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: Making Spell Check Ignore Characters.

Making Spell Check Ignore Characters

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 14, 2017)

Paul wondered if there is a way to set the preferences for the spelling checker so it will ignore brackets?. When he's quoting material and changes the ending of a word, the word might look like this: deceiv[ing]. The spelling checker sees this as an error. Paul wants to configure it so that it will understand that the word to check is "deceiving" rather than "deceiv."

The short answer is that there is no way to do this. Word is rather straightforward, in that it considers the brackets to be delimiters between words. Thus, deceiv[ing] appears to be two separate words, separated by the left bracket. Even adding the word with the brackets to the custom dictionary doesn't help, as (again) Word sees it as two separate words.

There are, of course, some options that could be tried. For instance, your word fragments ("deceiv" and "ing" in this instance) could be added to the custom dictionary. They will then pass muster with the spell-checker, and won't be marked. The drawback to this is that when you include such fragments in your custom dictionary, you run the risk of missing real spelling errors in your document, such as "deceiv" being deemed OK when you should have typed "deceive."

The other option is to try to locate a different, more powerful spelling checker than the one provided with Word. This will take some research, as you'll want to find one that has the right mix of ease of use and features for your purposes. A good place to start, of course, is to type "spell checker" or "spelling checker" in your favorite search engine and see what turns up.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (435) 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: Making Spell Check Ignore Characters.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Removing Tabs Used to Indent a Paragraph

You get a document from a colleague and you notice that each paragraph starts with a tab character. Here are a couple of ways ...

Discover More

Finding an Unknown Character

Sometimes the characters that appear in a document can be hard to figure out, especially if the document came from someone ...

Discover More

Backwards Date Parsing

Enter information into a worksheet, and you come to anticipate (and count on) how Excel will interpret that information and ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (menu)

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 ...

Discover More

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 ...

Discover More

Limiting Spell Checking

Spell check a document, and Word normally checks several different dictionaries. Here's how to limit the dictionary consulted ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 8 - 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.