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

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 11, 2014)

5

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. ...

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What is 9 + 2?

2017-06-14 16:54:35

Farshid Tafazoli

To fix it simply press CTRL+A and then SHIFT+F1. In the opened bar on the right side of the document, under the fonts section click on LANGUAGE and from the opened windows choose English (United States) as the default font, make sure that the 'DO NOT CHECK SPELLING OR GRAMMAR' is UNCHECKED, then click on set as default. You can now browse the entire document and look for spelling errors as it will be back working.


2015-07-04 10:58:35

John

Spell check stopped working one day to the next without any setting changes by me. I looked at preferences and they are still as if the spell check should be active.


2015-06-25 13:57:31

Stephanie Feagin

Thanks for solving my problem, spellcheck now works :-)


2015-01-09 06:32:36

Steve Taylor

Well looks like the random hand of Microsoft has struck again.

The problem? Spell check works on part of the document only! 20 pages completed and functioning, next page it doesn't then check. I've changed nothing ...... fantastic


2014-12-31 12:55:56

Heidi

What if it still does not work? I already tried everything mentioned in this post, before even reading this post.


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