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
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:
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:
If you scroll down, you can check for more grammar options, such as Inclusiveness:
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:
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:
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:
Spelling errors generally have more suggested corrections to choose from. See the following image:
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:
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:
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
Synergy is what happens when one plus one equals ten or a hundred or even a thousand! It’s the profound result when two or more respectful human beings determine to go beyond their preconceived ideas to meet a great challenge.Stephen Covey
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