How to turn on the automatic spell check in Word

In general Microsoft Office products provides options for automatic spell check and you can find this feature in Word 2007, Word 2010, Word 2013 and Word 2016. This feature can be turned on or off using Microsoft Word options.

Click on the File menu –> Options (In Word 2007 it is under Office button –> Word Options)

auto spell check in Word 2007, Word 2010 and Word 2013

Select Proofing options and navigate to When correcting spelling and grammar in Word section. This has a checkbox with label as Check spelling as you type. By checking this field, you can turn on the automatic spell check as you type in Word 2010.

Updated with readers comment, this seems to have solved the problem for most of the users- Thank You Maria. Find below the screen shot for the same

Spelling and grammar check in Word 2016, Word 2013 and Word 2010

The Review menu in Word 2013 has the option to check for spelling and grammar errors. Let us say you want to run through a document for spelling and grammatical errors then you can navigate to Review menu and click the Spelling and Grammar option under Proofing section.

Spelling and Grammar in Word 2013

If there any errors in the document then you should see a sidebar showing the error staring from the current page.

Display grammar errors in Word 2013

This should provide you with an option to Ignore or Change the error as shown in the above screenshot along with the suggestion.  Once you choose either Ignore or Change, the next error will be display and this process would continue till there are no more errors left in the document.

In case you want to change the language used for Spell Check to English (United Kingdom) then you can use the language box available at the bottom of Spelling and Grammar sidebar.

Change language of spell check in Word 2010 and Word 2013

If there no more errors left in the document then you should notice the following Spelling and grammar complete message.

Spelling and Grammar check complete in Word

How to hide spelling and grammar errors in Word

Word users can hide spelling and grammar errors clicking File menu –> Options link. (In Word 2007 it is under Office button –> Word Options)

Hide spelling and grammar errors in Word

Navigate to Proofing Options and scroll down Exception for section. Under this section there are check box available to hide spelling errors and grammar errors.

Disable highlighting spelling and grammatical errors

If your word document does not highlight the spelling and grammatical errors then probably you can check the settings mentioned below.

Let us say you have the following sentence with spelling and grammar errors and currently these errors are not highlighted.

Not highlighting spelling and grammatical errors

Select the sentence and click the Review menu and navigate to Language section.

Review menu in Word 2010 and Word 2013

Select Set Proofing Language drop down value from the Language menu option.


This would display the following Language window. Un tick the check box with label asDo not check spelling or grammar and click Ok button to confirm and save the changes.

Do not check spelling or grammar in Word

This would start highlighting the spelling and grammar errors in the sentence.


If this did not solve the problem then probably you check by enabling auto spell check feature

Also See: How to publish simple eBook using Word 2013

In Category: MS Office, Word 2007, Word 2013, Word 2016

Ravi Shankar

A Software developer and blogger who is always looking to provide technical help to the wider community.

Show 48 Comments
  • Matt March 14, 2010, 3:54 am

    I did that but I still didn’t work

  • brad March 15, 2010, 5:25 pm

    don’t you mean 2007 and it is not working for me still :L NO SCRIBBLE LINE IS COMING UP !!!!

  • Hitesh April 9, 2010, 3:30 pm

    Word 2007
    click on Office Button | Word Options | Add-Ins | Manage:
    Disabled Items. If you see any disabled items that relate to
    spelling, try enabling them.

    Sure it will work…

  • Larry Miles July 4, 2010, 9:10 am

    The check spelling as you type box is checked in Word 2010 and the spell check still does not work–any suggestions—-btw do you have to have Windows 7 to use 2010 I have Vista

  • Bob Kiehlmeier July 8, 2010, 12:16 pm

    I am using Windows 7 and just had Office Home and Student 2010 installed, and when I use Spell Check, it detects words that apparently do not exist in the dictionary. It will suggest other words/spelling, but I cannot “ADD” the word to the dictionary. I know it is correct, but I would like to add words that are used in my profession as a Firefighter. Is there some way to turn on the “ADD” function? I don’t even see it as an option. Windows 2002 and 2007 have that option on the display.

  • Finbarr September 3, 2010, 7:47 am

    It could be several reasons. Firstly you can use all Office 2010 software packages on visa and xp (services pack 2). If you look at the options> proofing. Make sure that you deselect Ignore words in UPPERCASE (Caps in some countries). There are a few other exception rule in this section so read careful and select the ones suited to you. Hope this helps and that my spelling wasn’t too bad (or grammar).

  • Finbarr September 3, 2010, 7:50 am

    I meant Vista not visa

  • Divemaster Bill September 16, 2010, 9:12 pm

    First to Larry, you can run Office ’10 on an XP Machine. You just need SP3.

    Now, we have ’10 on several machines both XP and Win7 Professional and the spell check does not work on any of them also.

    – We made sure that the language was correctly selected;
    – made sure that Ignore Caps was checked and unchecked (neither worked);
    – Made sure that spell check was indeed turned on;
    – Removed English and Enabled French and the words had the red lines. Then put English BACK and removed French. That was of no help;
    – Opened and closed;

    As I pointed out, this is on several machines in the company.

  • Andy Cha November 9, 2010, 1:02 pm

    working with XP and office 2010 had weird problems as well, eventually had to fix the registry and get rid of the “override” as described here, that helped (even though this link talks about office 2007):


  • chris rennick December 30, 2010, 5:13 pm

    How do I get word 2010 to re check the spelling in a document?

  • Ryan March 10, 2011, 12:05 am

    Done the above and still wont spell check?
    Try this, it worked for me.
    Click on the File menu –> Options
    Under “When correcting spelling and grammer in Word” make sure “check spellings as you type” is checked.
    Then click “Recheck Document”
    Then click yes.
    Should work now.

  • Maria April 1, 2011, 6:01 am

    Yay, I think Ive found the answer.
    Go to the review at the top, click on language, click on proofing language then uncheck ‘do not check spelling or grammar’, then click ok.
    Should work
    MS WORD 2010

  • JK April 13, 2011, 9:39 pm

    Looked all over the internet for this one. Maria had the answer. Thank you!

  • Ravi Shankar April 13, 2011, 9:53 pm

    Thanks Maria and JK

  • Graham April 26, 2011, 10:35 pm

    Maria you are a genius!
    Many thanks to you and none to MS.

  • lisa April 30, 2011, 4:15 pm

    nothing work and i don’t know what im doing and have loads of work to do for uni.
    one min it checks the spelling then the next it don’t arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr i can’t do it

  • yri June 8, 2011, 6:37 am

    @ maria thank you so damn much. now I could stop worrying and write my worksheet!

  • Stephocay July 5, 2011, 7:29 pm

    hey, Hope this Option Works for anyone Looking for the Spelling Check

    The Language that the Office Package is set to Use is the One bringing problems, Just follow the steps given in the Link above & U might smile unless otherwise

  • Ibrahim July 29, 2011, 10:45 pm

    Thank you, I was typing with caps on! that was the problem..

  • daphne August 22, 2011, 4:53 am

    hi my name is daphne

  • Tom September 28, 2011, 10:01 am

    Maria April 1, 2011 at 6:01 am
    Yay, I think Ive found the answer.
    Go to the review at the top, click on language, click on proofing language then uncheck ‘do not check spelling or grammar’, then click ok.
    Should work
    MS WORD 2010
    This worked for me. First I checked “Do not Check Spelling or grammar” clicked OK.
    Then I unclicked the “Do not check spelling ang grammar” clicked OK
    now the spell check works ??

  • Jason October 31, 2011, 11:05 pm

    Had same prob… followed all the above instructions but then found different prob.

    Under word options/proofing/Exceptions for:”xxxx.docx”
    Uncheck both “hide spelling…” & “hide grammar…” boxes.

  • Allison Russell November 12, 2011, 8:34 am

    Maria, I am forever in your debt. This was driving me insane. How did you figure that out?

  • Cheri Liggins January 27, 2012, 4:24 am

    Maria, bless you! This was driving me crazy until I found your solution.

  • Keith February 2, 2012, 5:37 am

    Heres another solution for Word 2010 that applies when the spell checker works for some paragraphs but not others (or possibly, the whole document).
    This problem occurs because WORD is obeying the over-riding instructions as defined by the particular Style relating to that paragraph. It often occurs where text (and spurious Styles) has been imported from other documents.
    The solution has 3 steps.
    1. Select part of the problem paragraph where the spell checker is not working
    2. Follow some of the instructions above – ie go to the Review tab –>Language–>Set proofing language–>untick the “Do not check spelling or grammar box” –>click OK
    3. Go to the Home tab –>drop down the styles box –> identify the paragraph style then left click on it and select “Update paragraph to match selection”
    Magically, the spell checker will suddenly work for every paragraph throughout the document that carries this Style.
    You will need to repeat these steps for each Style in use throughout the document.

  • Jeia February 23, 2012, 10:37 pm

    None of the above worked for me. I still cannot get Word to spell check as I type or correct purposefully misspelled words. Any other suggestions???

  • miss February 24, 2012, 10:05 am

    u just need to close the office and then open it again

  • Kristina June 3, 2012, 12:16 am

    Thank you, Maria! I would only stress that I have checked English again, instead of other language that was on the list. I still have no idea how I managed to mess that up.

  • Angela June 15, 2012, 2:33 am

    Keith you are my hero, I was going crazy, this worked

  • Amy July 5, 2012, 2:43 am

    Maria! You saved me! I’m writing a paper for my Master’s class and I couldn’t figure out how come I had so many spelling errors and why Word wasn’t catching them! Hooray!

  • sunil raju July 18, 2012, 12:08 pm

    open the the document and select, file -> options -> prooofing
    in it there is a section called as ‘Exceptions for:’
    userd it make sure you dont have the “Hide spelling errors in this document only” and “Hide grammar errors in this document only” checked if so uncheck it.
    and now you should be able to see the red lines on all the spelling & grammar errors.

  • M S July 20, 2012, 1:00 pm

    Dear All…..

    If you are using Win 7 with Office 2010 and issue with spell check you do the following steps to activate …
    Open Menu and Option then Language –>select choose editing Language and select English India then select the Keyboard Language as English India (keyboard (US)). Choose display and help language as English default.
    Close your Office and reopen and try….it will start work

  • First Post September 6, 2012, 1:31 pm

    Had many report Word Spell checking stoped working. Checked all the usual settings for the spell checker mentioned in all the other posts above. Nothing helped. Then found Hitesh’s suggestion.

    “click on Office Button | Word Options | Add-Ins | Manage: Disabled Items. If you see any disabled items that relate to spelling, try enabling them.”

    That was the answer. Thanks Hitesh!!

  • aa September 22, 2012, 3:22 am

    Options >> Proofing >> Exceptions for….. >> please UNCHECK “Hide spelling errors…” Thank you.

  • Jan Ove November 17, 2012, 2:54 pm

    Spell check on Word 2010 is not working in Norwegian, did as it shown on this effect at all.

    Jan Ove

  • Thomas Quinn December 23, 2012, 1:22 am

    I want to turn on spell checker for all caps in Word 2010. The instructions way Go to File and choose Options, then Proofing. There IS no Options choice under File in Word 2010. It ain’t there. Typical.

  • KKBrown2 March 5, 2013, 6:03 pm

    Starting 5-days of university exams and Spell check things frocse is okay. Intended word is forces…What’s up? Any help? Seems like the more work I add to my portfolio, the more compounded the system. Do I need an upgrade? My work is thick.

  • Keith March 6, 2013, 9:02 am

    Thanks Keith

  • hello March 31, 2013, 2:05 am


  • mike April 13, 2013, 12:48 pm

    I am following maria`s post but after I click on language there is no “language proofing“ that I can click on.

    Please help

  • Madhulika October 9, 2013, 4:47 am

    Thanks so much Maria. I’m designing a magazine and the spell check was just not working. Great tip.

  • Sharon Williams November 6, 2013, 6:25 am

    The assistance I rcv’d was very helpful. Thank you.

  • William November 26, 2013, 1:41 am

    Maria’s answer is the one that worked for me. It should be added to the information at the top of this page because it is essential for the automatic spell check to work.

  • Ravi Shankar November 26, 2013, 9:02 am

    Thank You, the post has been updated with Maria’s answer.

  • cekiwe November 27, 2013, 2:14 am

    Maria you saved my day. Thank you

  • JenD April 10, 2014, 2:29 am

    The last part of the solution worked for me. I went to Review –> Language –> Set Proofing Language –> unchecked “do not check spelling or grammar” –> clicked “set as default”

    Thanks so much. I was totally stumped!

  • Nic September 4, 2015, 8:36 am

    IS there a way to enable the check spelling as you type permanently it seems to become unchecked itself after every time the program is closed and opened again

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