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: Changing Colors of Spelling and Grammar Underlines.

Changing Colors of Spelling and Grammar Underlines

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated October 28, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


One of the built-in tools for Word is real-time spell-checking and grammar-checking. Using the default configuration of the program, Word displays potential spelling errors with a wavy red underline and potential grammar errors with a wavy green underline. This presents a problem for people who may be red-green color blind, as they will not be able to tell which type of error is which on-screen. The solution would be to change the colors of the underlines, but Word doesn't provide a built-in way to make the change.

One possible solution is to play with the color settings for Windows as a whole. You can go to the Appearance and Personalization option (in the Control Panel) and click the Ease of Access Center option. There are several display options available to choose from, including Set up High Contrast. You may need to experiment a bit, but this approach could give desirable results not just in Word, but in other applications as well.

You can also change the colors by modifying some settings in the Windows Registry. The best instructions for how to accomplish this are included in Microsoft's Knowledge Base, at the following page:

https://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=925597

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11163) 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: Changing Colors of Spelling and Grammar Underlines.

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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