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: Adding Phrases to the Grammar Checker.

Adding Phrases to the Grammar Checker

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 17, 2014)

Sheryl wonders if it is possible to add commonly used phrases to the grammar check so that they are not flagged as errors. Word flags them as either "wordy" or using too many nouns or verbs in a row, but her job requires documents with these phrases. Sheryl notes that the solution may be to turn off the grammar check, which she'd rather not do (even though Word is not exactly the arbiter of good grammar).

There is not really a good way to do this in Word. You could, if desired, modify the grammar options to exclude some of the individual settings so that some of the items aren't checked by the grammar checker. You can do this by following 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. Click on the Settings button. Word displays the Grammar Settings dialog box.
  5. Make the changes you want to make in the list of options.
  6. Click on OK to close the Grammar Settings dialog box.
  7. Click on OK to close the Options dialog box.

For the issues described by Sheryl, you'll want to pay particular attention to the following options in step 4:

  • Cliches, colloquialisms and jargon
  • Sentence structure
  • Successive nouns (more than three)
  • Unclear phrasing
  • Wordiness

Disabling all or a combination of these options may resolve the problem. If it doesn't, then the best solution is to follow these general steps:

  1. Type a phrase that you use on a regular basis.
  2. Select the phrase, making sure not to include any spaces or punctuation after the phrase.
  3. Display the Language dialog box. (Choose Tools | Language | Set Language.) (See Figure 2.)
  4. Figure 2. The Language dialog box.

  5. Make sure the Do Not Check Spelling or Grammar check box is selected.
  6. Click OK.
  7. With the phrase still selected, press Alt+F3. Word displays the Create AutoText dialog box. (See Figure 3.)
  8. Figure 3. The Create AutoText dialog box.

  9. Click OK. Word creates an AutoText entry for the phrase.
  10. Delete the phrase you typed in step 1.

Now you can insert the AutoText entries in your document, as needed, and they won't be checked by the grammar checker. This is a bit more work than disabling a few grammar options, but it has the added benefit of providing a standardized way of making sure your spelling and capitalization is always correct on those phrases.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7600) 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: Adding Phrases to the Grammar Checker.

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

Getting User Input in a Dialog Box

Want to grab some interactive input from a user in your macro? The best way to do that is with the InputBox function, ...

Discover More

Turning Off Capital Corrections

Tired of having Excel second-guess you when you type a word that starts with two capital letters? You can turn off this ...

Discover More

Accurate Font Sizes

Want to get your typeface exactly the right size? Here's how you can specify just the size you want Word to use.

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)

Replacing Two Tabs with a Space in Limited Situations

The Find and Replace feature of Word is very powerful, allowing you to finely target exactly what you want to search. This ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Fragment Warnings

Word provides a wide variety of tools that ostensibly help make you a better writer. One of those tools is the grammar ...

Discover More

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
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 8Mpixels. 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 5 + 0?

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.