(Legacy) Microsoft Office 2007: Working with Spell Check

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This article is based on legacy software.

Spell Check is a feature that checks for spelling errors in a document. Spell Check can be useful in preventing embarrassing mistakes, but be aware that Spell Check is not always right.

Spelling can be checked simultaneously with grammar. For information on checking grammar, refer to Working with Grammar Check.

NOTE: Although options and instructions vary slightly by program, the Spell Check feature is available in all Office programs. This document uses Word's Spell Check feature as an example.

Activating Automatic Spell Check

By default, Spell Check is automatically on whenever an Office program is open. When you turn this feature off,Spell Check will not run as you work on your document. The feature can be easily activated using the Review command tab. You can also check the spelling in a document after you are finished typing.

  1. From the Review command tab, in the Proofing groupclick SPELLING & GRAMMAR 
    Press [F7
    The [F7] key can be used from any command tab. 
    The Spelling and Grammar dialog box appears.

    spelling and grammar

  2. In the Spelling and Grammar dialog box, click OPTIONS...
    The Options dialog box appears.

  3. In the Categories pane, select Proofing

  4. To activate Automatic Spell Check, in the When correcting spelling and grammar in Word section,select Check spelling as you type
    NOTE: The option is selected if a checkmark appears in front of it.

  5. Click OK

  6. To exit the Spelling and Grammar dialog box, click CANCEL

Modifying the Dictionary

Modifying text in a dictionary can be useful so that Spell Check does not mark certain words and names as misspelled. In order to remove words from or add words to a dictionary, you must first open the dictionary from the Custom Dictionaries dialog box. Your changes to the dictionary are then saved for future use.

  1. From the Review command tab, in the Proofing groupclick SPELLING & GRAMMAR 
    The Spelling and Grammar dialog box appears.

  2. Click OPTIONS...
    The Options dialog box appears.

  3. In the When correcting spelling in Microsoft Office programs section, click CUSTOM DICTIONARIES... 
    The Custom Dictionaries dialog box appears.
    custom dictionaries

  4. Click EDIT WORD LIST...
    The Custom Dictionary appears. If this is your first time modifying the dictionary, the list will contain no items.

  5. To add words to the dictionary,
    1. In the Word(s) text box, type the word to be added
    2. Click ADD 
      The word appears in the Dictionary scroll box.

  6. To delete words from the dictionary,
    1. In the Dictionary scroll box, select the word(s) to be deleted
    2. Click DELETE
      The word(s) is removed.

  7. Click OK

  8. Click OK

  9. To return to the Spelling and Grammar dialog box, click OK

  10. To exit the the Spelling and Grammar dialog box, click CANCEL

Correcting Spelling

When the dictionary recognizes a word as misspelled, the word is underlined with a wavy red line. You can correct misspelled text through the Quick menu or through a dialog box. For words that are often misspelled or mistyped, you may use AutoCorrect to automatically correct the mistakes as they are typed.

For information on correcting grammar, refer to Word 2007: Working with Grammar Check.

Correcting Spelling: Quick Menu Option

Using the Quick menu to modify misspelled text allows you to manage your misspelled word(s) quickly and easily.

  1. Right click the misspelled word ยป select the appropriate option:

Spelling Suggestions
Gives suggestions for correcting the misspelled word

Ignores that instance of the word

Ignore All
Ignores that word and every other instance of that word

Add to Dictionary
Adds the word to the custom dictionary

Provides word choices for the automatic correction of the misspelled word

Allows the misspelled word to be corrected according to the selected language

Opens the Spelling dialog box, which allows you to change the misspelled word

Look Up... 
Opens the Research task pane, which allows you to search an online reference site

Correcting Spelling: Dialog Box Option

Using the dialog box option is a little more time-consuming, but you have more options for correcting misspelled words. 

Using the dialog box option is a little more time-consuming, but you have more options for correcting misspelled words.

  1. From the Review command tab, in the Proofing group, click SPELLING & GRAMMAR 
    NOTE: The Spelling and Grammar dialog box appears.
    spelling and grammar check

  2. Make the desired selection for each misspelling 
    NOTE: The dialog box options include all Quick menu options in addition to the following options.

Ignore Once
Ignores that particular occurrence of that word

Changes the word to the selected suggestion

Change All
Changes all identical misspellings to the selected suggestion

4. When Spell Check is complete, in the dialog box that appears, click OK