Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 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: Spell Checking Your Document.

Spell Checking Your Document

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated September 25, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


Word provides a built-in spelling checker you can use to proof (double-check) your document. This tool doesn't check just spelling; it also checks for proper capitalization and duplicate words. To run the spelling checker, follow these steps:

  1. Move the insertion point to the beginning of the document. (This is not entirely necessary but makes the spelling check take less time.)
  2. Press F7 or, if you prefer, display the Review tab of the ribbon and click the Spelling & Grammar tool at the left of the ribbon. Word begins to check the spelling of your document, displaying the Spelling and Grammar dialog box as it discovers potential errors.
  3. Respond to the suggestions in the dialog box, as appropriate.

You don't have to spell check an entire document; you can run the spelling checker on a selection of text, as well. To run the spelling checker on a selection of text, do the following:

  1. Select the text to be checked.
  2. Press F7 or, if you prefer, display the Review tab of the ribbon and click the Spelling & Grammar tool at the left of the ribbon.
  3. Again, respond to the suggestions that may appear during the spelling check, as appropriate.

When the spelling check of the selection is complete, Word displays a dialog box asking if you want to check the rest of the document. Click on No to end the spelling check.

In newer versions of Word, follow these steps:

  1. Move the insertion point to the beginning of the document. (This is not entirely necessary but makes the spelling check take less time.)
  2. Press F7 or, if you prefer, display the Editor tool in the Proofing group on the Review tab of the ribbon. Word begins to check the spelling of your document and displays the Editor pane to the right of the document window. Any spelling errors will be displayed in the Editor pane and marked in red as shown in the following figure. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Editor pane.

  4. Click on an error and Word displays the misspelled word and presents suggestions of possible corrections.
  5. Respond to the suggestions Editor pane, as appropriate.

When you have finished responding to the suggestions, Word displays a Readability Statistics dialog box. You can review the information in the dialog box, and when finished, click OK to close it. Word then displays a dialog box stating that you have finished reviewing the Editor's suggestions. Click OK to dismiss the 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 (9476) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Spell Checking Your Document.

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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