Using Word s Advanced Proofreaders

Using Word's Advanced Proofreaders

Word offers these proofreading features for your writing:

  • Spell-checker ” Checks your document's spelling either from beginning to end after you finish creating your document or while you type.

  • Grammar checker ” Checks your document's grammar either from beginning to end or as you enter text into the document.

  • Thesaurus ” Provides synonyms for the selected word.

  • Hyphenation ” Automatically hyphenates words at the end of lines, when appropriate, either from beginning to end or as you enter the text into the document.


Word's built-in proofreading tools do not eliminate your proofing responsibilities! No matter how good Word is, Word cannot match human skills when deciphering the written language. Word's spell-checker has no problem with this sentence , for example:

Wee road two the see too sea the waives.

The proofreading tools work only as guides to find those problems you might have missed during your own extensive proofing.

Another important reason to learn the proofreading tools is that the other Office products use similar features. Therefore, after you learn how to use Word's proofreading tools, you also know how to use the tools for an Excel worksheet or an Access database.

Using the Spell-Checker

By default, Word automatically checks your spelling and your grammar as you type your document. You can turn off this option (or turn it back on if it's off) by selecting Tools, Options, Spelling and Grammar. Click the options labeled Check Spelling as You Type and Check Grammar as You Type. Any time you see red wavy underlines or green wavy underlines as you type, Word is letting you know about a possible spelling problem (the red line) or grammar problem (the green line).

Occasionally, you will be typing text inside Word (and the other Office products) and a blue dotted line appears beneath the word. The blue line indicates a smart tag , which often is a proper name (such as a person's first name or a city) or date. You will learn more about smart tags in Part V, "Organizing with Outlook 2003." The smart tags indicate actions that you might want to perform on the tagged word or phrase, such as add a person to your Outlook contact list.

Depending on the options you (or someone else) have set, your version of Word might not check both spelling and grammar as you type. Therefore, if you don't see any wavy lines, you should check your document's spelling and grammar after you have typed the document so that you don't miss anything. In addition, you might not see wavy lines if Word's AutoCorrect feature automatically replaced all your misspellings with corrected entries.


To turn on and off the Check Spelling as You Type option, choose Tools, Options, and then click the Spelling & Grammar tab. On that page, check the Check Spelling as You Type check box.

When you see a red wavy line, you can correct the problem in these ways:

  • Edit the misspelling manually.

  • Right-click the misspelling to display the pop-up menu shown in Figure 4.2. Word offers you the following options:

    • Suggested corrections ” Word displays a list of possible spellings at the top of the pop-up menu. When you select one, Word replaces the incorrect spelling with your selected word.

    • Ignore All ” Ignore all subsequent similar misspellings (in case you want to type foreign words or formal names , but you don't want to add those words to Word's spelling dictionaries).

    • Add to Dictionary ” Add the word to Word's dictionary so that Word no longer flags the word as misspelled .

    • AutoCorrect ” Select AutoCorrect and choose a correct word to add the misspelling to the AutoCorrect entries so that Word subsequently corrects the word for you on-the-fly .

    • Language ” Specify a different language dictionary to use (useful if you write for the medical or a technical community and you maintain several dictionaries for each subject).

    • Spelling ” Display Word's more comprehensive Spelling dialog box, as shown in Figure 4.3.

      Figure 4.3. The Spelling dialog box offers more options than the pop-up menu.


    Figure 4.2. Right-click to select your spell-correction choice when Word finds a misspelling.



    Word enables you to easily remove words that you accidentally add to your spelling dictionary. Select Tools, Options and click the Spelling & Grammar tab. Click the Custom Dictionaries button. Select the dictionary from which you want to delete (most probably the Custom dictionary, which is the default unless you have created a new customized dictionary), and then click the Modify button. Word displays the dictionary's words in a text box so that you can delete the word or words you no longer want. (You can also edit any existing words or add new words.) Click the Save toolbar button. You must also turn on automatic spell-checking by displaying the Spelling & Grammar page once again, clicking the option labeled Check Spelling as You Type, and then clicking OK in each of the displayed dialog boxes.

  • Ignore the misspelling and leave the red wavy line.

  • Ignore the misspelling, but check the entire document's spelling after you finish typing the document.

The Spelling dialog box appears when you click the pop-up menu's Spelling option. In addition, the dialog box appears when you select Spelling and Grammar from the Tools menu. Table 4.1 lists the options in the Spelling dialog box.


When you check the spelling of your document by choosing Tools, Spelling and Grammar, Word checks from the cursor's current position down to the end of your document. Word then shows a message box asking whether you want to check starting at the beginning of the document. If you want Word to check your entire document's spelling in one step ( assuming that you have turned off the automatic spell-checking that occurs as you type), move your cursor to the top of your document (by pressing Ctrl+Home) before launching the spell-checking to check from the beginning to end of the document in one step.

Table 4.1. Spelling Dialog Box Options



Ignore Once

Tells Word to ignore this misspelling but continues to flag the misspelling in the future if it occurs.

Ignore All

Tells Word to ignore all occurrences of this misspelling in this document.

Add to Dictionary

Adds the word to Word's spelling dictionary. This is the same dictionary that you add to when you select the Add to Dictionary option on a word that Word thinks is misspelled.


Corrects only this occurrence of the misspelled word.

Change All

Corrects all occurrences of this misspelled word.


Adds the misspelling and selected correction to your collection of AutoCorrect entries. You can also select AutoCorrect option to add the correction to your list of AutoCorrect entries so that Word corrects the spelling automatically in subsequent editing sessions.


Displays the Spelling & Grammar options page (shown in Figure 4.4), which you can use to modify the behavior of the spelling and grammar checker.

Figure 4.4. Change the Spelling & Grammar options in this dialog box.


Using the Grammar Checker

When you see a green wavy line beneath a word, Word is warning you about a possible grammar problem. Figure 4.5 shows the pop-up menu Word displays when you right-click a green wavy-lined word.

Figure 4.5. Word displays a pop-up menu when you right-click a word with a green wavy underline.


If you don't want Word to flag possible grammatical problems as you edit your document, select Tools, Options, Spelling & Grammar and uncheck the option labeled Check Grammar as You Type. Word will not mark grammar problems as you enter text. However, after you finish your document, select Tools, Spelling and Grammar (F7 is the shortcut key) to check the grammar for your entire document. You might want to keep Office Assistant turned on if you check grammar all at once. Microsoft added a lot of plain-spoken, grammar-correcting advice to the Office Assistant's repertoire of helpful topics.


Although many people consider the Office Assistant a nuisance, the Office Assistant shines when used in conjunction with the grammar checker.

As with the spelling pop-up menu, you can replace a grammar problem with the suggested word or words or ignore the suspected problem (just because Word indicates a problem does not necessarily mean that one exists), or you can start the full grammar-checking system to correct that problem as well as the rest of the document.

When you check a document's grammar from the Tools, Spelling and Grammar option (to check the entire document) or by selecting the full grammar check from the pop-up menu, Word displays the same Spelling & Grammar dialog box you see when you check for spelling only. As Figure 4.6 shows, however, the Office Assistant can chime in with its advice as well.

Figure 4.6. Select your grammar-correction choice when Word finds a problem.


Using Automatic Hyphenation

As long as you turn on automatic hyphenation from the Tools, Language, Hyphenation menu option, Word can hyphenate your text as you type, or you can manually hyphenate your entire document. Word supports three kinds of hyphens:

  • Regular hyphens , which Word uses to break words at the end of lines (when needed) to maintain proper document formatting. You must turn on automatic hyphenation by selecting Tools, Language, Hyphenation and checking the option labeled Automatically Hyphenate Document.

  • Optional hyphens , which break special words (AutoCorrect becomes Auto-Correct, for example) only if those words appear at the end of lines. (Press Ctrl+- (hyphen) to indicate where you want the optional hyphen as you type the word.)

  • Nonbreaking hyphens , which keep certain hyphenated words together at all times; if the hyphenated name Brian-Kent appears at the end of a line and you want to prevent Word from breaking apart the names at the end of a line, for example, press Ctrl+Shift+- (hyphen).

You need to indicate optional and nonbreaking hyphens only when you type special words that Word would not typically recognize, such as company names and special terms.

The area that Word checks for possible hyphenation, toward the end of a line, is called the hyphenation zone . You can adjust the size of the hyphenation zone so that Word inserts a hyphen closer to or further from the right edge of the line. Select Tools, Language, Hyphenation to display the Hyphenation dialog box, as shown in Figure 4.7. The Hyphenation Zone field enables you to determine the amount of space between the end of a line's last word and the right margin. A higher value reduces the number of hyphens that Word adds. If you want to keep the hyphenation to a minimum, consider limiting the number of consecutive lines that Word can hyphenate at one time by specifying a value in the Limit consecutive hyphens to text box.

Figure 4.7. Specify automatic hyphenation to let Word do the work.


To hyphenate your document manually after you have created it, select Tools, Language, Hyphenation and click Manual. Word prompts for your approval at each hyphen location.

If you want to stop Word from hyphenating particular paragraphs, select those paragraphs, and then select Format, Paragraph, click the Line and Page Breaks tab, and check the Don't Hyphenate option.


If you export your document text to another program (such as to a Web page), do not have Word hyphenate your document. The target system that produces the final output should control the hyphenation, if possible. If you have Word hyphenate your document, hyphens might appear in the middle of lines if the typesetter fails to eliminate all of Word's hyphens.

Using the Thesaurus

When you just can't seem to think of a particular word, type a synonym , which is a different word whose meaning is similar to the meaning you want. Then, solicit Word's thesaurus for a suggestion. To see a list of synonyms, first click anywhere in the word and then choose Tools, Language, Thesaurus. Alternatively, press Shift+F7. Either way, Word displays the Thesaurus task pane, as shown in Figure 4.8.

Figure 4.8. Find synonyms fast using the task pane.


From the Thesaurus task pane, you can select a replacement word. Word automatically inserts the synonym when you click the down arrow next to the task pane's synonym. Alternatively, use the replacement word list to look up additional synonyms. If you cannot find a good synonym for dissolve but one of the replacement words for dissolve is liquefy, for example, look up synonyms for liquefy. Do so by clicking liquefy in the task pane. Through this link of related words, you might find the synonym for which you are looking.

Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Office 2003 in 24 Hours
Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Office 2003 in 24 Hours
ISBN: 0672325535
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 272
Authors: Greg Perry © 2008-2017.
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