Microsoft Word is the most widely used word processor globally, with over 1 billion users. Having accurate spelling and grammar in Word documents is critical for professional communications and avoiding embarrassing mistakes.
Fortunately, Word has robust built-in tools to catch errors and help you write properly. This article will walk you through exactly how to use these spell check and grammar check features in Word to improve your documents.
Enable Automatic Spell and Grammar Checking
Word automatically checks for spelling and basic grammar errors by default as you type. You’ll see wavy red underlines for spelling errors and wavy blue underlines for grammar problems.
To enable or disable this automatic checking:
- Go to the File tab > Options > Proofing
- Check or uncheck the boxes for “Check spelling as you type” and “Mark grammar errors as you type”
- Click OK
It’s recommended to keep these enabled so Word gives you instant feedback as you write.
Manually Run a Spell and Grammar Check
You can also manually initiate a spelling & grammar scan of your document at any time:
- Go to the Review tab
- Click Spelling & Grammar
- Word will scan the entire document for errors
- Make corrections as needed in the pane on the right
Some common actions in the Spelling & Grammar pane:
- Click a suggested correction to change the misspelled or poor grammar word/phrase
- Click Ignore once or Ignore All to leave as-is
- Click Add to add the word to the dictionary so it’s not flagged again
Adjust Grammar and Spell Check Settings
You can customize what grammar and spelling rules Word checks for:
- Go to File > Options > Proofing
- Click Settings next to Writing Style
- Check or uncheck boxes for grammar and spelling rules to enable or disable each check
For example, you can disable checks for passive voice, redundancies, wordiness, and more based on your preferences.
Check Document Grammar and Spelling in Other Languages
If your Word document contains other languages, you can check grammar and spelling appropriately for those languages:
- Select the text in the other language
- Go to Review tab
- Click Language and choose the correct language for that text
- Word will now check grammar and spelling based on rules for that language
This ensures foreign words like names and places are not incorrectly flagged as errors.
Here are some common spell check and grammar check issues and fixes:
- Words not detected as misspelled: Go to File > Options > Proofing and check if the “Do not check spelling or grammar” box is incorrectly checked. Uncheck it.
- Spelling and grammar not checked in other languages: Make sure support for that language is enabled in File > Options > Language. Check or install the language accessory pack.
- Automatic checking disabled: Go to File > Options > Proofing and make sure “Check spelling as you type” and “Mark grammar errors as you type” boxes are checked.
Using Word’s built-in spelling and grammar tools is critical for error-free, professional documents.
Enable automatic checking to get instant feedback as you type. Manually run a spelling and grammar scan before finalizing any document.
Adjust settings to fine-tune the checks to your preferences. Set the correct language for text in other languages.
Following these best practices will help you produce polished, mistake-free Word documents.