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: Adding Phrases to the Grammar Checker.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 10, 2020)
Sheryl wonders if it is possible to add commonly used phrases to the grammar check so that they are not flagged as errors. Word flags them as either "wordy" or using too many nouns or verbs in a row, but her job requires documents with these phrases. Sheryl notes that the solution may be to turn off the grammar check, which she'd rather not do (even though Word is not exactly the perfect arbiter of good grammar).
There is not really a good way to do this in Word. You could, if desired, modify the grammar options to exclude some of the individual settings so that some of the items aren't checked by the grammar checker. You can do this by following these steps:
Figure 1. The Proofing options of the Word Options dialog box.
Figure 2. The Grammar Settings dialog box.
For the issues described by Sheryl, you'll want to pay particular attention to the following options in step 4:
Disabling all or a combination of these options may resolve the problem. If it doesn't, then the best solution is to follow these general steps:
Figure 3. The Language dialog box.
Figure 4. The Create New Building Block dialog box.
Now you can insert the Building Blocks in your document, as needed, and they won't be checked by the grammar checker. (Creating and using Building Blocks have been covered in other issues of WordTips.) This is a bit more work than disabling a few grammar options, but it has the added benefit of providing a standardized way of making sure your spelling and capitalization is always correct on those phrases.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8717) 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: Adding Phrases to the Grammar Checker.
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