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: Setting Grammar-Checking Options.

Setting Grammar-Checking Options

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 17, 2020)

Word includes a full-featured grammar checker that allows you to check your document (or a section of it) for common grammar mistakes. Each potential error is displayed, and you are given the opportunity to make changes.

Word has several different writing styles that you can select when using the grammar checker. Each one of these styles is a different collection of grammar rules that will be used when you use the grammar checker. Some sets of rules are very strict with a lot of rules to check while others are quite lax and better for casual writing. If you find that these styles use rules that are unnecessary, too restrictive, or not quite right for your documents, you can modify them in the following manner:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 or 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. From the Writing Style drop-down list, select whether you want to modify options related to only grammar or to grammar and refinements (or to grammar and styles in earlier versions of Word).
  7. Specify the grammar and style options that you want to add, remove, or require.
  8. Click on OK to close the Grammar Settings dialog box.
  9. 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 (9322) 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: Setting Grammar-Checking Options.

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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