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: Editing While Spell-Checking.

Editing While Spell-Checking

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 12, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


You already know that Word includes a powerful spell-checking utility. You may not know, however, that you can edit your document as you are spell-checking. I find this particularly useful, as I often recognize other, non-spelling errors as I am running the spell checker.

To do this, any time the spell-checker is prompting you to correct a word, press Ctrl+Tab. This changes the focus to your document and away from the spell-checker; you can now edit your document directly. If you prefer you can simply click the mouse pointer in your document, near the place where you want to make your edit.

When you are ready to resume spell-checking, simply click on Resume in the Spelling and Grammar dialog box (Word 2007 and Word 2010) or the Spelling task pane (later versions of Word).

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6090) 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: Editing While Spell-Checking.

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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