Google Docs is a popular word processing software that allows real-time collaboration between multiple users. One of the handiest features it offers is an inbuilt spell checker that highlights spelling and grammar mistakes as you type. This helps produce high-quality and error-free documents.
This article provides a step-by-step guide on how to run a spell check in Google Docs and leverage the full potential of this useful feature.
Enable Spell Check in Google Docs
Before using the spell check tool, you first need to enable it:
- Open the Google Docs document
- Click on Tools > Spelling and grammar in the toolbar
- Check the boxes next to Show spelling suggestions and Show grammar suggestions
- Click Done
Once enabled, Google Docs will start underlining potential errors in red (for spelling) and blue (for grammar).
Set Your Default Language
Google Docs allows you to choose the language to check spelling and grammar against.
To set your default proofing language:
- Go to Tools > Spelling and grammar > Set proofing language
- Select the desired language from the dropdown menu
- Click Save
Setting the right language ensures you get contextually relevant suggestions.
Use the Context Menu
As you type, you may notice some words being underlined in red or blue indicating a potential error. Here is how to leverage the context menu:
- Right click on the underlined word
- A dropdown will appear with suggested corrections
- Click the appropriate suggestion to replace with the right spelling/grammar
- Alternatively, click Ignore or Ignore All to overlook the suggestion
Using the context menu is the quickest way to address errors flagged by the spell checker.
Add Words to Your Dictionary
There might be instances where Google Docs highlights proper nouns, technical jargon or intentionally misspelled words as errors.
To avoid this, you can add such words to your personal dictionary:
- Right click on the underlined word
- Click on Add to dictionary
- The word will now be remembered for future use
Adding special words prevents Google Docs from repeatedly flagging them as incorrect spellings.
Review Spell Check Suggestions
For longer documents, it is better to review all the suggestions at once rather than individually. Here are the steps:
- Click on Tools > Spelling and grammar > Spelling and grammar check
- A separate window will open highlighting errors one by one
- Click Change or Change All to accept the suggestion
- Click Ignore or Ignore All to overlook it
- Click Done once you review all errors
Reviewing all errors together allows you to improve the overall quality of the document.
Modify Spell Check Behavior
You can customize the way spell check works in Google Docs by modifying its settings:
- Go to Tools > Preferences
- Check or uncheck Show spelling suggestions, Show grammar suggestions and Automatic substitutions as per your preference
- Click Ok
Tweaking these settings gives you granular control over the spell check functionality.
Instead of clicking through menu items, you can use these handy keyboard shortcuts:
- Ctrl + Alt + X – Initiate spell check
- F7 – Check spelling and grammar
- Ctrl + ; – Display spelling suggestions
Keyboard shortcuts help optimize your workflow when working with longer documents.
Install Browser Extensions
While Google Docs has an inbuilt spell checker, third-party extensions like Grammarly and LanguageTool further enhance its capabilities by offering additional writing suggestions. These can be easily installed as browser extensions.
Use Google Docs Spell Check on Mobile
The Google Docs app for Android and iOS also offers spell check functionality:
- Tap on the three dot menu icon
- Select Spellcheck
- Review and apply suggestions
- There is no native spell check feature on iOS yet
- Consider installing third-party keyboard apps offering spell check instead
This allows you to write error-free documents on the go using your mobile devices.
The spell check feature is an indispensable tool for creating professional, high-quality documents with Google Docs. This article should have provided you a good understanding of how to leverage it effectively.
The next time you use Google Docs for writing, don’t forget to take advantage of its spelling and grammar checker. Doing so will not only improve the readability of your documents but also save you ample time and effort.
So turn on spell check and say goodbye to embarrassing typos!