by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 14, 2018)
Marie notes that the grammar check tool in Word is frequently wrong. When it underlines a word or phrase in blue, she can click on "Ignore" or "Ignore All" and the blue goes away. However, when she reopens the document, the blue squiggly underlines are back. This is embarrassing, as her clients get that same blue underline and think she's made an error when she hasn't. Marie wonders how she can keep the blue ink away while maintaining the grammar check feature.
At least a partial answer to this question has been covered in a different WordTip. (See the tip entitled Getting Rid of Blue Squiggly Underlines. I note this as a partial answer only, because Ivan (in that tip) wanted to get rid of the blue underlines only on his own system, whereas Marie seems more concerned with getting rid of them on her clients' systems. In other words, she wants a document she has worked on (and on which she has resolved blue underlines by clicking "Ignore" or "Ignore All") to not show those blue underlines when her clients open the same document.
This, unfortunately, cannot be done. Why? Because when you are clicking "Ignore" or "Ignore All" on your system, you are telling the grammar checker what to do only on your system. When the document is opened on a different system (like, perhaps, your client's system), it is his or her grammar checker that adds the blue underlines. Word does not store the "Ignore" or "Ignore All" determinations with the document itself.
There is another thing to keep in mind here: Word bases those blue underlines on a series of settings that are configurable within each installation of Word. You can see those rules by following these three steps:
Figure 1. The Grammar Settings dialog box.
All of these "rule settings" can be changed on a system-by-system basis. Thus, you could have different rule settings than are used on your clients' systems, which means that on their systems grammar will be checked (and marked with blue underlines) differently than on your system.
Of course, one potential solution is to reword your prose to satisfy Word's grammar checker, which will remove the blue underline. This is probably not a satisfactory approach, though, because (1) Word can be wrong in its marking, as Marie notes, and (2) different rule settings may cause blue underlines to appear on the client systems even though they don't appear on yours.
A more permanent solution would be to add a macro to the document to turn off grammar checking when the document is loaded and turn it back on when it is closed. A better solution, though, might be to simply generate a PDF from your document and let the clients work with the PDF rather than the actual Word 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 (13534) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365.
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