How to Turn Spell Check on in Microsoft Word and Google Drive

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Lets face it, no won is purrfect when it combs to spelling and grandma.

But embarrassing sentences like the one above can be avoided if you make use of your favorite writing app’s spell check. Here’s a guide to checking your work with ease.

Microsoft Word

To check spelling in a Word document, open up the document, head to the “Review” tab, then click on “Spelling & Grammar” (part of the “Proofing” group of tools). Then a window will appear showing the first word the program believes to be misspelled. Click through the options to review the whole document.

Of course, Word will also underline words it believes to be spelled incorrectly, as well as sentences whose structure it believes to be grammatically incorrect.

More info on Word’s spelling tools here.

Google Docs

In Google Docs, part of Google’s Drive suite of productivity apps, accessing spell check is as simple as heading to the “Tools” menu above the document, then clicking on “Spelling…”. But you’ll also be informed of spelling mistakes as you type, with Google helpfully underlining a suspect word in red.

More info on Google’s spelling tools here.

Open Office

In Apache OpenOffice, the spellcheck feature is usually enabled by default, but if it’s not working, or you want to double-check that it’s turned on, access the spellcheck settings by going to the “Tools” menu, selecting “Options,” and navigating to “Language Settings.” Within the “Writing Aids” section, ensure that “Check spelling as you type” and, if desired, “Check grammar as you type” are checked. Verify that “Hunspell SpellChecker” is selected as the spellcheck engine. Additionally, set your preferred language for spellchecking. Click “OK” to save your settings, and OpenOffice should now automatically check spelling and grammar as you type in your documents.

FAQs About Spell Check in MS Word and Google Drive

How do I turn spell check on in Word?

As outlined above, head to the “Review” tab, then click on “Spelling & Grammar” (part of the “Proofing” group of tools). Then a window will appear showing the first word the program believes to be misspelled. Click through the options to review the whole document.

What is the shortcut key for spelling check In Word?

In Microsoft Word, the shortcut key to initiate the spelling and grammar check is F7. When you press the F7 key, Word will start checking your document for spelling and grammar errors, and it will open the Spelling and Grammar dialog box if any issues are found. You can then review and correct the errors one by one or choose to ignore them as needed.

Why won’t my spell check work on Word?

When Microsoft Word’s spell check isn’t functioning correctly, it can be frustrating, but there are a few common reasons and solutions to explore. First, ensure that you have the correct proofing language selected for your document. Language mismatch can often lead to spell check issues. Make sure that the “Check spelling as you type” option is enabled by going to the “Review” tab.
If spell check is still not working, check for custom dictionary issues. Sometimes, words added to a custom dictionary may not be recognized correctly. Verify your custom dictionary settings through the “Custom Dictionaries” option in the Word settings.
It’s also worth considering if any add-ins or third-party software might be conflicting with Word’s spell check. Temporarily disabling such add-ins or software can help identify the culprit. Additionally, keeping Microsoft Word up to date is essential, as outdated software can result in compatibility problems. If none of these solutions work, you may need to explore more advanced troubleshooting steps, including repairing or reinstalling Microsoft Office to ensure that spell check functions as expected.

How do you spell check in Word without grammar check?

To run a spell check in Microsoft Word without checking for grammar issues, you can modify the proofing settings in a few simple steps. Start by navigating to the “Review” tab on the Word ribbon, where you’ll find the “Spelling & Grammar” button in the “Proofing” group. Clicking this button opens the “Spelling and Grammar” dialog box. In this dialog box, you can configure your proofing preferences.
To perform a spell check only, uncheck the box next to “Check grammar” while ensuring that the box next to “Check spelling” remains checked. Once you’ve adjusted these settings, click “OK” to initiate the spell check. Word will then scan your document for spelling errors without considering grammar issues.

How do I auto correct spelling in Word?

To enable AutoCorrect for spelling in Microsoft Word, you’ll need to access the program’s settings. In Word for Windows, click on “File” in the top left corner, then select “Options.” For Word on Mac, click on “Word” in the top menu bar, followed by “Preferences,” and choose “AutoCorrect.” Within the AutoCorrect settings, you’ll find the option to “Replace text as you type” or a similar choice. Ensure this option is checked to activate AutoCorrect.
Additionally, you can customize your AutoCorrect settings by adding, modifying, or removing entries. To do this, simply type the commonly misspelled word or abbreviation you want to correct in the “Replace” field and specify the correct word or phrase in the “With” field. Click “Add” or “OK” to save your custom AutoCorrect entry. This allows you to tailor AutoCorrect to your specific needs, making it a helpful tool for automatically fixing common spelling errors as you type in Microsoft Word.
Once AutoCorrect is enabled and configured, Word will automatically correct the specified errors in real time as you type. For example, if you accidentally type “teh,” Word will instantly change it to “the,” helping you maintain consistent and accurate spelling in your documents while saving you time on manual corrections.

Adam RobertsAdam Roberts
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Adam is SitePoint's head of newsletters, who mainly writes Versioning, a daily newsletter covering everything new and interesting in the world of web development. He has a beard and will talk to you about beer and Star Wars, if you let him.

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