Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Spell-checking Uppercase Words.

Spell-checking Uppercase Words

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated October 2, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


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Word includes a powerful spell-checker that, in reality, does a pretty good job. If you do quite a bit of technical writing and use a lot of acronyms, you know that most of them are easily flagged as misspelled words. You can make sure that Word ignores uppercase words in any spell-check by following these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 and later versions, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click Proofing at the left side of the dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Proofing options of the Word Options dialog box.

  4. Make sure the Ignore Words in UPPERCASE check box is selected.
  5. Click on OK.

The only downside to making this configuration change, of course, is if you use all uppercase for section titles or for other special words. In this case, Word still ignores them, since they are uppercase. Make sure you change the setting of this check box based on the type of work you are doing in your current document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6004) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Spell-checking Uppercase Words.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is 2 + 5?

2021-10-03 07:16:37

Brian

One for Nick
As a professional copy editor, I have used the trial copy of StyleWriter and found it wanting!
The program itself is very comprehensive and is very good, a boon to writers everywhere. However, it needs to be bought into the modern era of WORD 365 visually. Visually it lacks clarity. In my opinion, it was designed for the Windows Vista era! and is in urgent need of updating, particularly for those users with visual impairment.


2021-10-02 08:13:07

Nick Wright

Turning off a check of all uppercase words to avoid acronyms being highlighted is dangerous. We designed StyleWriter to highlight acronyms separately so you can switch them off. However, the Professional Edition of StyleWriter will list all acronyms in a document in its Editor's List. This lets you review them at a quick glance for typos, inconsistencies, overuse or those only used once. If you have only used one once and defined it, what's the point of the acronym. Also, remember readers hate acronyms as they consider them jargon. Business and technical writers certainly overuse them.


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