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Check Your Spelling and Grammar in Office 2010

All the Office apps share a common spell-check feature that tells you what words don’t appear in its dictionary. You can decide what to do with each one.

While you work in an application, your words are compared against the dictionary, and anything that doesn’t appear in the dictionary is marked with a red wavy underline.

Right-click any red-underlined word to see a menu of choices. From this menu, you can

  • Click one of the suggestions, and Word immediately changes the word to that.
  • Click Ignore to mark this instance only as okay, and Word does nothing.
  • Click Ignore All to mark all instances of the word as okay in this document only.
  • Click Add to Dictionary to add this word so that it’s never marked as misspelled again on your computer, in any document.
  • Point to AutoCorrect; from the menu that opens, click one of the suggestions to always correct this misspelling with the chosen suggestion in the future, without asking.
  • Point to Language; from the menu that opens, click a different language to mark this word as being in a foreign language so that it’s checked with a different dictionary (the one for that language).
  • Click Spelling to open the full-blown spell checker, covered in a bit.

If you’d rather not check your spelling by paging through your work, looking for the red underlines, and then right-clicking each one as you find it, I have a better way. Go for the full Spell Check feature instead. It asks you to choose from a similar set of options as I just listed, but it automatically moves you from one potential error to the next so you don’t have to hunt for the underlines.

To start a spell check, choose either

  • Review-->Spelling (in Excel or PowerPoint)


  • Review-->Spelling and Grammar (in Word).

Word also has a built-in grammar checker in addition to the spell checker. Grammar errors appear with a green wavy underline, and you can spot-check them just like with spelling. You can also work with them from the Spelling and Grammar dialog box. The Ignore Rule button suppresses further checking for the grammar rule that was broken in the notification that appears; the Explain button pops up an explanation of the grammar rule being applied.


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