How to Use the Proofing Panel in Word

00_lead_image_proofing_panel

Word 2013 now includes a new proofing panel. When you have a document open that contains spelling or grammatical errors, the Proofing icon on the status bar displays the “Proofing errors were found. Click to correct.” message when you move your mouse over it.

On the left side of the Status Bar at the bottom of the Word window, a book icon displays. If there is an “x” on the icon, there are proofing errors (spelling and/or grammatical errors) in your document. Click the icon to open the Proofing Panel.

01_proofing_panel_icon_on_status_bar

Spelling errors are indicated with red, squiggly underlines.

01a_spelling_line_under_word

The Proofing Panel displays to the right of the document showing the first error that occurs after the location of the cursor. If it’s a spelling error, the title of the panel is “Spelling”. Three buttons display at the top of the panel. Click “Ignore” to ignore the current error and move to the next one. If you want to ignore all occurrences of the current error in the document, click “Ignore All”. To accept the flagged word as spelled correctly and add it to the Office user dictionary, click “Add”. The word will not be flagged as an error again.

To accept a suggested correction, select it in the list and click “Change”. To accept a suggested correction and apply the change to all occurrences of this error in the document, select the correction in the list and click “Change All”.

NOTE: When you click “Change”, Word automatically jumps to the next error in your document.

02_clicking_change

If you move the cursor to a different part of the document while the Proofing Panel is open, the “Resume” button displays. Click this button to continue looking for errors from the current cursor location.

03_clicking_resume

When you have corrected all the errors in the document, the following dialog box displays. Click “OK” to dismiss it.

04_spelling_check_complete

When there are no spelling or grammatical errors in your document, a check mark displays on the book icon in the Status Bar and “No proofing errors” displays when you hover the mouse over the icon.

05_no_proofing_errors

Grammatical errors are indicated with blue, squiggly underlines. The Proofing Panel also allows you to correct grammatical errors. When a grammatical error is found, the Proofing Panel is titled “Grammar”. Suggested corrections displays in the list with some helpful information (courtesy of Merriam-Webster). In our example, the definitions of “pear” and “pair” are provided.

There may be times you want to leave the incorrect grammar alone, such as when you’re writing a story or book and your characters are talking using incorrect grammar. If you don’t want to correct the grammatical error, click “Ignore”. To accept a suggested correction, select the correction from the list and click “Change”. Again, Word jumps to the next error in the document.

NOTE: Word offers limited grammar checking. There may be some grammatical errors it will not recognize. It’s a good idea to read through your document before distributing it.

06_grammar_check

To close the Proofing Panel, click the “X” button in the upper-right corner of the panel.

07_closing_proofing_panel

If you’ve ignored incorrect words or phrases that you now want to correct, you can easily find these errors again by telling Word to recheck the document. To do this, click the “File” tab.

08_clicking_file_tab

On the backstage screen, click “Options” in the list of items on the left.

09_clicking_options

On the “Word Options” dialog box, click “Proofing” in the list of items on the left.

10_clicking_proofing

In the “When correcting spelling and grammar in Word” section, click the “Recheck Document” button.

11_clicking_recheck_document

A dialog box displays with the following warning:

“This operation resets the spelling checker and the grammar checker so that Word will recheck words and grammar you previously checked and chose to ignore. Do you want to continue?”

Click “Yes” to reset the spell checker so you can recheck errors you previously ignored.

12_reset_spell_checker_dialog

The “Recheck Document” button is grayed out. Click “OK” to close the “Word Options” dialog box.

13_clicking_ok

To recheck your document for spelling and grammatical errors, click the “Review” tab.

14_clicking_review_tab

In the “Proofing” section, click “Spelling & Grammar”.

15_clicking_spelling_and_grammar

The “Spelling & Grammar” check starts and errors you previously ignored are found again, allowing you to correct them.

NOTE: You can also press F7 to open the Proofing pane and begin the spelling and grammar check.

Lori Kaufman is a writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.