Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 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

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 9, 2019)

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 Office 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Referencing Worksheet Tabs

Ever want to use the name of a worksheet tab within a cell? Here's how you can access that information using the CELL ...

Discover More

Determining Font Formatting

If you need to determine the font applied to a particular cell, you'll need to use a macro. This tip presents several ...

Discover More

Determining a Paragraph's Style in VBA

When processing a document via a macro, it is often helpful to understand what style has been applied to a paragraph. You ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Contractions Flagged as Incorrect

Word, in its never-ending quest to second-guess and try to improve your writing, may be marking your contractions as ...

Discover More

Hiding Errors

If you find the green and red squiggly underlines that Word adds to your document distracting, you might want a quick way ...

Discover More

Allowing Sentence Fragments

Grammar, particularly in English, has a perplexing array of rules and exceptions to those rules. Word does a fairly good ...

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}] 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 eight minus 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.

Newest Tips
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.