Spelling and Grammar Quick Check

sentences corrected in red ink

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Rather than scrolling through your document to find the grammar and spelling that Word has tagged, you can have Word take you automatically to each word or passage that it deems to be incorrect. In fact, there are two different ways you can do this:

The Alt + F7 Shortcut Key

Using the Alt + F7 shortcut key will take you to the first mistake in the sentence where the insertion point is currently located or, if nothing is tagged in the current sentence, to the next error. It will open the spelling and grammar shortcut menu (the same one you would get if you right-clicked on the questionable entry). You must make a selection from the shortcut menu before you use the shortcut key again. If you do not wish to make any alterations, position the mouse in the next sentence and then use the shortcut key to take you to the next error. 

The Spelling and Grammar Button

The second method is to double click on the spelling and grammar button on the status bar. For those of you unfamiliar with this button, it is located on the bottom-most portion of the window and looks like an open book. Like the shortcut key, it will take you through the errors, opening up the shortcut menu for each instance. Unlike the shortcut key, however, you do not have to make a selection or click elsewhere before you can move to the next error. Simply double click the button again.

This method can be somewhat unpredictable in terms of its starting point, so you should always make sure your cursor is positioned at the beginning of the document when using this method. 

A Caveat About Using Word's Spelling and Grammar Checker

While this is a valuable feature for any user, it is only designed to catch errors you might have missed. You should never rely solely on this feature to do your proofreading. Anyone who has used Word for even a moderate amount of time can tell you that some of Word's grammar and autocorrect suggestions are simply ludicrous.

Further, when it comes to spelling, you can have a correctly spelled word that is used incorrectly, and word won't necessarily tag it as an error. For example: their, they're, and there are often used incorrectly. Needless to say, if you produce a document containing usage errors, readers will make negative assumptions about your skills and intelligence, so it is well worth it to spend the extra time reviewing your work.