Checking the spelling and grammar of a document

If you want to check the whole document, place the insertion point at the top of the document. If you only want to check part of the text, select that part.

When there is no selection, Word checks the entire document including footnotes, headers, footers and so on.

From the Review tab, go to the Proofing group and click Spelling & Grammar, or use the [F7] keyboard shortcut.

Depending on the case, the Spelling or Grammar pane opens in the right of the window and displays the first error Word finds; this error is selected in the document.


For spelling mistakes, Word highlights words for three main reasons: the word is unknown (does not occur in the application’s dictionary), the word is repeated (for example, I know that that is true), the word is entered with an unusual combination of upper and lower case letters (example: LETter).

If Word finds a grammatical mistake or a word used incorrectly, it also stops.

Spelling is checked against two main dictionaries (Word’s dictionaries: RoamingCustom.dic and CUSTOM.DIC) and as many custom dictionaries as you like.

In the list at the bottom of the pane, you can change the dictionary you want to use for the error selected in the pane; the English (United Kingdom) dictionary is selected by default.

If you choose the German dictionary, Word suggest corrections in German. The English dictionary will be selected again when you go on to the next error.

If Word has any corrections to suggest, it displays them in the top part of the pane, otherwise it says ...