The spellcheck facility is available in various applications: Word, Excel and Outlook. It works in a very similar way in all three.

Spellcheck automatically detects errors and suggests corrections. Spellcheck works while you are typing and will underline words that it thinks are misspelt with a red wavy line. It will also check for grammar errors automatically and mark them with a green wavy line. These visual indications are just advisory, and do not print out on the final document.

Quick Corrections

If you think a word is misspelt and/or there is a visual indication, you can position the cursor on the word and press the Applications key (or Shift + F10). This gives you a list of possible corrections, so arrow down to the right one and press Enter to correct the mistake there and then.

Running a Spellcheck

To check the spelling and grammar, press F7. Alternatively, go to the Review ribbon (Alt + R in Word/Excel, Alt + V in an Outlook message), Tab to Spelling and Grammar and press Enter.

If all your spelling is correct, according to the application, a box appears telling you that the spellcheck is complete.

If the application finds an incorrect spelling or an unrecognized word, the Spelling and Grammar window appears. It shows the passage of text with the error highlighted in red. It will also give a list of correction suggestions below the passage of text.

Some of the errors described are:

  • Not in Dictionary
  • Possible word choice error
  • Extra space between words
  • Repeated Word

Correcting Errors in Spellcheck

If the first suggestion in the list is correct, press Alt + C to go ahead and change the error to the first suggestion.

If you need to check the other suggestions, first Tab to the suggestions list then arrow down to the correct suggestion. Once you have found the correct word, press Alt + C to change.

If the word is a name, choose to ignore by pressing Alt + I.

If none of the suggestions in the list are correct, you may need to correct the word manually. Press Escape to come out of the Spellcheck. Then manually correct the word. You can then press F7 to resume the spellcheck.

Once you have responded in one of these ways above, the Spellcheck moves onto the next error.

If you are using Word 2016, you do not need to press the accelerator key, Alt, in order to change or ignore the spelling error. In Word 2016, you can just press C to change or I to ignore.

Adding to Dictionary

Sometimes the word is correct but not recognized by the Spellcheck, for example, a place name. In this case, you can teach the word to the Spellcheck. To add a word to the dictionary within Spellcheck, press Alt + A.

Spellcheck is a very helpful tool. But the only certain way to be correct is to know what you’re typing. It is recommended that you read through your work first, in addition to using the Spellcheck.