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-Check Won't Work.

Spell-Check Won't Work

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 31, 2019)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


One of the powerful tools provided with Word is the spell checker. As you are creating your documents, you may notice that Word doesn't always find spelling errors. There are two things you can check if this is the case.

First, if the misspelled words are in uppercase, you may have spell checking turned off for words that are all in uppercase. To turn on this capability, follow these steps:

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

  4. Make sure the Ignore Words in UPPERCASE check box is cleared.
  5. Click on OK.

Next, if entire paragraphs are being ignored, it could be because proofing has been turned off for the paragraph. Follow these steps to correct this problem in Word 97:

  1. Select the paragraph in question.
  2. Choose Language from the Tools menu. This displays the Language dialog box.
  3. In the language list at the left of the dialog box, make sure (no proofing) is not selected. (Select a different language, such as one of the English variations.)
  4. Click on OK.

If you are using Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003, the steps are slightly different:

  1. Select the paragraph in question.
  2. Choose Language from the Tools menu, then Set Language from the resulting submenu. Word displays the Language dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  3. Figure 2. The Language dialog box.

  4. Clear the Do Not Check Spelling or Grammar check box.
  5. Click on OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5596) 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-Check Won't Work.

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

Putting Character Codes to Work

If you know the character codes for some characters of interest, you can use those codes to do lots of tasks. This tip ...

Discover More

Selecting to the Next Punctuation Mark

Writing macros often involves selecting different parts of your document so that some sort of processing can be ...

Discover More

Viewing Comments

Adding comments to a document is a normal activity when writing and editing. Once comments have been added, you may ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

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 ...

Discover More

Hiding Errors

If you find the green and red squiggly underlines that Word adds to your document distracting, you might want a quick way ...

Discover More

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? ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 one less than 8?

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.

Videos
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.