Turning Off Error Checking for a Specific Word

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 19, 2014)

1

Michael's company's name is "Skin Care By Design" with "By" capitalized. He uses Word to create many of their forms and most of the documentation (employee handbook, policies and procedures, LLC documents, etc.). The word "By" always appears with the squiggly underline with a suggestion to change it to lowercase ("by" instead of "By"). Michael does not wish to turn off spelling and grammar error checking, but he does not want this to be flagged as a violation. He entered "By" into the custom dictionary but this had no effect. He wonders if there is a way to inform Word that this is not to be considered a violation.

Short of chaning your company name to please Word, there are a few different ways you can approach this problem. One way is to turn off grammar errors for the document in which this particular error occurs. Follow these steps:

  1. Load the document that contains the error.
  2. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 and Word 2013 display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  3. At the left side of the dialog box click Proofing. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Proofing options of the Word Options dialog box.

  5. Scroll to the very bottom of the dialog box.
  6. Make sure the Hide Grammar Errors in this Document Only check box is selected.
  7. Click OK.

The result is that none of the grammar errors (including the miscapitalized "By") are marked. This doesn't affect any other documents where you may want the errors to be displayed, nor does it affect the display of spelling errors.

Another approach is to turn off the grammar-checking rule that is triggered when Word marks "By." You can accomplish this approach in this manner:

  1. Load the document that contains the error.
  2. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 and Word 2013 display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  3. At the left side of the dialog box click Proofing.
  4. Click the Settings button. Word displays the Grammar Settings dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  5. Figure 2. The Grammar Settings dialog box.

  6. Make sure the Capitalization check box is cleared. (This is the rule that indicates whether the grammar checker should mark miscapitalized words.)
  7. Click OK to close the Grammar Settings dialog box.
  8. Click OK to close the Word Options dialog box.

This change affects not just the current document, but grammar checking in all Office documents (not just Word dccuments).

A third approach is to turn off both spelling and grammar checking for the word "By." This approach makes sense because you already know that both the spelling of the word and its grammar (capitalization) are correct. Follow these steps:

  1. Select the word "By."
  2. Display the Review tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click the Language tool (in the Language group) and then click Set Proofing Language. Word displays the Language dialog box. (See Figure 3.)
  4. Figure 3. The Language dialog box.

  5. Make sure the Do Not Check Spelling or Grammar check box is selected.
  6. Click OK.

That's it; the instance of "By" that you selected in step 1 won't ever be marked as incorrect by either the spelling checker or grammar checker.

It can get tedious to select all instances of "By" and make this change, so you might want to consider a better approach—using styles. Follow these steps:

  1. Select the entire company name ("Skin Care By Design").
  2. Display the Home tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click the small icon at the bottom-right of the Styles group. Word displays the Styles task pane.
  4. At the bottom of the Styles task pane there are three small tool buttons. Click the left-most of these, the New Style tool. Word displays the Create New Style from Formatting dialog box. (See Figure 4.)
  5. Figure 4. The Create New Style from Formatting dialog box.

  6. In the Name field, enter the style name you want to use for your company name. (A good one would be "CompanyName," without the quote marks.)
  7. Using the Style Type drop-down list, choose Character.
  8. Click on Format. Word displays a drop-down menu.
  9. Choose the Language option from the menu. Word displays the Language dialog box.
  10. Make sure the Do Not Check Spelling or Grammar check box is selected.
  11. Click OK to dismiss the Language dialog box.
  12. Click OK to finish creating the new style.

With the CompanyName style created, you can apply it to all instances of the company name in your document and those instances won't be flagged for grammar or spelling. You can, if you desire, use Find and Replace to change the style for all instances of the company name in your existing documents. For new documents you could create an AutoText entry that places the correctly formatted (styled) company name in your document.

The beauty of the style-centered approach, of course, is that you could apply additional formatting to the company name, if desired. For instance, you might want your company name to always appear using small caps, or you want it to be bold, italics, or a particular font. All you need to do s to make the formatting changes in the style definition, and then they are reflected in all instances of your company name that use the style.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13168) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013.

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 8 - 2?

2014-07-21 04:33:23

Stephen

Have you considered using a non-printing character instead of the space between 'Care' and 'By', and then adding the resulting compound word 'Care By' to the dictionary to pass the spelling check.

This might cause issues with word wrapping though.


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