Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Hiding Spelling Errors.

Hiding Spelling Errors

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated March 25, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


1

Word includes a feature that checks up on the spelling and grammar in your document as you type. You've seen the results—the red and green squiggly underlines that mark spelling and grammar errors.

For some people, the red underlines that denote spelling problems can be distracting, since their appearance can break your concentration as you are composing your document. Perhaps you would rather check spelling as a discrete phase of document development at a later time. If you find the red squiggly underlines distracting, you can turn them off. Simply follow 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. At the left side of the dialog box, click Proofing. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The proofing options of the Word Options dialog box.

  4. At the bottom of the dialog box, make sure the Hide Spelling Errors in This Document Only check box is selected.
  5. Click on OK.

Any existing red squiggly underlines should disappear. In order to check your spelling you will now explicitly need to start the spell checker.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6104) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Hiding Spelling Errors.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Using the Mouse to Adjust Your View of 3-D Graphs

Want to adjust the perspective from which your 3-D graph is viewed? Excel allows you to use the mouse to rotate the graph ...

Discover More

Aborting a Macro and Retaining Control

If you need to exit a macro before it is finished running, you can do it using a brute force method, or you can build in ...

Discover More

Remembering Copies to Print

If you routinely need to print more than one copy of a document, you'll love the ideas presented in this tip. There's ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Making Ignore All Work for a Document on All Systems

When you tell Word's spell checker to ignore all instances of a misspelling, you may expect that the misspelling will be ...

Discover More

Forcing Word to Display Spelling and Grammar Errors

If your document has enough spelling errors in it, Word informs you that you have too many and then refuses to display ...

Discover More

Using Older Spelling and Grammar Checking

If you prefer the older spelling and grammar checking process used in Word, then you will find this tip helpful. It only ...

Discover More
Subscribe

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

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 3 + 7?

2023-03-25 11:32:21

Simone L.

Dear Allen,
do you happen to have any tip for how to completely turn off the red highlighting for spelling / grammar errors? This appears to be a new feature and only started happening a few days ago. I've already turned off the red squiggly underlines and completely disabled the live-checking for grammar / spelling. That all works just fine. But as soon as I run a manual spell-check (for example, when I've finished writing a chapter in a longer document), Word will then highlight misspelled words with a light red color as soon as I simply hover my mouse over the respective word. Live-checking is still disabled, so it seems to remember the errors it found during my manual spell-check. This is, of course, extremely distracting, and the only way to make Word forget the errors again is to fully close the application and then re-open it with my document. I'm using Office Home & Business 2019 (not signed in with any account in Word itself), and there seems to have been an overhaul of the whole spell-check feature recently. I didn't install any manual updates myself but can't find when/how this update was automatically installed. I'm out of ideas. Thanks in advance for any suggestions! :-)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Videos
Subscribe

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.