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: Making Spell Check Ignore Characters.

Making Spell Check Ignore Characters

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 17, 2015)

Paul wondered if there is a way to set the preferences for the spelling checker so it will ignore brackets. When he's quoting material and changes the ending of a word, the word might look like this: deceiv[ing]. The spelling checker sees this as an error. Paul wants to configure it so that it will understand that the word to check is "deceiving" rather than "deceiv."

The short answer is that there is no way to do this. Word is rather straightforward, in that it considers the brackets to be delimiters between words. Thus, deceiv[ing] appears to be two separate words, separated by the left bracket. Even adding the word with the brackets to the custom dictionary doesn't help, as (again) Word sees it as two separate words.

There are, of course, some options that could be tried. For instance, your word fragments ("deceiv" and "ing" in this instance) could be added to the custom dictionary. They will then pass muster with the spell-checker and won't be marked. The drawback to this is that when you include such fragments in your custom dictionary, you run the risk of missing real spelling errors in your document, such as "deceiv" being deemed OK when you should have typed "deceive."

The other option is to try to locate a different, more powerful spelling checker than the one provided with Word. This will take some research, as you'll want to find one that has the right mix of ease of use and features for your purposes. A good place to start, of course, is to type "spell checker" or "spelling checker" in your favorite search engine and see what turns up.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10589) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Making Spell Check Ignore Characters.

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

Sequentially Numbering Elements in Your Document

One of the most powerful and useful fields provided by Word is the SEQ field. This tip describes how you can use the ...

Discover More

Inserting a Section Mark

Section marks are used regularly in the writings of some industries, such as in legal documents. If you need a way to ...

Discover More

Unhiding Columns that are Persistently Hidden

If you were trying to format a worksheet and nothing you did could make the first two columns appear, would you be ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Fast Spelling Corrections

Want to correct the spelling of a word that Word thinks is improperly spelled? A quick way to do it is to right-click the ...

Discover More

Expanding a Custom Dictionary

Does Word tell you that your custom dictionary is full? It might not actually be full, but even if it is, you can add ...

Discover More

Spell Checking Only Checking Grammar

Word has a built-in spelling and grammar checker that can help reduce errors in your prose. It may be a bit confusing if ...

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 3 - 2?

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.