You can use the Word spelling checker to verify and to help you correct the spelling of the text in your document. You can have Word automatically check your spelling as you type, or you can manually run the spelling checker to check text that you have already entered.
To have Word check your spelling as you type, choose Options from the Tools menu, click the Spelling & Grammar tab (see Figure 10-2), and select Check Spelling As You Type in the Spelling section at the top of the dialog box.
Figure 10-2. The Spelling & Grammar tab of the Options dialog box.
Word will then check the spelling of any text that has already been entered into your document, and it will check the spelling of each new word immediately after you type it. If the spelling checker encounters a word that it judges to be misspelled (that is, a word that it doesn't find in its dictionary), it marks the word with a wavy red underline. You can ignore the word, correct it manually, or right-click it to display the pop-up menu shown here:
From the pop-up menu, choose one of the following options:
Word will then correct the word in your document, and it will add the correction to the Replace Text As You Type list of the AutoCorrect feature. From then on, Word will correct—not just mark—the misspelling whenever you type it, provided that you have selected the Replace Text As You Type option. To locate this option, choose AutoCorrect from the Tools menu, and click the AutoCorrect tab in the dialog box that appears.
For information on using AutoCorrect to automatically correct spelling in your document, see "Using the AutoCorrect Feature;" and see the tip "Using AutoCorrect to Correct Your Spelling."
If the check-spelling-as-you-type (or check-grammar-as-you-type) feature has marked one or more words in your document, you can locate (and correct) these words by double-clicking the Spelling And Grammar Status icon on the Word status bar. Each time you double-click this icon, Word selects the next marked word and displays the pop-up menu shown above so that you can correct the spelling.
Hide All Spelling Errors
If you don't want to deal with your misspellings until later, you can select the Hide Spelling Errors In This Document option on the Spelling & Grammar tab of the Options dialog box. (See Figure 10-2.) Word will no longer mark misspellings with red wavy underlines; however, it will still check your spellings and remember which words are misspelled. You can later restore the wavy lines, perhaps during your editing pass through the document, by deselecting this option.
Another way to check your spelling is to manually run Word's full-featured spelling checker after you've entered a block of text or an entire document. If you're planning to run the spelling checker, you'll probably want to turn off the check-spelling-as-you-type feature so you won't be bothered with the wavy underlines while you write.
After Word checks the spelling of the words in a sentence, it then checks the grammar of the sentence if the Check Grammar With Spelling option is selected. Also, after it has completed its check, it will display readability statistics if the Show Readability Statistics option is selected. You can access these options by choosing Options from the Tools menu and clicking the Spelling & Grammar tab. The instructions in this section assume that both of these options are not selected. Checking grammar and displaying readability statistics are discussed later in the chapter ("Checking Your Grammar").
To check the spelling of text you have already entered, do the following:
To deal with this word, you should do one or more of the following:
Note that if you edit the word within the Not In Dictionary box, you can click the Undo Edit button (which replaces the Ignore button) before you click another button, to restore the word. Note also that if you retype the word in the Not In Dictionary box and Word still doesn't recognize the spelling, it will flag the word again.
Figure 10-3. The Spelling And Grammar dialog box.
Use the Spelling Checker to Find Repeated Words
The spelling checker will also stop at any word that repeats the previous word (except for words that are commonly repeated, such as that and had). If the spelling checker encounters a repeated word, it will replace the Change button with the Delete button. You can click Ignore to leave the repeated word in the document or click Delete to delete the second word.
Edit While You Display the Spelling And Grammar Dialog Box
You can edit your document while the Spelling And Grammar dialog box remains displayed. To edit, click in the document. To resume the grammar check, click the Resume button in the Spelling And Grammar dialog box.
You can tailor the way Word checks your spelling to your own preferences by clicking the Options button in the Spelling And Grammar dialog box, or by choosing Options from the Tools menu and clicking the Spelling & Grammar tab. Either way, Word will display the Spelling & Grammar tab that was shown in Figure 10-2. Table 10-1 describes the actions you can perform on this tab that affect the spelling checker. Note that these actions affect both the as-you-type spelling checker and the manual spelling checker unless otherwise noted in the table. The Check Spelling As You Type and Hide Spelling Errors In This Document options were discussed previously, and the options that affect the grammar checker will be discussed later in the chapter (in the section "Checking Your Grammar").
Table 10-1. Options on the Spelling & Grammar Tab
|Select the Always Suggest Corrections option.||Whenever the spelling checker finds a misspelled word, the Suggestions list in the Spelling And Grammar dialog box will display, if possible, one or more replacement words. You can then choose an appropriate replacement word to instantly correct your misspelling. This option does not affect the as-you-type spelling checker.|
|Select the Suggest From Main Dictionary Only option.||The spelling checker will suggest words only from its main dictionary and not from any custom dictionaries. Both dictionaries, however, will be used to check spelling. (Custom dictionaries are discussed in the next section.)|
|Select the Ignore Words In UPPERCASE option.||The spelling checker will not check the spelling of words that are in all capital letters. This option prevents the spelling checker from flagging acronyms.|
|Select the Ignore Words With Numbers option.||The spelling checker will not check the spelling of words that contain one or more numbers such as 3-D.|
|Select the Ignore Internet And File Addresses option.||The spelling checker will not check the spelling of Internet addresses (such as http://www.microsoft.com) or file paths (such as C:\Book\Chapter1.doc).|
|Select a dictionary filename in the Custom Dictionary list box.||The spelling checker will add words to this dictionary whenever you click the Add button in the Spelling And Grammar dialog box (or whenever you choose the Add pop-up menu command while correcting a word underlined by the check-spelling-as-you-type feature). This list contains the names of all custom dictionaries that are currently opened (as will be explained later).|
|Click the Dictionaries button.||Word will display the Custom Dictionaries dialog box, which allows you to create, open, remove, or edit custom dictionaries.|
|Click the Recheck Document button (labeled Check Document if you haven't checked spelling or grammar in the current document).||The spelling checker will delete its list of ignored words (that is, words for which you chose the Ignore All option), and will begin flagging them again. (Also, the grammar checker will delete its list of grammatical errors for which you chose the "ignore rule" option, explained later.)|
Both the manually run spelling checker and the check-spelling-as-you-type feature look up words in the main spelling dictionary and in one or more custom dictionaries. When Word is installed, a single custom dictionary file named Custom.dic is created. Initially, this dictionary file is empty. However, every time you click the Add button in the Spelling And Grammar dialog box, and whenever you choose Add from the pop-up menu while you're correcting a word underlined by the check-spelling-as-you-type feature, the current word is added to Custom.dic so that the word will no longer be flagged as misspelled.
If using a single custom dictionary meets your needs, you don't need to do anything except occasionally add a word to it by using the Add command. You might, however, want to create and use one or more special-purpose custom dictionaries. For example, if you write both computer books and science fiction, you might create one dictionary that contains the technical terms you use when writing computer books (perhaps named Computer.dic) and another dictionary that contains the invented words you use when writing science fiction (perhaps named Fiction.dic).
To create a new custom dictionary, do the following:
You can either include the .dic extension in the name you type, or omit the extension. (In this case, Word will add the .dic extension for you.) You can accept the default file location that Word initially selected or you can select a new one. When you click Save, Word will create a new, empty custom dictionary. Also, it will add this dictionary to the list in the Custom Dictionaries dialog box, and it will check the box next to the dictionary name to indicate that the dictionary has been opened. (Opening custom dictionaries is explained later.)
To use a custom dictionary that you have created or one that you have purchased or obtained from someone else, do the following:
If the dictionary is not in the list, click the Add button and select the dictionary file. When you're done, click OK in the Custom Dictionaries dialog box and on the Spelling & Grammar tab.
The spelling checker will look up words in all custom dictionaries that have been opened. To close a dictionary and not have Word use the words it contains, repeat this step but clear the check box next to the dictionary name in the Custom Dictionaries dialog box.
Remove or Edit a Dictionary
While the Custom Dictionaries dialog box is open, you can click the Remove button to remove the selected custom dictionary from the list. (This doesn't delete the dictionary file itself.) Also, if you're not currently running the manual spelling checker, you can click Edit to manually add or remove words from the selected dictionary file. Note that when you edit a custom dictionary, Word turns off the as-you-type spelling checker. After editing, you can turn it back on by reselecting the Check Spelling As You Type option on the Spelling & Grammar tab.