouldn’t be. This tip examines how you can correct spelling errors when you add those extra spaces in the middle of words.
Turning Off Proofing for Superscripts
When you add superscripts to words in your document, you may not want those superscripts to be spell-checked. Here’s how to disable the checking of your superscripts.
Turning Off Spell Checking
For some documents, you may not want spell checking turned on. There are two ways that you can turn it off, depending on whether you want to affect the entire document or only a portion of one. This tip covers both methods.