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: Spell Checking Only Checking Grammar.

Spell Checking Only Checking Grammar

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 13, 2017)

Janelle is having some trouble with her spell checking. She has checked all the settings in Word and they are all as they should be—language set to English, proofing enabled, etc. The problem is that Word only checks grammar and punctuation, not the actual spelling. Janelle wonders what could be causing this condition.

The resolution to this problem is probably going to take a bit of detective work. The first thing to determine is whether the problem occurs with all documents or with only some of your documents. If it happens with some documents, then it may be that the documents themselves are the cause of the problem. You'll want to check to make sure that the documents have the language properly set for each paragraph. For example, if the language for the paragraphs is set to (say) German and you don't have the German proofing tools fully installed, then you won't get the results you want.

If the problem occurs with all documents, then you'll want to check (once again) all the configuration settings in Word. Choose Options from the Tools menu, then make sure the Spelling & Grammar tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Spelling & Grammar tab of the Options dialog box.

You'll probably want to make sure that the first four check boxes are marked as shown in the screen shot. If these settings are correct and you still have the problem, then it is possible that your dictionary file has somehow been deleted. If you run the Office installer program, you can reinstall the support files that Word needs to run the spelling check.

Finally, if you continue to have woes with spell checking, you might find this article helpful:

http://www.timeatlas.com/5_minute_tips/annoyances/word_spell_check_woes

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (574) 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: Spell Checking Only Checking Grammar.

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

Handling Long Lines in Address Labels

When you print address labels, you only have a limited amount of horizontal space for each line of the label. If your ...

Discover More

Changing the Office Assistant

How to change the Office Assistant character in Word.

Discover More

Saving a Workbook with a Preview

When you save your workbooks, Excel can also save a preview image (thumbnail) that can be displayed in the Open dialog ...

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)

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

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 ...

Discover More

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 ...

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 five more than 7?

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.