Microsoft Word’s spell check feature can be useful for catching typos and grammar mistakes while you type. However, sometimes you may want to turn it off for things like code, foreign languages, or words you’ve added to your dictionary. Here’s how to disable spell check in Word.
Why You Might Want to Turn Off Spell Check
There are a few reasons why you may want to turn off the spell check feature in Word:
- You’re typing code or commands – Code and commands often have words, variables, and syntax that would get flagged by spell check. It’s easier to write without the wavy red underlines.
- You’re typing in a foreign language – If you set Word to check spelling in English, it will flag words in other languages. Disable spell check when working in a foreign language.
- There are names or terms you’ve added to your dictionary – If you’ve added custom words to your dictionary that spell check should ignore, turning spell check off prevents it from catching legitimate words.
- It’s distracting – Some writers find those little red squiggles distracting. If you’d rather focus on getting your thoughts down without interruptions, disabling spell check lets you write freely.
How to Turn Off Spell Check in Word
Temporarily Disable Spell Check
If you just want to quickly turn spell check off for your current Word document, do the following:
- Select all text in the document by pressing Ctrl + A on your keyboard or by going to the Home tab and clicking Select All.
- Go to the Review tab and click Language.
- Check the box next to Do not check spelling or grammar.
- Click OK.
Spell check will now be disabled for the current document only.
Permanently Disable Spell Check
To completely turn off spell check so that it does not run automatically on any document:
- Go to the File tab and click Options.
- Click Proofing on the left.
- Under When correcting spelling in Word, uncheck the boxes for:
- Check spelling as you type
- Mark grammar errors as you type
- Click OK.
Now spell check will be disabled as your default setting in Word. You can still run a manual spell check with F7 or by going to Review > Spelling & Grammar, but words will no longer be underlined as you type.
Benefits of Disabling Spell Check
Turning off spell check can help in several ways:
- Work faster without distractions – Those little red squiggles breaking your concentration are gone.
- Avoid flagging custom terms – Spell check won’t catch industry-specific terms, names, or words you’ve added to your custom dictionary.
- Write in other languages easily – Without changing language settings back and forth, you can disable spell check for documents in foreign languages.
- Type code without errors – Variables, commands, and other code elements won’t have the wavy red underlines that could be confusing.
Just be sure to run a manual spelling and grammar check before finalizing any important documents!
When to Turn Spell Check Back On
Once you’re done with the section or document that you disabled spell check for, turn it back on:
- To enable for just the current document, reverse the steps for temporarily disabling spell check.
- To enable spell check for all documents by default, go back to File > Options > Proofing and check those boxes under When correcting spelling in Word.
Accurate spelling and grammar are important for professional documents, so make sure you run a final check before sending anything externally.