Like most word processing software, Google Docs comes integrated with a tool to check your spelling and grammar. Here’s how to use that tool.

How to Check Your Spelling in Google Docs

By default, Google Docs’ spelling and grammar check are enabled when you first open a document. Anytime you’ve misspelled a word or type “your” when you meant “you’re,” the spelling checker underlines the error with a red squiggly line, prompting you to make a change.

I’ll be using a Google Doc, but the same spelling and grammar tool is available with Sheets and Slides as well.

First, open up a document with Google Docs.

To make sure the tool is enabled, you can start typing some misspelled words or go to Tools > Spelling and ensure that “Underline Errors” is checked.

Afterward, anytime an error is generated it will appear with a red squiggly line underneath it.


You can right-click on any single error to fix them on the fly without having to open the tool.

A small window opens with a few options to choose from, like changing the error to a suggested fix, ignoring the current error, or adding a word to the dictionary so it won’t appear as an error again.

To check your entire document for spelling mistakes, go to Tools > Spelling > Spell Check to open up the Spell Checker tool.

Google Docs walks you through each error it has detected, and you can make those same corrections we just covered. If there are any more errors in your document, the tool progresses through the document until all errors are fixed.

How to Use the Dictionary

Along with a spelling and grammar checker, Google Docs has a built-in dictionary you can use to look up words, and it even suggests synonyms of selected words directly inside your document.

From your document, highlight a word, right-click it, and then select “Define [word].” Alternatively, after highlighting the word, press Ctrl+Shift+Y to open up the same window.

A window will open up with a dictionary definition of the word along with a list of synonyms related to the word.

Although the spelling and grammar checker is a powerful tool for typos and misspelled words, it isn’t completely foolproof. It can’t accurately correct all contextual mistakes (such as using “threw” instead of “through”) or identify sentence fragments or comma splices.

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Brady Gavin has been immersed in technology for 15 years and has written over 150 detailed tutorials and explainers. He's covered everything from Windows 10 registry hacks to Chrome browser tips. Brady has a diploma in Computer Science from Camosun College in Victoria, BC.  
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