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Spell check in Word: Every Writer’s Friend

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To avoid embarrassing sentences like the one you just read, Microsoft Word has a feature under its proofing tools called Spelling & Grammar.

First, it was just spell checker, soon afterward the grammar checking tool was merged with it.

However, this tutorial is going to focus on spell check for Microsoft word. For grammar check for Word, read this article.

How do you check your spellings in MS Word?

There are three ways you can check your spellings in Microsoft Word. Two of these options involved using MS Office spell check tools: Automatic spell check and Manual spell check. The other option involved using a third-party add-on, like Grammarly.

With the automatic spell check, Word spy for any potential spelling error as you type your document. But the manual spell checker, upon a click on a button, will allow you to scan the entire document for any spelling and grammar errors, with suggestions to correct them. The Grammarly add-on does basically the same thing, but with advanced features included.

Without further ado, let’s look at these options one after the other.

Automatic spell check in word

By default, Microsoft Word checks for spelling errors as you type your document.

Red zigzag lines underline

When you mistype a word, MS Word will underline the mistyped word with a red zigzag line. This red zigzag line indicates that the word is not spelled correctly.

If you right-click on the underlined word, MS Word will suggest some few words for you to correct the spelling mistake. Clicking on one of the suggested words will replace the misspelled word.

Rightclick on mispelled words to for suggestions

If your copy of MS Word is already working this way, then your automatic spell check feature is up and running.

However, if you can’t see any red zigzag line under your misspelled words, then you’ll have to turn this automatic spell check feature on.

If you want to know whether this automatic spell check is working or not, intentionally type a word wrongly and see whether it gets underlined with a red zigzag line. If not, then below is a way you can turn on this automatic spell check:

How to turn on automatic spell check in word

To turn on automatic spell check in Word:

  • Click on the File tab to show the File menu
Click on the File tab
  • Click on Options near the button right area of the File menu
Click on Options
  • The Word Options window appears. Click on Proofing on the left side of the window.
  • Select the checkbox labeled “Check spelling as you type”.
Go to proofing and select Check spelling as you type
  • Click OK to apply the settings.

NOTE: You can hide the spelling errors for only the document you are working with so that word will not underline the misspelled words in that document only. To that, in the Exceptions for: drop down, select Check spelling in Word, then select the checkbox labeled Hide spelling errors in this document only and click on OK.

This is how you may turn on automatic spell check in Word.

Now type a word wrongly and you’ll see that it is underlined with a red zigzag line.

To correct any misspelled word in Microsoft Word, right-click on that word, and select the correct word from the shortcut menu:

Rightclick on mispelled words to for suggestions

How to Manually check your spellings in Word

Aside from using the Automatic spell check to find mistakes in your spellings, you can run the spelling and grammar checker manually. To do that, follow the steps below:

  • Press the F7 key on your keyboard. Alternatively, go to Review > Proofing > Spelling & Grammar.
  • If there are misspelled words in your document, MS Word will highlight them one after the other, showing the spelling pane or dialog box with the misspelled words it found, starting from the beginning of the document.
  • From this dialog box, you can decide what you want to do with the misspelled word – whether to correct it with the right spelling, ignore it or add it to your document’s dictionary so that Word will no longer flag it as a misspelled word.
press F7 to display the spelling pane
  • After you decide how to handle the spelling error, the spell checker moves to the next misspelled word. Repeat the preceding step to resolve all the errors in your document.
  • When all the errors are resolved, you’ll see the Spelling and grammar check complete dialog box. Click OK to complete the spell check.
Click OK to dismiss the spellcher complete dialog

On the spelling page, below are the choices you have:

Ignore This will ignore the error and move on to the next potential spelling error. Select this option if the word is correct in the context used but may not be correct in some other context.
Ignore All This option will make the spell check to ignore this particular misspelled word throughout the document. Select this option if the Word is correct in all context in this document.
Change This will correct the misspelled word with the selected word in the list of suggestions. Use this option if the suggestion is correct in this context but may not be correct in future occurrences.
Change All This option will change all the words misspelled in this particular way to the selected suggestion. Use this option if the suggestion is correct in all context in your document.
Add This will add the word to the dictionary and it will no longer be flagged as being misspelled.

This is how you may manually perform a spell check in Word.

Using a third-party add-on: Grammarly (Freemium)

Add-ins are third party programs that extend the capability of Microsoft Office Applications, and Grammarly is just one of them.

The Grammarly add-in for Microsoft Office allows you to check for spelling and grammar errors while writing Word documents.

If you don’t like Microsoft Word’s default spell checker, Grammarly can be a very good alternative.

how to add Grammarly to word

Here’s how to set up Grammarly for free on Word:

  • First, download the Grammarly add-in.

Click Here to download the Grammarly add-in.

download grammarly

You’ll be asked to log in before you can download the add-in. Enter your email and password to log in.

Enter email and pasword to login

If you don’t have a Grammarly account yet, you need to create one by clicking this link: Don’t have an account?

Enter your details to create a grammarly account

After signing in or signing up, the Grammarly installer will begin to download.

If the download didn’t start, scroll down to the footer section, under the Products category, click on Grammarly for MS Office. This will lead you to the download page.

Click on Grammarly for MS Office for the download page
  • Install the Add-in.

After downloading the installer, go to the downloads folder to install Grammarly.

See screenshot of how the Grammarly installer looks like:

Grammarly installer

Double click on the installer to begin the installation, and follow the setup instructions.

  • Enable Grammarly in Word

After successfully installing Grammarly, launch your Word document; the Enable Grammarly button will appear. Select it to finalize your setup and activate Grammarly in your Word document.

Congratulations! You just secured a very powerful spelling and grammar checker for yourself.