Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. 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: Checking Up On Numbers.

Checking Up On Numbers

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 1, 2015)


Depending on the type of writing you are doing, it is often appropriate to spell out certain numbers rather than use actual digits in your text. For instance, it is proper to write, "He ate seven biscuits," rather than "He ate 7 biscuits." If you want, you can configure Word's grammar checker to check for the proper use of spelled-out numbers rather than digits. To do so, 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 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. Scroll through the options list until you find the Numbers option. Make sure it is checked.
  7. Click on OK to close the Grammar Settings dialog box.
  8. Click on OK to close the Word Options dialog box.

You should note that this grammar rule only affects the usage of some numbers, not the usage of all numbers. In other words, it should be counted on to do conversions of all numbers to their textual equivalents. While it will offer to change "He ate 7 biscuits" to "He ate seven biscuits," it won't identify and offer to change "Bob received 512 offers" to "Bob received five-hundred twelve offers."

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7553) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Checking Up On Numbers.

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 four more than 0?

2015-10-01 18:31:10

Maxine Gray

I was told when doing my Uni course numbers under ten had to be written in words and over ten it was OK to use the numerical keys.

2015-10-01 11:00:40

Glenn Russell

I believe the phrase " it should be counted on to do conversions of all numbers to their textual equivalents" should have had "not" before "be". I haven't tried this with Word 2007 so I don't know how it works yet.

2015-10-01 08:09:51

Surendera M. Bhanot

Hi All

In my Office 2010 (Word 2010), the Setting remained greyed out. What could be the reason?

2013-04-09 19:55:39


I've also found this didn't work when I turned it out.

I turned it on and used the same sentence as in the example but nothing happened

2013-02-21 10:49:49



What do you mean by you "can not make this work?" I suspect you are, perhaps, expecting it to do more than it actually does.

When you turn on this grammar rule, the only thing that Word does is to mark the potential violations of that grammar rule as it checks your document. It doesn't actually change any text or modify any numbers or words in the document.

2013-02-21 04:58:23


I can not make this work, having followed the instructions to the letter. (Word 2010) Any suggestions, please?

2013-02-12 08:58:10


Barry, That is exactly what I was taught in my typing and shorthand classes over 60 years ago. Guess it is still good advice. Maryb

2013-02-11 16:06:58

Barry Thistlethwaite

The UPS style book, which we follow in our documents, calls for spelling out numbers below ten and using numerals for ten and above. That's what Word does when you turn this on.

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