Word: Spellchecker

Completing a paper does not mean just getting works on the screen and printing the document. It means checking for errors and using different words rather than the same ones each time.

Spellchecker | Thesaurus | Find/Replace | Autocorrect


Word will automatically check the spelling as you type. It will make some minor corrections, but will not always do the correction automatically. It will also check for errors in grammar and punctuation.

PLEASE NOTE: Just running the Spellchecker does NOT eliminate the need to proof read your document. The Spellchecker will catch most but certainly not all errors.Run the Spellchecker and then proof read carefully!


Look at the sample text below:

A word that the Spellchecker believes is not spelled correctly will be underlined in red. If you know the correct spelling you can make the correction yourself and the red line will disappear.


You can start the Spellchecker for the document by going to Format / Check spelling or pressing F7.

Just a side note: You also see Word Count as one of the options. This can be a very helpful tool in finding out just how long your document really is.


As the Spellchecker runs, it will bring up the following dialog box each time it thinks it has found an error.

The program will show the error in red, and below the possible words you were intending to type. Select the correct one and click on Change. The program will automatically resume checking.

Note you can Ignore the finding. Maybe it is name that isn't in the program's dictionary. If it is only in the document once, you might elect to just Ignore it. If it is a reoccurring name, you can elect to Add to Dictionary by clicking that option. You may find certain scientific terms, specialized words, etc. not in the standard dictionary.


Look at the following sentence:

If you wanted to use a different word for "urging", place your curser in the word and right click on your mouse. You will see the following:

Slide your mouse down to Synonyms, and you will see the six that Word selected. If you want one of them, slide over the word and release the mouse button. It will automatically replace the word with your choice.


If you don't see what you think would work better, but still want to see more options, slide down to Thesaurus. The following screen will appear on the right side of your document:

You can click on All Reference Books or All Research Sites for more options.


This is a great feature of Word, if you want to find a word in your document, or find a word and replace it with another. Go to Edit / Find and you will see the following choices. Select Find.


Now you see the following menu:

Type the word you are looking for in the Find what: blank and press Enter. It will find the first occurrence of the word. If you want to search for more, click on the Find Next button.


So far you are looking at just Find. Now we get to Replace. Suppose you found out that you spelled a name in your document wrong each time it appeared. This is where Find / Replace will cut down the time considerably. Click on the Replace button:

In the Find what blank type the misspelled word. In the Replace with blank, type the correct spelling. Press Replace to replace it once, or Replace All to replace every occurrence in the document.


Autocorrect does just what the name implies, but you can customize it to fit the way you work. You can add to this feature.

If you are tired of always typing your name in Word, you can use your initials to have the program automatically type your name. If you are typing a paper where the main subject is hard to spell, (Schwarzenegger, for example), you can create your own abbreviation (SC, for example), and every time you type SC, it will be replaced with the whole word. Here is how it works.


Go to Tools / AutoCorrect Options


The following menu will appear:

Under Replace: type in your abbreviation. Under With: type in the replacement text. See the example for Schwarzenegger above. Press OK. The next time you type SC, it will automatically be replaced with Schwarzenegger.