Controlling Spelling Settings

The Spelling & Grammar tab of the Options dialog box (see Figure 8.5) gives you extensive control over how you interact with Word's spell checker. You can display this dialog box by clicking the Options button in the Spelling and Grammar dialog box, or by choosing Tools, Options, and clicking the Spelling & Grammar tab.

Figure 8.5. You can control the behavior of spelling and grammar from the Spelling & Grammar tab of the Options dialog box.


You've already learned about the first two options in this dialog box: Check Spelling as You Type and Hide Spelling Errors in This Document. Word also offers you several additional controls:

  • Always Suggest Corrections. Word's spelling suggestions are often inaccurate in highly technical documents or documents that contain a lot of arcane jargon. For such documents, to save time, you might want to disable Word's suggested-spellings feature.

  • Suggest from Main Dictionary Only. By default, Word looks in all open dictionaries to make suggestions about spelling changes. This can take time. It also means that Word may recognize as correct certain words that are actually incorrect when read in context. If you're sure your current document won't benefit from words you added to your custom dictionaries, check this box.

  • Ignore Words in UPPERCASE. No spell checker understands all acronyms. Because most acronyms are all caps, you can tell Word not to flag words that are all caps. (This feature is turned on by default.)

  • Ignore Words with Numbers. Some product names combine words and numbers. Suppose that you sell a 324MX computer, a D1007 CD player, and a KFE259 fire extinguisher. Word might flag each of these as incorrect?a real problem if you're proofing a long price list. Therefore, by default, Word ignores word/number combinations.

  • Ignore Internet and File Addresses. Until recently, most spell checkers have incorrectly flagged Internet file addresses such as the Web address or the filename c:\windows\system.dat. If you leave this check box checked, Word doesn't spell check addresses such as these.

The Spelling & Grammar tab can control one additional aspect of Word spell checking: custom dictionaries. These are covered in the next section.

    Part I: Word Basics: Get Productive Fast
    Part II: Building Slicker Documents Faster
    Part III: The Visual Word: Making Documents Look Great
    Part IV: Industrial-Strength Document Production Techniques
    Part VI: The Corporate Word