Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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 for Incorrect Numbers in Text.

Checking for Incorrect Numbers in Text

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 7, 2017)

The grammar checker included with Word is quite powerful when it comes to checking matters of style in your writing. One of the things you can have Word check for is whether you are using numbers correctly in your text. Normally, any number ten or less should be spelled out (such as "nine trucks" or "three officers"). If the number is larger than ten, it should be expressed with numerals (as in "47 pencils" or "12 pennies").

By default, Word doesn't check for the correct use of numbers. You can change this feature of Word, however, by following 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 Word 2013 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.

As with most other grammar-checking tools, you should not rely exclusively on this particular checking feature to correct all your incorrect usage. There are actually some pretty complex rules that writers and editors should follow when using numbers within text. For more information, refer to a good style guide, such as the Chicago Manual of Style.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7837) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Checking for Incorrect Numbers in Text.

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

Setting Decimal Tabs in a Table Using the Keyboard

Most people use the mouse to set tab stops in the paragraphs in a table. If you prefer to not use the mouse, then you'll ...

Discover More

Inconsistent Formatting in an Index

When indexing a document, you may find that some of your index entries aren't formatted the save as your other index ...

Discover More

Setting Default Print Margins

Don't like the print margins that Excel uses by default? You can change the default by changing the workbook on which ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Turning Off Error Checking for a Specific Word

While you are typing in a document, Word is typically busy checking what you type for errors. If an error is found, Word ...

Discover More

Allowing Passive Voice in Writing

When you have Word do grammar checking on your document, it typically marks everything it considers wrong with the way ...

Discover More

Avoiding the "Check Remainder" Dialog Box

Need to check grammar using a macro? Word includes a couple of different ways to perform the check, and what you see ...

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 six minus 0?

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.