Check spelling and grammar

Some of the content in this topic may not be applicable to some languages.

By default, Microsoft Word checks spelling and grammar automatically as you type, using wavy red underlines to indicate possible spelling problems and wavy green underlines to indicate possible grammatical problems.

You can also check spelling and grammar all at once.

ShowCheck spelling and grammar automatically as you type

  1. Make sure automatic spelling and grammar checking are turned on.


  1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Spelling & Grammar tab.
  2. Select the Check spelling as you type and Check grammar as you type check boxes.
  1. Type in the document.
  2. Right-click a word with a wavy red or green underline, and then select the command or the spelling alternative you want.


  • You can use AutoCorrect to automatically correct spelling as you type, without having to confirm each correction. For example, if you type definately and then type a space or other punctuation, AutoCorrect automatically replaces it with "definitely."
  • If Word finds a lowercase word, for example "london," that is listed in the main dictionary only with a different capitalization ("London"), the capitalization may be flagged or corrected automatically as you type. You can specify that Word not flag this capitalization by adding the lowercase form to a custom dictionary.

ShowCheck spelling and grammar all at once

This method is useful if you want to postpone proofing a document until after you finish editing it. You can check for possible spelling and grammatical problems, and then confirm each correction.

 Note   By default, Word checks both spelling and grammar. If you want to check spelling only, click Options on the Tools menu, click the Spelling & Grammar tab, clear the Check grammar with spelling check box, and then click OK.

  1. On the Standard toolbar (toolbar: A bar with buttons and options that you use to carry out commands. To display a toolbar, press ALT and then SHIFT+F10.), click Spelling and Grammar Button image.
  2. When Word finds a possible spelling or grammatical problem, make your changes in the Spelling and Grammar dialog box.


  • You can correct spelling and grammar directly in the document while the Spelling and Grammar dialog box is open. Type your correction in the document, and then click Resume in the Spelling and Grammar dialog box.
  • For a detailed explanation of a grammar flag, click Explain in the Spelling and Grammar dialog box.

ShowRecheck the spelling and grammar that you previously checked and chose to ignore

  1. Open the document that needs to be checked.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  3. Click the Spelling & Grammar tab.
  4. Under Proofing Tools, click Recheck Document.
  5. To recheck the spelling and grammar, click Yes when you see the following message: This operation resets the spelling checker and the grammar checker so that Word will recheck words and grammar you previously checked and chose to ignore. Do you want to continue?
  6. In the Options dialog box, click OK to get back to the document.
  7. On the Tools menu, click Spelling and Grammar.

 Note   If you mistype a word but the result is not a misspelling (for example, "from" instead of "form" or "there" instead of "their"), the spelling checker will not flag the word.

Applies to:
Word 2003