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Using the Proofing Tools

Word includes a dictionary, thesaurus, and spelling/grammar checker that you can use to help with writing and editing. Spelling and grammar can be checked on the fly (as you type) or run as a traditional full-document or selected-text check.

To look up a word's definition:

  1. Do either of the following:
    • If the word is in the current document, select it, right-click it, and choose Look Up > Encarta Dictionary from the context menu that appears.
    • Switch to the Review tab, and click the Research icon in the Proofing group. In the Research pane (Figure 4.29), type or paste the word into the Search for box, select Encarta Dictionary from the drop-down list, and click the green arrow button.

      Figure 4.29

      Figure 4.29 The Research task pane.

    The word's definition is displayed in the task pane.

To find a synonym for a word:

  1. Do either of the following:
    • If the word is in the current document, select it, right-click it, and open the Synonyms submenu in the context menu that appears. To replace the word, choose a synonym from the list.
    • Switch to the Review tab, and click the Thesaurus icon in the Proofing group. In the Research pane (Figure 4.29), type or paste the word into the Search for box and then click the green arrow button. (If the word is preselected in the document, it will automatically appear in the Search for box.)

      To use a listed synonym in your document, click the down arrow beside the word, and choose Insert or Copy (Figure 4.30).

      Figure 4.30

      Figure 4.30 To use a synonym in the current document, click its down arrow and choose an option.

To check spelling/grammar as you type:

  1. When the Check spelling as you type preference is enabled (see the Tip at the end of this section), each suspected spelling or grammatical error is marked with a wavy, colored underline.
  2. Spelling. To correct or dismiss a marked spelling error, right-click the underlined text and choose one of these options from the context menu (Figure 4.31):
    • To accept a suggested correction (if any are listed), choose a replacement spelling from the words listed at the top of the context menu.
    • Choose Ignore to skip this instance of the word, leaving it unchanged.
    • Choose Ignore All to ignore all instances of the flagged spelling in the document.
    • If the spelling is correct, choose Add to Dictionary to ensure that the word is never flagged again—in this or any other document.
    Figure 4.31

    Figure 4.31 Right-click a marked spelling error and choose an option from the context menu.

  3. Grammar. To correct or dismiss a marked grammar error, right-click the underlined text. Choose one of the following options from the context menu (Figure 4.32):
    • Choose the suggested fix to let Word make the correction.
    • Choose Ignore if you believe the grammar is correct or if you want to manually make the correction.
    Figure 4.32

    Figure 4.32 Grammatical errors can be handled by accepting a proposed correction or by choosing Ignore.

To check spelling/grammar for selected text or the entire document:

  1. Optional: To restrict the check to a specific portion of the document, select the text to be checked.
  2. Do one of the following:

    • On the Review tab, click the Spelling & Grammar icon in the Proofing group.
    • Press f7.jpg.

    If suspected errors are identified, the Spelling and Grammar dialog box appears (Figure 4.33).

    Figure 4.33

    Figure 4.33 Suspected spelling errors (top) are marked in red and grammatical errors (bottom) are shown in green. Both are displayed in context in the top section of the dialog box.

  3. Spelling. To handle a suspected spelling error, do one of the following:
    • To accept a suggested correction (if any are listed), select it in the list and click Change.
    • To accept a suggested correction and apply it throughout the document, select it in the list and click Change All.
    • Edit the misspelled word in the Not in Dictionary box and click Change.
    • To accept the flagged word as spelled correctly, click Ignore Once to ignore this instance of the word or click Ignore All to ignore all instances of this word found in the document.
    • To accept the flagged word as spelled correctly and add it to the Office user dictionary (so it isn't flagged in later checks), click Add to Dictionary.
    • If the flagged word is one that you routinely misspell this way, select the correct spelling in the Suggestions list and click AutoCorrect. The misspelling is added to the AutoCorrect list and will automatically be corrected as you type in future writing sessions.
  4. Grammar. To handle a suspected grammatical error, do one of the following:
    • Click the button labeled with the correction, such as Delete or Change, if one is presented.
    • If you believe the grammar is correct or you intend to rewrite the text, click Ignore Once to ignore the flagged error.
    • Rewrite the text in the top half of the dialog box and click Change.
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