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: Spelling Errors Resulting from Erroneous Spaces.

Spelling Errors Resulting from Erroneous Spaces

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


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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 word 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 particularly 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, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. 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. ...

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What is two more than 0?

2021-08-28 05:22:26

Graham Rice

I would suggest using the Word 'Grammar' check, this may catch several errors of this type.
I have set Word to "Check grammar with spelling" in the Proofing options.

Using your example of "t o" Word gave a "Possible Word Choice Error" and suggested "to" as an alternative.
See attached image. (see Figure 1 below)

Figure 1. 


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