Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 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: Quickly Finding Synonyms.

Quickly Finding Synonyms

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 28, 2016)

Long-time users of Word know that the program offers several different writing tools you can use, such as a spell checker, grammar checker, and thesaurus. You can easily find synonyms for a word (from the thesaurus, of course) by right-clicking on a word and then choosing Synonyms from the resulting Context menu.

As you are using this feature, you may notice that it is not available at all times. If there are no synonyms, for instance, then it doesn't make sense to offer the option. In addition, the Synonym option won't be available on the Context menu if the original word is in a bulleted list, a numbered list, if it is misspelled, part of a marked grammar error, or if it is part of a hyperlink.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (471) applies to Microsoft Word 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Quickly Finding Synonyms.

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. ...


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