Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 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: Quickly Finding Synonyms.

Quickly Finding Synonyms

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 12, 2020)

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Long-time users of Word know that the program offers several different writing tools you can use, such as a spell checker, grammar checker, and thesaurus. You can easily find synonyms for a word (from the thesaurus, of course) by right-clicking on a word and then choosing Synonyms from the resulting Context menu.

As you are using this feature, you may notice that it is not available at all times or, if it is available, it may not offer any real synonyms. This is because Word may not know of any synonyms (particularly if it cannot determine how a word is being used) or if there simply aren't any. In addition, there are no synonyms available if the original word is misspelled, part of a marked grammar error, or if it is part of a hyperlink.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13010) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Quickly Finding Synonyms.

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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What is three less than 9?

2016-12-09 07:00:18

Jim Stevens

Or you can use the keyboard shortcut for the thesaurus: Shift + F7


2014-03-17 13:55:47

John Shiffler

Just a note in reference to "there are no synonyms available if the original word is in a bulleted list, a numbered list..."

I am able to use the right-click synonym function with text in both bulleted and numbered lists.

Using Word 2010 (SP2) 32-bit in Windows 7 Professional 64-bit.


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