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Proofing Your Work

It's a good idea to check your work before letting anyone else see it. Word 2004 provides tools you can use to check your spelling and grammar, find synonyms when you're stuck for a word, and look up word definitions.

To check spelling and grammar

  1. Choose Tools > Spelling and Grammar or press optioncmdl.gif.

    The Spelling and Grammar dialog box appears (Figure 3.25). The spelling checker searches for possible misspellings, and the grammar checker identifies questionable grammar.


    Figure 3.25 Word suggests corrections for most spelling and grammatical issues that it identifies.

  2. As it examines the document, Word stops at each questionable word or phrase. For each instance, do one of the following:
    • To accept one of the entries in the Suggestions list, highlight the suggestion and click Change.
    • You can manually edit the text in the upper text box. Click Change to accept the edits or Undo Edit to revert to the original text.
    • To leave the word or phrase as is and continue the spelling check, click Ignore. To ignore all instances of the word or phrase in the current document, click Ignore All.
    • To add the current spelling of a flagged word to your user dictionary and simultaneously accept the new spelling as correct, click Add. (Adding a word will prevent Word from flagging it as a misspelling in other documents.)
  3. When a suspected grammatical error is identified, the dialog box and its options change (Figure 3.26). For each such error, do one of the following:
    • To ignore the error for this or all instances in the document, click Ignore or Ignore All, respectively.
    • To accept a selected correction in the Suggestions box, click Change.
    • You can manually edit the text. After doing so, click Change to accept the edits or Undo Edit to revert to the original text.
    • To examine the next sentence (without making a judgment on the current problem), click Next Sentence.

    An alert box appears when the spelling and grammar checks are complete.


    Figure 3.26 When questionable grammar is identified, you can ignore this instance or all instances. Or you can skip this instance and jump to the next sentence.

  4. Click OK to dismiss the alert box.

To find synonyms

Do one of the following:

  • To perform a quick lookup, control.gif-click the word or phrase you wish to replace and select a replacement from the Synonyms submenu (Figure 3.28).

    Figure 3.28 To quickly replace a word with a synonym, C-click the word and choose a synonym from the ones presented.

  • Select the word or phrase you wish to replace and choose Tools > Thesaurus ( optioncmdr.gif). The Office Toolbox opens (Figure 3.29), displaying information for the highlighted word or phrase. Select the closest meaning from the Meanings list, select a synonym from the Synonyms list, and click Insert.

    Figure 3.29 The Reference Tools section of the Office Toolbox contains both the thesaurus and dictionary.

To look up a word's definition

  1. Do one of the following:

    • Select the word in your document and choose Tools > Dictionary.
    • control.gif-click the word and choose Look Up > Definition from the pop-up menu that appears.

    The Office Toolbox opens (see Figure 3.29).

  2. If necessary, expand the Encarta World Dictionary section of the Office Toolbox. The definition for the selected word appears in the Definition text box.

Calculating a word count

Sometimes you may need to know the exact word count or similar statistics for a document. For example, word count is important when you're writing to a particular length, as is often the case with magazine articles and homework assignments. Word can calculate this information for you.

To calculate the word count

  1. Do one of the following:

    • To calculate statistics for a particular portion of the document, begin by selecting that part of the document.
    • To calculate statistics for an entire document, ensure that nothing is currently selected.
  2. Choose Tools > Word Count.

    The Word Count dialog box appears (Figure 3.30). It contains information about your document, including the page count and the number of words, lines, and paragraphs in your document


    Figure 3.30 To view a word count and other useful statistics about your document, choose Tools > Word Count.

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