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Resetting Spell Check in Word

I recently noticed that obvious spelling errors were being overlooked in my Word documents. Assuming that the English language hadn’t changed overnight and that “lsdkpojljr” was not actually a word, I looked elsewhere for the cause. As it turns out, the automatic spell check had been inadvertently switched off. If this has happened to you, follow the steps below to turn it back on.

There are a couple ways to do this. For the first, under the Review tab of the Ribbon, click the Set Language button. If a document has already been started that needs to be checked, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+A to select all the text in that document before proceeding.

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In the Find Language dialog box, uncheck Do not check spelling or grammar and click OK.

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To locate it in Word 2003, look under the Tools menu, select Language, and click Set Languageā€¦ from the submenu. This will bring up the Find Language dialog box.

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A second method for accessing the Find Language dialog box is to use Find and Replace. Again, there are a couple methods for getting there. In Word 2007 or 2010, Find and Replace are located under the Home tab of the Ribbon (the image below is from Word 2007).

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A method that works in all versions of Word from 2003 on, is to access Find and Replace by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+F. This shortcut is also extremely useful for finding stuff in other types of documents, on websites, or in numerous other places in the computer. However, those missing car keys or that sock that got lost in the dryer, may have to be tracked using more primitive methods.

Once the Find and Replace dialog box appears, click the More button.

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This will expand the box, revealing the Format button. Click that, and select Language from the menu to display the Find Language dialog box.

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If you’d rather not have your Word documents checked, accessing Find Language is also the way to disable spell check. Or, it can be used to selectively ignore particular blocks of text, described in the tip, Disable Spellchecker in Word [7].