Forcing a Complete Spelling and Grammar Check

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated October 3, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


1

Joy has a document that has some text that is not checked in a spelling or grammar check. Some phrases are specifically marked "do not check" in the Language dialog box, and some styles are set up for no checking. Joy would like, however, to "override" this setting and force a complete check of the document.

This can be done in Word if you follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+A. This selects the entire document.
  2. Display the Review tab of the Ribbon.
  3. If you are using Word 2007, click the Set Language tool in the Proofing group. If you are using Word 2010 or a later version, click the Language tool in the Language group and then choose Set Proofing Language. Word displays the Language dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Language dialog box.

  5. Uncheck the Do Not Check Spelling Or Grammar checkbox.
  6. In the list of available languages, select the option that reflects the language of the text.
  7. Click OK.

At this point your document is ready for a complete check. All you need to do is press F7 or, on the Review tab, click the Check Document tool (Spelling & Grammar tool in earlier versions of Word) in the Proofing group.

Understand, though, that if you go through this process you've effectively overridden whatever your particular styles have as "default" for your text. To get back to the default (at least according to the styles), you'll need to select the entire document again (Ctrl+A) and then press Ctrl+Q to return everything to normal. This won't undo any spelling corrections you made, but it will return the "do not check" setting to whatever is defined for each style used in the document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13247) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365.

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 less than 3?

2020-10-03 04:54:11

Ken Endacott

There is a big problem with this tip. Checking or unchecking "Do not check spelling or grammar" does not work if the text selected has more than 50 paragraphs, otherwise it simply does nothing and doesn't tell you that the operation has failed. If you want to apply to the whole document then you need to apply in 50 paragraph chunks. This bug in Word is present in very early to current versions.


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