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


2

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Understanding Graphic Linking

Word provides a couple of different ways that graphics can be linked to your document. How you control the method used ...

Discover More

Setting a Default File Format

Excel normally saves workbooks using a default file format that is peculiar to your version of the program. You can ...

Discover More

Adding an Equal Sign Tool

Excel used to provide, prior to Excel 2002, an equal-sign tool near the Formula bar. If you miss this tool, you may want ...

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)

Turning Off Spell Checking

For some documents, you may not want spell checking turned on. There are two ways that you can turn it off, depending on ...

Discover More

Limiting a Spelling Check

When you perform a spelling check, Word typically checks everything in your document. If you want to limit what is ...

Discover More

Spell Checking Your Document

One of the final touches that many people perform is to check the spelling of their document. This can help improve the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

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

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 3 + 7?

2024-04-03 12:58:50

Barbie

Actually, you can have an autocorrected lowercase "in"; just make sure to set it to replace "I n" (uppercase I) with "in" (lowercase). Of course, this will cause grammar errors if it is the first word if a sentence. Another option is to have it replace "i n" with "onr" - the nonsense weird will be flagged as incorrectly spelled, and you can correct it appropriately. (I often do this for words I frequently mistype as another actual word, such as form instead of from)


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. 


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.

Videos
Subscribe

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.