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Audio course: Get to know Word: Create your first document

Red wavy underlines beneath either misspellings or text that Word does not recognize; green wavy underlines beneath possible grammatical errors. Suggested spelling revisions.

Fig. 1  A document with spelling and grammatical errors.
Callout 1 The red wavy red underline indicates a spelling error in "Museum."
Callout 2 The green wavy underline indicates a problem with the grammar.
Fig. 2  Right-click a word with a red or green underline. Select an alternative from the menu, and it will automatically replace the word in the document.

Most of us make mistakes sometimes, with spelling or perhaps with grammar. Or we might enter text, such as a proper name or place, that Word doesn't recognize and marks as misspelled.

When that happens, you'll see wavy red underlines for possible spelling errors and wavy green underlines for possible grammatical errors. See Figure 1.

When you see something with an underline, right-click it. As shown in Figure 2, a menu appears with a list of suggested alternatives. Click one, and that word will replace the underlined word in your document. (Every once in a while Word will not be able to offer any spelling alternatives.)

Sometimes Word will add the red underline to a word it does not recognize — like your name. You can add those words to the Word dictionary by clicking Add to Dictionary so that they aren't underlined in the future. You'll see how in the practice session at the end of this lesson.

For possible grammatical errors, Word tries to suggest a revision. It's up to you to decide if Word is right, or if you are.

Tip     When you want to know what's going on in the document window, or if you want to know how to do something, ask about what you want to know in the Type a question for help box in the upper right corner of the window: Type a question for help box.

For example, to find out about the red and green lines, you could type "wavy lines" or "underlines" to see the Help topic "What do the underlines in my document mean?"

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