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Using the Proofing Tools

Word includes a spelling/grammar checker and a thesaurus 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. If you want to see a word’s meaning, there are several free dictionaries that you can easily install.

To install a dictionary (to check word definitions)

  1. Right-click any word in an open Word document and choose Define from the context menu that appears.

    The Dictionaries task pane appears red-a.jpg.

    Figure 4.29

    red-a.jpg Select a dictionary to install and click Download.

  2. Click the Download button of the dictionary that you want to install.

    The dictionary downloads and installs. The definition for the selected word appears in the new task pane red-b.jpg.

    Figure 4.30

    Click to view larger image

    red-b.jpg A dictionary’s task pane.

To look up a word’s definition

  • Do either of the following:
    • If the word is in the current document, select and right-click it. Choose Define from the context menu.
    • Click Review : Proofing : Define red-c.jpg, type or paste the word into the Search box gray-b.jpg, and click the search icon (or press Enter).
    Figure 4.31

    red-c.jpg You can open the dictionary task pane by clicking Define.

    The word’s definition is displayed in the task pane gray-b.jpg.

To find a synonym for a word

  • Do either of the following:
    • If the word is in the current document, select and right-click it, and open the Synonyms submenu in the context menu. To replace the word, choose a synonym from the list. (If you’d rather use the Thesaurus task pane, choose Thesaurus.)
    • Click Review : Proofing : Thesaurus gray-c.jpg. In the Thesaurus task pane red-d.jpg, type or paste the word into the search box. Click the search icon or press Enter. (If the word is preselected in the document, it will automatically appear in the search box.)
    Figure 4.32

    red-d.jpg The Thesaurus task pane.

    To use a listed synonym, click the down arrow beside the word, and choose Insert or Copy red-e.jpg.

    Figure 4.33

    red-e.jpg To use a synonym, click its down arrow and choose Insert or Copy.

To check spelling and/or grammar as you type

  1. When Check spelling as you type is enabled in Word Options (see the Tip at the end of the next section), each suspected spelling or grammatical error is marked with a wavy, colored underline.
  2. Spelling. To correct or dismiss a marked spelling error (red), right-click the underlined text and choose an option from the context menu red-f.jpg:
    Figure 4.34

    red-f.jpg Right-click a marked spelling error and choose an option from the context menu.

    • To accept a suggested correction (if any are listed), choose a replacement spelling from the listed words.
    • Choose Ignore or Ignore All to ignore this or every instance of the flagged spelling in the current document.
    • If the spelling is correct, choose Add to Dictionary to record the word and ensure that it’s never flagged again.
  3. Grammar. To correct or dismiss a marked grammatical error (blue), right-click the underlined text. Choose one of the following from the context menu red-g.jpg:
    Figure 4.35

    red-g.jpg Right-click a blue grammatical error to view possible corrections.

    • Choose the suggested fix to let Word make the correction.
    • Choose Ignore if you believe that the grammar is correct or if you want to manually make the correction.

To check spelling/grammar for selected text or the document

  1. Optional: To restrict the check to a specific portion of the document, select the text to be checked.
  2. Click Review : Proofing : Spelling & Grammar (F7).

    If suspected errors are identified, the Spelling or Grammar task pane opens.

  3. Spelling. To handle a suspected spelling error red-h.jpg, do one of the following:
    Figure 4.36

    Click to view larger image

    red-h.jpg The Spelling and Grammar task panes. (Be sure to review the explanatory text under the list box.)

    • To accept a suggested correction, 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.
    • To accept the flagged word as correct, click Ignore to skip this instance or 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.
  4. Grammar. To handle a suspected grammar error gray-h.jpg, do one of the following:
    • If you believe the grammar is correct or you intend to rewrite the text, click the Ignore or Ignore All button.
    • Select the correction in the list box and then click the appropriate button, such as Change or Change All.
Figure 4.37

Click to view larger image

red-i.jpg Set preferences for the proofing tools in the Proofing section of the Word Options dialog box.

Figure 4.38

red-j.jpg Although their is a proper word, Word flagged it as incorrect in the context of this sentence.

Figure 4.39

Click to view larger image

red-k.jpg Add words that you commonly misspell to the AutoCorrect list.

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