Grammar Checking

Grammar Checking in Word is a powerful tool that highlights grammar errors in your documents based on the settings you apply. While the options differ depending on your version of Word, there are many functions of the tool you can change to best fit your preferences. Learn what you can allow, flag, and edit in your text with Word's grammar checking tool in the following articles.

Tips, Tricks, and Answers

The following articles are available for the 'Grammar Checking' topic. Click the article''s title (shown in bold) to see the associated article.

   Accepting Capitalization of a Proper Noun
If a word is normally supposed to be lowercase, Word helpfully lets you know if you incorrectly capitalize it. If you really want that word to be capitalized the way you typed it, there are a few things you can try, as detailed in this tip.

   Adding Phrases to the Grammar Checker
Word's grammar checker dutifully tries to mark all the questionable grammar in your sentences. If you are tired of a certain phrase or group of words triggering the squiggly green line used by the grammar checker, you may wonder if you can add acceptable phrases that will be skipped in the checking. You can't, but there are some things you can do, as described in this tip.

   Allowing Passive Voice in Writing
When you have Word do grammar checking on your document, it typically marks everything it considers wrong with the way you write. This includes marking sentences that appear to use "passive" voice. You can, however, turn off this grammar rule so that Word ignores whether you use passive voice or not.

   Allowing Sentence Fragments
Grammar, particularly in English, has a perplexing array of rules and exceptions to those rules. Word does a fairly good job of checking the grammar of your prose, but you may want to adjust what it checks. For instance, you may not want it to check for sentence fragments. Here's how.

   Avoiding the "Check Remainder" Dialog Box
Need to check grammar using a macro? Word includes a couple of different ways to perform the check, and what you see differs with each method.

   Capitalizing Spring
According to the normal rules of grammar, the word "spring" is not supposed to be capitalized. There may be times, however, when it should properly be capitalized. This tip explains how to make sure that a capitalized "Spring" isn't marked as incorrect.

   Changing How Word Flags Compound Words
It is not uncommon to add hyphens between words to help clarify the meaning of your prose. You might even add non-breaking hyphens so that the two connected words stay on the same line. But if doing so means that Word flags your connected words as somehow in error, then you might rightly question what is going on. This tip examines the problem and discusses a couple of ways you can try to get around it.

   Checking for Incorrect Numbers in Text
Word's grammar checker can help you correct many of the more common errors that can crop up while writing. This includes errors such as the incorrect use of numbers in a sentence (when you should have spelled out the numbers).

   Checking for Missing Quotation Marks
Word provides handy spelling and grammar checkers. The grammar checker won't catch everything, however. One thing it won't catch is missing quotation marks, as discussed in this tip.

   Checking for Sentences Beginning with Conjunctions
In my English classes in junior high, I would get marked down if I started sentences with a conjunction. ("There's a reason they are called conjunctions," said the teacher. "They serve as a junction between two independent phrases.") If you are tired of getting mark-downs for a grammatical bad habit, here's how Word can help.

   Checking Up On Numbers
When do you use digits in your prose and when do you spell out the numbers? Why not let Word help you make the decision? Here's how.

   Contractions Flagged as Incorrect
Word, in its never-ending quest to second-guess and try to improve your writing, may be marking your contractions as incorrect. If this bugs you, you can turn off this feature by following the steps outlined in this tip.

   Correctly Repeated Words
There are times when you need to repeat a word in a document, but doing so triggers an "error reaction" from Word's spelling checker. Here's some ways that you can force Word to accept your intentional repetitions.

   Dictionary Shortcut Key
Need a quick way to display the dictionary or other grammar tools? Use one of the handy built-in shortcuts provided by Word.

   Disappearing Readability Statistics
Word provides some handy document analysis that can help improve your writing. One such tool is the readability statistics you can generate about your document. What if those statistics stop showing up, though? Here are a few things to check.

   Forcing a Complete Spelling and Grammar Check
There are a couple of ways that various parts of a document can have spelling and grammar checking "turned off." This tip examines how to override those settings and perform a desired check of your entire document.

   Hiding Errors
If you find the green and red squiggly underlines that Word adds to your document distracting, you might want a quick way to hide them. Here's the absolute fastest way to get them out of your sight.

   Hiding Grammar Errors
Are you bothered by the green underlines that Word uses to mark potential grammar errors in your document? You can hide those potential errors by following the steps in this tip.

   Leading Quote Mark Generates Grammar Error
One of the mostly helpful tools that Word includes is a grammar checker. Sometimes, however, the grammar checker might flag things that it should really ignore. Here is an examination of one such scenario.

   Marking Gender-Specific Grammar
Some people feel that your writing can be better if you remove gender-specific language it may contain. Here's how you can enlist Word's help in tracking down potential violations so you can get rid of them.

   Only Showing Readability Statistics
Perform a grammar check, and Word displays some statistics that represent an analysis of your words. By writing a macro you can access these statistics and display whatever part of them you want.

   Resetting Spelling and Grammar Checking on Multiple Documents
Things that are accomplished easily with a single document (such as resetting spelling and grammar checking settings) can quickly become tedious if you need to work with multiple documents. This tip provides a simple macro that can make processing multiple documents fast and easy.

   Saving Grammar Preferences with a Document
The grammar checking tool in Word can be helpful in developing a finished, polished document. You may want to share your preferences with another who will be using your document. Unfortunately, Word doesn't allow you to do this.

   Setting Grammar-Checking Options
When Word checks the grammar it thinks you are using in your prose, it follows a set of rules. Fortunately the program allows you to adjust how those rules are applied. Here's how.

   Turning Off Error Checking for a Specific Word
While you are typing in a document, Word is typically busy checking what you type for errors. If an error is found, Word marks the error so you can check it out. However, you may not want Word to mark a specific word as "in error" when you know it is not. Here are some ideas of how to deal with that situation.

   Turning Off Proofing for Superscripts
When you add superscripts to words in your document, you may not want those superscripts to be spell-checked. Here's how to disable the checking of your superscripts.

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing