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: Allowing Passive Voice in Writing.

Allowing Passive Voice in Writing

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 21, 2015)

Sheryl prefers passive voice for some of her writing (such as business documents and correspondence), rather than active voice. The grammar checker on Word always marks instances of passive voice. Sheryl would like to turn off the portion of the grammar checker that checks for passive voice so that it is not marked as an error.

Word allows you to choose which grammar checking rules it follows and which it doesn't. To change this particular setting (the one for passive voice), follow these steps:

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

  4. Click on the Settings button near the bottom of the dialog box. Word displays the Grammar Settings dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  5. Figure 2. The Grammar Settings dialog box.

  6. In the list of Style options, make sure there is no check mark next to the Passive Sentences option. Clearing the check box ensures that Word won't enforce that grammar rule during its checking of your document.
  7. Click on OK to close the Grammar Settings dialog box.
  8. Click on OK to close the Options dialog box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3901) 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: Allowing Passive Voice in Writing.

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

Unwanted Data Changes

The AutoCorrect feature in Excel can change some of your data in ways you don't like. If you discover this is happening, ...

Discover More

Automatic Numbers with Leading Zeroes

Word's automatic numbering formats allow you to easily create lists that have one leading zero. If you want more than one ...

Discover More

Wiping a Drive

Want to easily improve the security of your old data? Here's an addition to the venerable format command that can help.

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

MORE WORDTIPS (MENU)

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 ...

Discover More

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 ...

Discover More

Hiding Spelling Errors

When you are typing in a document, Word normally checks your spelling in the background, marking possible spelling errors as ...

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 for this tip:

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.

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.

Links and Sharing
Share