by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 12, 2016)
Catharine edits resumes for a living and technical terms pose their own headaches when it comes to spell check in Word. Usually, she is able to right-click on a term and click "Add to Dictionary" and that solves the problem. However, she has a specific issue with a Web Application Framework by the name of "Spring." Whenever this name is listed in a resume, it needs to be capitalized because that is the correct spelling for the technology. Unfortunately, the word "Spring" is automatically underlined with a blue line (as opposed to the usual red line) and right-clicking on the word does not give me the option to add it to the dictionary. Catharine just gets a message that the season "spring" is not supposed to be capitalized. She can right-click and choose "Ignore," but the next time she opens the document, the blue line shows up again. She wonders how she can permanently get rid of it.
First, let's look at what Word is supposed to so when it comes to spelling and grammar, and then I'll address Catharine's specific problem.
Word has a built-in spelling checker and a separate grammar checker. By default, it checks spelling and grammar on the fly, as you are typing your document. It also checks some types of formatting as you are typing. If Word discovers potential problems, it marks each of these three areas with different color wavy underlines:
If Catharine is actually seeing a wavy blue underline, then the problem with the word "Spring" is related to formatting. More than likely, though, the wavy underline is actually green. (At least, it was green on all the systems on which I tested it.) This indicates that one of Word's grammar rules has been triggered. This is consistent with Catharine not seeing the "Add to Dictionary" option when she right-clicks—it isn't shown because the dictionary is related to the spell checker, not the grammar checker, and it is the grammar checker that is flagging the potential problem.
One way around the problem is to format the word "Spring" so that it isn't checked by the grammar checker. You do that in this manner:
Of course, you would need to do this for each instance of the word "Spring," which could get tedious. One way around that is to create a character style that only turns off the spelling and grammar check. You could then apply the style to words such as "Spring" that you know are correct.
It should be noted that you could also add an AutoCorrect entry that did the conversion for you, replacing "spring" with a formatted version of "Spring." You can do that in this manner:
Figure 1. The AutoCorrect dialog box.
Now, whenever you type the word "spring," it is replaced with "Spring," and the "Do Not Check Spelling or Grammar" setting is applied to the word because you chose to do the replacement using formatted text.
Finally, you could also turn off the grammar-checking rule that is actually being triggered when you type "Spring." You can do that by following these steps:
Figure 2. The Grammar Settings dialog box.
The wavy green line under "Spring" should now be gone, but you should realize that any other capitalization issues will also go unmarked.
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