Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Turning Off Spell Checking.

Turning Off Spell Checking

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated October 8, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


If you want to turn off spell checking in Word, there are two ways you can do it. Most people who want to turn it off do so because their specific documents may have many spelling errors which are not really spelling errors—you know, caused by jargon or abbreviations or highly specialized words. If you want to globally turn off spell checking for your documents, you can do so by following these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 or later versions, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. At the left side of the dialog box, click Proofing. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Proofing options of the Word Options dialog box.

  4. Clear the Check Spelling As You Type check box.
  5. Click OK.

Now, in order to check the spelling of your document you will need to explicitly command Word to initiate the process. (The easiest way to do this, of course, is to press F7.)

If you want to turn off spell checking for a specific paragraph, you can do so by making sure there is no language associated with the paragraph. You do this by following these steps:

  1. Select the paragraph for which you want spell checking turned off.
  2. Display the Review tab of the ribbon.
  3. For Word 2007, find the Proofing group and click on Set Language. For Word 2010 and later versions, Language has its own group in the Review tab. From the group select Language | Set Proofing Language. Word displays the Language dialog box.
  4. Make sure the Do Not Check Spelling or Grammar check box is selected.
  5. Click on OK.

At this point Word will not check the spelling or grammar of the paragraph. It will, however, check any other paragraph in your document for which proofing is not turned off. If you find yourself changing the language setting for many paragraphs in your document, you may be best to use styles to define a specific style that has proofing turned off. You can then apply that style wherever necessary in your document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10804) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Turning Off Spell Checking.

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

Flipping Landscape Orientation when Printing

When printing a worksheet, you may want to rotate the output on the page to fit a certain orientation. Excel doesn't ...

Discover More

Making a Cell's Contents Bold within a Macro

When your macro is processing information in a worksheet, do you need to periodically make the contents of a cell bold? ...

Discover More

Searching for All

When you are working on a worksheet (particularly a large one), you may want to search for and possibly copy information ...

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)

Limiting a Spelling Check

When you perform a spelling check, Word typically checks everything in your document. If you want to limit what is ...

Discover More

Editing Custom Dictionaries

Custom dictionaries can be great, but they take quite a bit of time to create. Word provides a way you can edit your ...

Discover More

Turning Off the Check for Repeated Words

If your work involves the usage of repeated words, you may be interested in configuring Word so it doesn't flag those ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 1 - 0?

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.

Videos
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.