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: Normal Words Flagged by Spell Check.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 26, 2015)
Spell check is flagging normal words in Linda's document, such as "there," "form," and "were." Even more oddly, she cannot click Ignore All to accept the words. Instead she must click Ignore once for each occurrence. She tried adding the words to the exclusion dictionary, but that didn't work, so Linda is looking for ideas on what to try next.
There are a couple of other things you can check. First of all, you should check to make sure that the language settings are correct for your document. If, for instance, the document contains some words marked as non-English, then those words would be checked by Word using a non-English dictionary, which might result in them being flagged.
The next thing to do is to check your dictionaries—custom and exclusion—and make sure that these common words do not appear in either of them. Other WordTips explain how to check the contents of dictionaries.
Speaking of dictionaries, you may want to check to make sure you are using the dictionary that came with Word, rather than some other dictionary. If the dictionary has changed, then it is very possible for the words to be marked as incorrect.
You should also check to make sure that the spelling checker is flagging all instances of these words. For instance, if the word "there" is flagged in one place but not in the other—and the language of the text is properly set—then there is a good chance that the flagging is correct. Word includes, as part of the proofing tools, the ability to checking spelling within a given context. Perhaps the tools think that "there" should actually be "their" or "they're" in the instance it has flagged.
Finally, you may want to check the Windows Registry (using a Registry editor, of course) to see if the following key is there:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Proofing Tools\1.0\Override
There are many reports on the Internet (and in the Microsoft Knowledge base) about the need to delete this key. All of them indicate that the key, if present, can affect the proofing tools—including the spell checker—so that they don't work properly. Interestingly enough, there are no reliable reports as to what the key does or how it might get in your Registry. Nonetheless, if it is, delete it and restart Word.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10759) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Normal Words Flagged by Spell Check.
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!
When you perform a spelling check, Word typically checks everything in your document. If you want to limit what is ...Discover More
Things that are accomplished easily with a single document (such as resetting spelling and grammar checking settings) can ...Discover More
Word keeps track of the words that may be misspelled in a document. If you are working with a lot of documents, you may ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.