Spelling and Grammar Quick Check

Fastest ways to spell check

Proofreading checklist on a card


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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 three different ways you can do this.

Instructions in this article apply to Word 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, and Word for Office 365.

Run the Spelling and Grammar Checker Manually

You can access the tool on the Review tab.

  1. Open the Word document you want to check.

  2. Select the Review tab.

  3. Choose Check Document in the Proofing group. The Editor pane will open on the right side of the window. In older versions of Word, a dialog box appears displaying the first error found.

    Check Document button in Word
  4. Look at any potential errors found and select the suggested corrections to change them. Alternatively, select Ignore to ignore the suggested correction and continue with the spelling and grammar check.

The F7 Shortcut Key

Using the 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 menu (the same one you would get if you right-clicked on the questionable entry). You must make a selection from the 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. 

Editor pane in Word

The Spelling and Grammar Button

The second method is to double click on the spelling and grammar button on the status bar, located on the bottom-most portion of the window. It looks like an open book.

As with the shortcut key, it will take you through the errors. 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. 

Spelling and Grammar button in Word

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.

For instance, you might 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.