How to Spell Check in Word Using Keyboard Shortcuts

You may already be familiar with Microsoft Word’s built-in spelling and grammar checker, flagging incorrect spelling, and (sometimes) bad grammar. If you are reviewing a document that’s riddled with errors, you can use these keyboard shortcuts to speed up the process.

Word Header Logo

RAYMOND OGLESBY @RaymondOglesby2
January 20, 2022
Updated: January 21, 2022

You may already be familiar with Microsoft Word’s built-in spelling and grammar checker, flagging incorrect spelling, and (sometimes) bad grammar. If you are reviewing a document that’s riddled with errors, you can use these keyboard shortcuts to speed up the process. Let’s explore using these shortcuts.

This is for devices using Microsoft Word

Copyright Scott Adams, Inc./Distributed by Universal Uclick for UFS

What the Checker Can and Can Not Do

Word’s spelling and grammar checker is enabled by default. When a word is misspelled, Word flags it with a wavy, red underline. When there’s incorrect grammar or formatting, Word flags it with two blue underlines. Refer to the below image:

Spelling and Grammar example

In the above example, Word detected two spaces between “Raymond” and “Oglesby,” so it flagged it as a grammar issue. It also detected “specialist” was misspelled as “specialis,” so it flagged that as a spelling error.

These are the basics that Word checks for by default. However, you can make Word’s spelling and grammar checker work harder by enabling some additional features in its Settings menu. Head to:

File > Options > Proofing > Settings

For example, you can have Word check for passive voice, split infinitives, superfluous expressions, and so on. See the below image:

Grammar Settings

If you scroll down, you can check for more grammar options, such as Inclusiveness:

Grammar 1
More Grammar settings

You can also do things like, exclude specific words from the checker, check for inclusive language, ignore URLs, and much more.

So what can Word’s spelling and grammar checker not do? As comprehensive as it may seem, it often fails when it comes to noticing the incorrect usage of a properly spelled word. For example, “troubleshoot.” See the following image:

Grammar error

In this case, Word failed to catch the incorrect usage of “troubleshoot,” it should be “troubleshot.” That said, you can count on Word to detect a lot of issues in a document, but you can not rely on it 100%. As a matter of good practice, always re-review your document before sending it out.

Using the Keyboard Shortcut

In Word, you can use the Alt+F7 shortcut to jump straight to the first error behind where the cursor currently is in the document. So, if you want to start with the first error, you will need to place your cursor at the beginning of the document, or in front of the first error. Refer to the below image:

Spelling error

When you press Alt+F7, Word highlights the spelling or grammar error and gives you the option to either correct or ignore the issue. Press the up or down arrow keys to highlight the desired option, and then press Enter to select it.

Note! you can only highlight spelling and grammar suggestions with your arrow keys. If you want to ignore the suggestion, you must click that option with your mouse. See the below image:

Word 5A
Highlight the Spelling error

Spelling errors generally have more suggested corrections to choose from. See the following image:

Correction for the Spelling error

You can also ignore the spelling error, just as you would with the grammar error. The only difference is, with spelling, you can choose to:

  • Ignore every instance of that same error
  • Ignore just the specific error (even if it also exists elsewhere in the document)

Refer to the below image:

Ignore the Spelling error

In addition, you can also add that word to the dictionary. When you do this, Word will no longer flag the word as an error. This is useful if the word happens to be a part of an in-house style guide or something similar.

Click the three dots to the right of Ignore All and then click Add to Dictionary from the drop-down menu. See the below image:

Word
Add to the Dictionary

When you are ready to move on to the next error, just press Alt+F7 again. Continue doing this until all of the issues within the document have been checked.

Word’s grammar and spell checker is very useful for reviewing the content within a document, but it can be quite distracting when it’s throwing back errors while you are writing. If it’s too distracting for you, you can turn it off as you type.

Quote For the Day

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Stephen Covey

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Author’s E-book

You can access the e-book from a Kindle device, the Kindle App for the desktop or smartphone, which is a free app.

The author’s Vietnam eBook on the Battle for Tra Bong Vietnam: Events and Aftermath

Author: Raymond

I am Raymond Oglesby, an Information Technology (IT) specialist with 30 years in the field. I have taught Microsoft Applications and troubleshot computers in 15 countries and many States. My career was focused on mainframes and desktops from application development to implementation. I have written hundreds of programs for various architectures. I decided to start a blog to share my knowledge and experiences with you. I plan on updating this blog at least twice a week about smart phone apps to Windows. Please feel free to leave a Comment or Tweet. I would love to hear from you. Do you have a computer tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the app and version that you are using. To help me out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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