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If perfect spelling is not your area of expertise, professional-looking emails can be something of a minefield. Nobody wants their communications to have spelling errors left in, so let Microsoft Outlook help by automatically spellchecking emails before they’re sent.

The best way to deal with spelling errors in an email is not to make them in the first place, and toward that end, Outlook can help. The Microsoft Outlook client has a setting that forces spellcheck to take place after you click the “Send” button. If no errors are found, the email is sent like normal. If a spelling error is found, Outlook gives you the option to correct it before the email is sent.

To turn this setting on, open the Outlook desktop application and click File > Options.

The "Options" menu option.

In the Mail > Compose Messages section, toggle on the “Always check spelling before sending” checkbox.

The "Always check spelling before sending" option.

Click “OK” in the bottom-right corner to save and close the “Options” panel.

The "OK" button in the "Options" panel.

And that’s all there is to it. Now, when we click “Send” on an email with a spelling error, Microsoft Outlook will pick it up and give us the chance to change it.

A spelling error picked up by the spell checker.

If you spot something in the email that the spell checker hasn’t picked up and you want to change it, click “Cancel.”

The "Cancel" button on the spell checker.

This will open a dialogue box that lets you cancel sending the email. Click “No” to stop the email from being sent.

The "Send anyway?" dialogue.

Warning: The spell checker won’t pick up the wrong words, just words that are not spelled correctly. So if you meant to type in “Geek” but typed “Greek” instead, the spell checker won’t pick that up because “Greek” is a correctly spelled word.

This means that the spell checker can only prevent spelling errors, not writing errors. If you want to be absolutely certain that your emails are written correctly, the best way to do that is to proofread them before clicking “Send.”

Profile Photo for Rob Woodgate Rob Woodgate
Rob Woodgate is a writer and IT consultant with nearly 20 years of experience across the private and public sectors. He's also worked as a trainer, technical support person, delivery manager, system administrator, and in other roles that involve getting people and technology to work together.
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