If you're like most professionals, you use Microsoft Word every day. Take a few minutes now to customize your Word workspace by tailoring the built-in spelling and grammar checks on your computer to meet your specific needs. Here's how:
Accessing the built-in options in Word.
From your menu bar, go to Tools, Options and the Spelling & Grammar tab. If you're working on a document, you can right-click the icon that looks like a book on your status bar at the bottom of the screen and select "Options."
Customizing your spelling.
From the Spelling and Grammar tab, you can customize your computer's spell-check function to make it more useful to you. Here's how:
- Check the "Check spelling as you type" box to highlight misspelled and odd words while you write. (Some people find this feature distracting, especially when typing a document with many proper names, acronyms or technical words that are not likely to appear in the computer's main dictionary. See below for how to create exclusions.)
- Uncheck "Ignore words in upper case" to include acronyms in your spell check.
- Uncheck "Ignore words with numbers" and "Ignore Internet and file addresses" to include e-mail addresses, Web sites and codes in your spell check.
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From the Spelling and Grammar tab, you can also customize your computer's main dictionary or even create a new one. That's particularly useful if your documents contain many unusually spelled words, names, acronyms, etc., and you don't want your spell check to stop on each one.
Note: You can also customize the main dictionary by clicking the "Add" tab whenever the spell check highlights a word that it doesn't recognize. Just make sure the word is spelled correctly before you add it to the dictionary.
The Spelling and Grammar tab also lets you decide whether you want your computer to check your copy for grammar and style.
Check the box before "Check grammar as you type" or "Check grammar with spell check" to find what the software considers long, cumbersome sentences, jargon and other common problems.
Finally, the Spelling and Grammar tab allows you to apply a grammar check style: formal, casual, technical, etc. Clicking on the "Settings" tab allows you to set your computer to check for anything from clichés to passive language, from commonly misused words to split infinitives.
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