Microsoft Word has plenty of settings that can easily confuse users. Simply selecting some option will disable important feature and you may not know how to get that feature back. Proofing is one such feature that you can easily turn on or off in Word. When you turn off proofing, Word will hide all spelling and grammar errors leading to mistakes in the document. This will be even more annoying when you share the document with errors to others. In this article, we will explain how to make sure proofing is turned on and how to enable if someone sent a document with proofing turned off.
Before we start, there are two things to understand about proofing in Word.
- It works based on your preferred language set for Office apps. Remember, this could be different from your macOS or Windows display language.
- Proofing checks spelling, grammar and other mistakes. Hence, it is necessary to enable proofing for the Editor to work.
In this article, we will explain how to enable proofing using various options. You can use the same methods to turn off the proofing.
1. Turn On Proofing from Warning Notification
Good part is that Word (Microsoft 365 subscription) will show a warning message below the ribbon when proofing is turned off in the document you view.
When you see the warning notification, simply click on “Turn on proofing” button to enable that option. Word will enable proofing and you will not see any further prompt. Make sure to save your changes so that you will not see the warning next time when you or someone opens the document.
If you click “Don’t show again” button and save the document, Word will never show proofing warning notification even when you close and open the document. In such a case, you should go for one of the below options to fix the issue.
2. Turn Proofing On or Off from Word Status Bar
Word status bar has plenty of options which many users do not use. You can see a proofing error status icon which will look like a small open book with a tick or cross mark on it. while the tick mark indicates there are no proofing errors, X mark on the icon indicates the document contains proofing errors. Regardless of the proofing error status, clicking on that icon will open Editor for checking spelling and grammar.
However, if proofing is disabled, it will show an error informing hide spelling/grammar check options are enabled on that document. Select, “Yes” on the pop-up to enable spelling/grammar check options and turn on proofing. This will immediately open Editor and show all type of proofing errors in your document.
If you do not see the icon in status bar, right-click on the status bar and click “Spelling and grammar check” option to enable it.
3. Turn On Proofing By Clicking on Editor
As mentioned, Editor tools needs the proofing option to be turned on for that document. You can simply click on the “Editor” button in the ribbon from “Home” tab. It will show the same error message as above if proofing is disabled. You can click on “Yes” to fix the issue. Otherwise, you will see the Editor interface showing the errors indicating proofing is on for that document.
4. Proofing Not Working Due to Different Language
Sometimes you may receive a document written in English but Word will show you a warning notification. It will read as the proofing tools for the document’s language is not installed. In addition, the spelling and grammar checks will not work as the document’s language is not available in your Office setup. It could be due to the sender may be from different country or wrongly set the document language.
- First, press “Control + A” keys (“Command + A” in Mac) to select all the content.
- Click on the language showing in Word status bar. If you do not see the language name, right-click on the status bar and select “Language” option.
- It will open a pop-up where you can change the language.
- Also, make sure “Do not check spelling or grammar” option is not checked.
- Click “OK” button to apply the changes.
Now, you can check the document will show the proofing errors with red and blue underlines.
5. Turn Proofing On or Off from Word Options
The last option to enable proofing from Word backstage settings.
- Click “File” menu and go to “Options”.
- When you are in Word Options dialog, go to “Proofing” section.
- Scroll down to bottom and check “Exception for:” heading (make sure the dropdown shows the current document name).
- Uncheck the options “Hide spelling errors in this document only” and “Hide grammar errors in this document only”.
- Click “OK” button to apply the changes and save your document.
- This will turn on the proofing only for that document.
There are no possibilities in Word for changing the proofing on or off for all your existing documents at once. However, you can disable proofing for all new documents. Click the dropdown against “Exceptions for:” and select “All New Documents” option. Remember, the receiver will see a proofing warning as explained in section 1 above when viewing documents with these options enabled.
6. Turning On Proofing in Word for Mac
All the above-mentioned options will work in Word for Mac except the option 5. Since Word for Mac does not have Word Options dialog, but you can disable “Hide spelling/grammar errors” options from “Tools” menu.
- Hover your mouse over “Tools” menu from top menu bar.
- Go to “Spelling and Grammar” menu.
- If “Hide Spelling Errors” option is checked, click on it to disable.
- Again, navigate to the same section and click “Hide Grammar Errors” option to disable that as well.
- Save and use Editor to proofread your document.