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: Spelling Errors Resulting from Erroneous Spaces.

Spelling Errors Resulting from Erroneous Spaces

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 30, 2014)


There are times when Sandy is typing and she mistakenly types a space in the middle of a word. For instance, she might type "qui ver", and Word's spelling checker will helpfully mark the incomplete words as wrong. This doesn't happen all the time, however. If Sandy types something like "t o" (when she meant to type "to"), Word doesn't catch this as a spelling error. Sandy wonders if there is a way she can configure spell check to catch this type of error.

The short answer is that you cannot; spell check doesn't consider single letters (such as "t" and "o") to be spelling errors. There is something you can try, however—AutoCorrect. If you analyze your typing and find that you often insert the extra space in two-letter words such as "to," then you can set up an AutoCorrect entry to replace "t o" with "to".

In creating an AutoCorrect entry of this type, you need to be careful of how you put the entries together. You should make sure that you always want to replace the sequence with something else. Of course, using the AutoCorrect entries for a while will disclose any potential replacement problems.

One you will particular want to watch out for is the letter "i" followed by another character. For instance, if you routinely mistype "in" as "i n" (with the space between the two letters), an AutoCorrect entry may seem in order. However, if you type "i n", as soon as you type the space then AutoCorrect capitalizes the "I" and when you type the "n" your new AutoCorrect entry will convert "I n" to "In". The upshot is you will never be able to have an AutoCorrected lowercase "in"; it will always end up as "In."

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13232) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Spelling Errors Resulting from Erroneous Spaces.

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. ...


Font Substitution Problems

When your document uses fonts that are not available on your computer system, Word substitutes other fonts that it feels ...

Discover More

Entering Dates without Separators

When doing data entry into a worksheet, you might want to enter dates without the need to type the separators that are ...

Discover More

Spell Checking Only Checking Grammar

Word has a built-in spelling and grammar checker that can help reduce errors in your prose. It may be a bit confusing if ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Adding Hyphenated Words to the Dictionary

When you hyphenate words, does the resulting compound word end up being marked as incorrectly spelled? This tip examines ...

Discover More

Making Ignore All Work for a Document on All Systems

When you tell Word's spell checker to ignore all instances of a misspelling, you may expect that the misspelling will be ...

Discover More

Expanding a Custom Dictionary

Does Word tell you that your custom dictionary is full? It might not actually be full, but even if it is you can add ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


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}] 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 + 8?

2014-09-13 10:37:17

Andrew G. Plourde

I wonder if it would help to cause the machine to issue a short beep whenever autocorrect was triggered. This would call attention to our error and we could determine if the correction was justified.

Is there any way to do this?


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.

Newest Tips

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.