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: Allowing Passive Voice in Writing.

Allowing Passive Voice in Writing

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated March 9, 2019)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


10

Sheryl prefers passive voice for some of her writing (such as business documents and correspondence) rather than active voice. The grammar checker on Word always marks instances of passive voice. Sheryl would like to turn off the portion of the grammar checker that checks for passive voice so that it is not marked as an error.

Word allows you to choose which grammar checking rules it follows and which it doesn't. To change this particular setting (the one for passive voice), 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 or in a later version display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click the Proofing option at the left side of the dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Proofing options of the Word Options dialog box.

  4. Click the Settings button. Word displays the Grammar Settings dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  5. Figure 2. The Grammar Settings dialog box.

  6. Make sure there is no check mark next to the Passive Sentences option (Word 2013 and earlier) or the Passive Voice option (Word 2016 and later). (You'll need to scroll down a bit to see the option.)
  7. Click on OK to close the Grammar Settings dialog box.
  8. Click on OK to close the Word Options dialog box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7350) 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: Allowing Passive Voice in Writing.

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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Comments

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What is five more than 6?

2021-02-03 20:44:42

Kristy

We have a version at work that doesn't seem to fix this issue permanently, only per document. Do you have a solution please?


2020-06-10 05:14:55

Steve

Excellent tip/solution (on passive sentences. Thanks muchly!


2020-06-03 10:28:04

JosephDoggie

Very helpful. I wish Microsoft Word / Office were more helpful (like this) directly, so that this site wouldn't be needed. None-the-less, very well written & beneficial.


2020-04-12 09:40:00

gab

thank you. very helpful


2020-01-23 16:48:29

KZ

Thank you!


2020-01-01 13:22:37

Valerie

Thanks a looooooot!


2019-11-27 01:59:43

37198ye234y879134879124

Thank god this is finally gone!


2019-07-02 16:58:26

Jon

Aaahhhh. The annoyance of the blue squiggles is gone...well diminished!


2019-06-20 04:59:42

Mohammed Ali

Thank you


2019-04-24 17:26:54

Alonso

Oh my God! Thank you so much! Had a whole year with this $#!t Thanks you so much!


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