Use a screen reader to check spelling and grammar in Word

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Word 2016 automatically checks for potential spelling and grammatical errors as you type and you can use Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to go through the errors and fix them.

Notes: 

In this topic

Check the spelling and grammar of a document

  1. Open the document you want to check for spelling or grammar mistakes, and then press F7. You can also use a ribbon command: press Alt+R to open the Review tab, and then press S for Spelling and Grammar.

    Tip: To check the spelling and grammar in just a sentence or paragraph of your document, select the text you want to check and then press F7.

  2. When you hear "Proofing pane" and the first misspelled word and suggested spellings, or the first possible grammatical error and suggested revisions, press the Tab key to move to the suggestions, definition of a word, or grammar explanation. Listening to these will help you decide how to respond to the possible error.

    • If there's more than one suggested spelling, press the Up Arrow and Down Arrow keys until you hear the spelling you want to use.

    • If there's a spelling error, Word 2016 may include a definition of the word. To hear the definition, press the Tab key until you hear "Text to speech button" and then press Spacebar.

    • If there's a grammar error, Word 2016 may include an explanation of the grammatical rule. If it does, you hear "Reason text is virtualized" and then the explanation. To close the Reason text is virtualized window and return to the Proofing pane, press Esc.

    • If there's a grammar error, Word 2016 may offer alternative words or phrases. To hear them, press the Tab key until you hear "Text to speech button" and then press Spacebar.

  3. To respond to a mistake Word 2016 identifies, press the Tab key until you hear the command you want, for example, "Ignore," and press Enter or the keyboard shortcut you hear. For more information about keyboard shortcuts to use, see Keyboard shortcuts for the proofing pane in this topic.

  4. After you correct, ignore, or skip an error, Word 2016 moves to the next error. Repeat the review process for each error.

  5. When Word 2016 finishes reviewing the document, you hear "Microsoft Word dialog, OK button." To return to your document, press Spacebar. If you checked only selected text, press the Tab key until you hear "Yes button" in the dialog box, and then press Spacebar.

Keyboard shortcuts for the Proofing pane

The following table summarizes the keyboard shortcuts for the Proofing pane.

To do this

Press

Ignore the detected word once, but check it again.

I

Ignore the detected word throughout the document.

G

Add the detected word in the program's dictionary.

A

Undo the change. Repeat for previous corrections.

Ctrl+Z

Open the Options dialog to select how the program corrects spelling and grammar for all documents.

Alt+F, T, and then press the Down Arrow key to move to the Proofing pane

Recheck words and grammar that you previously chose to ignore

  1. In the Word 2016 document you want to check, press Alt+F to open the File menu, and then press T for Options. Word 2016 places the focus in the Categories list of the Word Options dialog.

  2. To open the Proofing tab, press P, and then press the Tab key. The Proofing dialog opens with the focus on the AutoCorrect Options button.

  3. To open the Microsoft Word dialog, press Alt+K. When you are asked to confirm, press Enter for Yes. If you don't want to recheck the document, press the Right Arrow key to move to No and press Enter.

Keyboard shortcuts related to checking grammar and spelling

The following table provides a summary of keyboard shortcuts that can help you to check grammar and spelling in your Word 2016 documents.

To do this

Press

Open the Word Options dialog box.

Alt+F, T

Open the Proofing tab, in the Word Options dialog box.

P, and then press the Tab key

Open the AutoCorrect dialog box, in the Proofing tab.

Alt+A

Open the Exceptions for dialog box, in the AutoCorrect dialog box.

Alt+E

Recheck the spelling and grammar, in the Proofing tab.

Alt+K

Select or clear the Check spelling as you type checkbox, in the Proofing tab.

Alt+P

Move to the Check grammar as you type checkbox, in the Proofing tab.

Alt+H, Alt+H

Select or clear the Hide spelling errors in this document only checkbox, in the Proofing tab.

Alt+S

Select or clear the Hide grammar errors in this document only checkbox, in the Proofing tab.

Alt+D

Turn the automatic checking for spelling and grammar on or off

You can turn off automatic spelling and grammar checking and then check your document after it's completed. Checking all the spelling and grammar in your document at the same time is useful when you want to quickly proof your text.

  1. In an opened Word 2016 document, press Alt+F, T. Word places the focus in the Categories list of the Word Options dialog.

  2. To open the Proofing tab, press P, and then press the Tab key. The Proofing dialog opens with the focus on the AutoCorrect Options button.

  3. To clear or select the Check spelling as you type checkbox, press Alt+P.

  4. To move to the Mark grammar errors as you type checkbox, press Alt+M, and then press Alt+M again. To clear or select the checkbox, press Spacebar.

  5. To close the Word Options dialog and return to your document, press the Tab key until you hear "OK button," and then press Enter.

You can specify how you want Word 2016 to autocorrect as you type. In the Word Options dialog, on the Proofing tab, press Alt+A. In the AutoCorrect dialog, you can choose among options such as replacing text as you type, correcting accidental caps, and correcting quote marks.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Use a screen reader to track and review changes in a document in Word

Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Word on Windows

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate Word using accessible features

Word 2016 for Mac automatically checks for potential spelling and grammatical errors as you type, and you can use VoiceOver, the built-in Mac OS screen reader, to go through the errors and fix them.

Notes: 

In this topic

Check the spelling and grammar in a document

  1. Open the document you want to check for spelling or grammar mistakes, and then press Option+Command+L.

    Tip: To check the spelling and grammar in just a sentence or paragraph in your document, select the text you want to check and then press Option+Command+L. To select a piece of text, hold down Shift and press the arrow keys to move the cursor.

  2. The Spelling and Grammar dialog opens. You hear: "Spelling and grammar" and the proofing language. The focus is on the text field where you can edit the misspelled word or grammatical error. The dialog also shows the suggested spellings, or the suggested grammatical revisions. Press the Tab key until you hear: "Suggestions, table." Listening to these will help you decide how to respond to the possible error.

  3. To respond to an issue Word identifies, press the Tab key until you hear the command you'd like to select and then press Spacebar:

    • To skip the currently selected text and move to the next item, select Ignore.

    • To skip every occurrence of the selected text and move to the next item, select Ignore All.

    • To add the currently selected word to the dictionary so that Word doesn't detect the word as an error in the future, select Add. This only works for misspelled words. You can't add custom grammar to the dictionary.

    • To skip a grammatical error occurrence and move to the next one, select Next Sentence.

    • To apply the changes, select one of the spelling suggestions in the Word suggestions table. To browse the spelling suggestions, press the Up or Down arrow keys. VoiceOver announces the suggestions as you move. When on the suggestion, press the Tab key until you hear "Change" or "Change all" (to apply the change to every occurrence of the text), and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  4. After you correct or skip an error, Word moves to the next error. Then repeat the review process for each error.

  5. When the spelling check is complete, you hear: "The spelling and grammar check is complete." If you checked only selected text, you hear: "Word finished checking the selection."

  6. To return to your document, press Spacebar.

    Note: When VoiceOver reads the text, if Word detects a potential spelling mistake, you will also hear "misspelled" before the word.

Recheck words and grammar that you previously chose to ignore

You can clear or reset the list of Ignored Words and Grammar so Word will recheck for spelling and grammar issues you previously skipped.

Note: When you reset the list of Ignored Words and Grammar, the list is cleared only for the currently open document. Any spelling or grammar issues you skipped in other Word documents won't be affected.

  1. To go to the menu bar, in the Word document you want to recheck, press Control+Option+M. You hear: "Menu bar Apple."

  2. Press the Right arrow key until you hear "Tools," and then press the Down arrow key until you hear: "Spelling and grammar, submenu." To expand the Spelling and Grammar submenu, press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  3. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Reset Ignored Words and Grammar," and then press Spacebar.

  4. A notification window opens. To confirm reset, press the Tab key until you hear "Yes, default button," and then press Spacebar to select.

  5. To recheck the spelling and grammar, press Option+Command+L.

Keyboard shortcuts related to checking grammar and spelling

The following table provides a summary of keyboard shortcuts that can help you to check grammar and spelling in your Word documents.

Note: Word 2016 for Mac uses the function keys for common commands. By default, to use a function key in a VoiceOver command, you must also press the Fn key. To learn more how to use the function keys in Word 2016 for Mac, see Use function key shortcuts in Keyboard shortcuts in Word 2016 for Mac.

To do this

Press

Open the Word Preferences.

Command+Comma (,)

Open the Spelling and Grammar dialog.

Option+Command+L

Find the next misspelling or grammatical error.

Fn+Option+F7

Look up a selected word in Thesaurus task pane.

Fn+Shift+F7

Look up selected text on the Internet.

Command+Shift+L

Turn the automatic checking for spelling and grammar on and off

You can turn off the automatic checking for spelling and grammar in the Word documents and later turn it back on.

  1. To open Preferences, press Command+Comma (,). You hear: "Word preferences."

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear "Spelling and grammar, button," and then press Spacebar to select. The Spelling and Grammar dialog opens.

  3. To turn the automatic checking for spelling on or off, press the Tab key until you hear: "Check spelling as you type, checkbox." You hear whether the checkbox is "checked" or "unchecked." To check or clear the Check spelling as you type checkbox, press Spacebar.

  4. To turn on or off the automatic checking for grammar, press the Tab key until you hear: "Check grammar as you type, checkbox." You hear whether the checkbox is "checked" or "unchecked." To check or clear the Check grammar as you type checkbox, press Spacebar.

  5. To go back to your document, press Esc.

See also

Use a screen reader to track and review changes in a document in Word

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Keyboard shortcuts in Word 2016 for Mac

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate Word using accessible features

Word for iOS automatically checks for potential spelling errors as you type and you can use VoiceOver, the built-in iOS screen reader, to go through the errors and fix them.

Notes: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

  • For touch capabilities in Word for iOS, go to Word for iPhone touch guide.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in iOS screen reader, VoiceOver. To learn more about using VoiceOver, visit Apple accessibility.

  • This topic assumes that you are using an iPhone. Some navigation and gestures might be different for an iPad.

In this topic

Check the spelling of a document

Check your document for spelling mistakes and then decide if you agree with the spellchecker.

  1. Open the document you want to check for spelling mistakes.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Page one content, <page content>, text field," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Page one, text field, is editing."

  3. Turn the Rotor to "Words."

  4. Swipe down until you hear VoiceOver announce a misspelled word. The focus is on the word.

  5. Double-tap the screen with two fingers. The context menu opens.

  6. Swipe right until you hear "Select," and then double-tap the screen with one finger. The misspelled word is now selected.

  7. Double-tap the screen with two fingers. The context menu opens.

  8. Swipe right until you hear "Menu item," and then double-tap the screen. The list of correction suggestions appears.

  9. Swipe right until you hear a suggestion you want to accept, and then double-tap the screen.

Turn automatic checking for spelling on or off

You can turn off the automatic spellchecking when you're working on your document. When you're done, you can turn the automatic checking back on and check the spelling in the whole document.

  1. Swipe right until you hear "Show ribbon button," and then double-tap the screen. The ribbon opens, and the focus is on the current tab name.

  2. Double-tap the screen. You hear: "Selected, <name of the current tab>."

  3. Swipe left or right until you hear "Review tab," and then double-tap the screen.

  4. Swipe right until you hear "Proofing tools button," and then double-tap the screen.

  5. Swipe right until you hear "Spelling, On," and then double-tap the screen. The automatic spellcheck is now off.

  6. To turn the automatic checking back on, navigate to the Proofing Tools button as instructed above, swipe right until you hear "Spelling, Off," and then double-tap the screen.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Use a screen reader to share a document in Word

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate Word using accessible features

Word for Android automatically checks for potential spelling errors as you type, and you can use TalkBack, the built-in Android screen reader, to go through the errors and fix them.

Notes: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

  • For touch capabilities in Word for Android, go to Word for Android touch guide.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Android screen reader, TalkBack. To learn more about using TalkBack, go to Android accessibility.

  • This topic assumes you are using this app with an Android phone. Some navigation and gestures might be different for an Android tablet.

In this topic

Check the spelling of a document

Check your document for spelling mistakes and then decide if you agree with the spellchecker.

  1. Open the document you want to check for spelling mistakes.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Not checked, expand switch," and then double-tap the screen. The ribbon opens, and the focus is on the current tab name.

  3. Double-tap the screen. You hear: "Selected, <name of the current tab>."

  4. Swipe left or right until you hear "Review tab," and then double-tap the screen.

  5. Swipe right until you hear "Spelling button," and then double-tap the screen. The spellchecking is now activated. TalkBack announces the first spelling error it finds, for example: "<Misspelled word>, selected."

  6. To check if there are correction suggestions available for the misspelled word, swipe right until you hear the suggestions. To select one, double-tap the screen.

  7. To ignore the suggestions for this error and go to the next spelling error, swipe left or right until you hear "Next error button," and then double-tap the screen.

    To ignore all suggestions and end the spellcheck, swipe left or right until you hear "Ignore all button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Spelling check complete. You're good to go."

Hide and unhide proofing marks

You can hide the proofing marks so that TalkBack won't announce spelling errors as you work on your document. When you're done, you can unhide the marks, and check the spelling with TalkBack.

  1. Swipe right until you hear "Not checked, expand switch," and then double-tap the screen. The tab menu opens, focus is on the current tab name.

  2. Double-tap the screen. You hear: "Selected, <name of the current tab>."

  3. Swipe left or right until you hear "Review tab," and then double-tap the screen.

  4. Swipe right until you hear "Proofing and language menu," and then double-tap the screen.

  5. To hide the proofing marks, swipe right until you hear "Not checked, Hide all proofing marks," and then double-tap the screen.

    Tip: To hide the proofing marks for a particular part of the text, first select the text in a document and then navigate to the Proofing and Language menu as instructed above. In the menu, swipe right until you hear: "Not checked, hide proofing marks in selected text," and then double-tap the screen.

  6. To unhide the marks, navigate to the navigate to the Proofing and Language menu as instructed above. In the menu, swipe right until you hear "Checked, hide all proofing marks," and then double-tap the screen.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Use a screen reader to share a document in Word

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate Word using accessible features

Word Mobile automatically checks for potential spelling errors as you type, and you can use Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to go through the errors and fix them.

Notes: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Windows screen reader, Narrator. To learn more about using Narrator, go to Get started with Narrator.

  • This topic assumes you are using this app with a Windows phone. Some navigation and gestures might be different for a tablet or PC.

In this topic

Check the spelling of a document

Check your document for spelling mistakes and then decide if you agree with the spellchecker.

  1. Open the document you want to check for spelling mistakes.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "More options, button collapsed," and then double-tap the screen. The ribbon opens, and the focus is on the current tab name.

  3. Double-tap the screen. You hear: "Menu, <name of the current tab>, selected."

  4. Swipe left or right until you hear "Review," and then double-tap the screen.

  5. Swipe right until you hear "Spelling," and then double-tap the screen. The spellchecking is now activated. Narrator announces the first spelling error it finds, and the word is selected in the document.

  6. To check if there are correction suggestions available for the misspelled word, swipe right until you hear the suggestions. To select one, double-tap the screen.

  7. To ignore the suggestions, swipe left or right until you hear "Ignore all, button collapsed," and then double-tap the screen.

Hide and unhide proofing marks

You can hide the proofing marks so that Narrator won't announce spelling errors as you work on your document. When you're done, you can unhide the marks, and check the spelling with Narrator.

  1. Swipe right until you hear "More options, button collapsed," and then double-tap the screen. The ribbon opens, and the focus is on the current tab name.

  2. Double-tap the screen. You hear: "Menu, <name of the current tab>, selected."

  3. Swipe left or right until you hear "Review," and then double-tap the screen.

  4. Swipe right until you hear "Proofing and language button collapsed," and then double-tap the screen.

  5. To hide the proofing marks, swipe right until you hear "Unchecked, hide all proofing marks," and then double-tap the screen.

    Tip: To hide the proofing marks for a particular part of the text, first select the text in the document and then navigate to the Proofing and Language menu as instructed above. In the menu, swipe right until you hear: "Unchecked, hide proofing marks in selected text," and then double-tap the screen.

  6. To unhide the marks, navigate to the navigate to the Proofing and Language menu as instructed above. In the menu, swipe right until you hear "Checked, hide all proofing marks," and then double-tap the screen.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Use a screen reader to share a document in Word

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Learn how to navigate Word using accessible features

Use Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to check spelling in a Word Online document. Word Online automatically checks for potential spelling errors as you type. Spelling errors are marked with a red squiggly line.

Notes: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

  • For keyboard shortcuts, go to Keyboard shortcuts in Word Online.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Windows screen reader, Narrator. To learn more about using Narrator, go to Get started with Narrator.

  • Because Word Online runs in your web browser, the keyboard shortcuts are different from those in the desktop program. For example, you'll use Ctrl+F6 instead of F6 for jumping in and out of the commands. Also, common shortcuts like F1 (Help) and Ctrl+O (Open) apply to the web browser – not Word Online.

In this topic

Check the spelling of a document

  1. In the document you want to check for spelling mistakes, to go to the Spelling command on the ribbon, press Alt+Windows logo key, then R and S. You hear: "Spelling menu item."

  2. To check spelling, press Enter. The focus moves to the first misspelled word in the document, and a context menu is opened. If there is a suggested spelling, you hear the suggestion.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • If there is more than one suggested spelling, use the Down arrow key until you hear the spelling you want to use. To change the word, when on the suggestion, press Spacebar.

    • If you want to ignore the spelling mistake Word identified, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Ignore all" and then press Spacebar.

  4. After you correct or ignore an error, to move to the next error, press Spacebar. Repeat the review process for each error.

  5. When all errors have been reviewed, you hear "Dialog focus on OK button." To return to your document, press Spacebar.

Note: Word Online does not check grammar, but if you have the desktop app, you can quickly open the document there and check the grammar. In Word Online, to open the document in the desktop app, press Alt+Windows logo key, and then O. To learn more about how to check the grammar in the desktop app, refer to Use a screen reader to check spelling in a document in Word.

Hide and unhide proofing marks

You can hide the proofing marks so that Narrator won't announce spelling errors as you work on your document. Once you're done, you can unhide the marks, and check the spelling with Narrator.

  1. Place the cursor on the word that has proofing marks.

  2. To open the context menu, press Shift+F10. Then press the Down arrow key until you hear: "Set proofing language menu item." To select, press Spacebar. The Language dialog opens.

  3. To hide the proofing marks, in the Language dialog, press the Tab key until you hear "Unchecked, don't check spelling checkbox," and then press Spacebar. You hear: "Checked."

  4. To unhide the proofing marks from a spelling error, in the Language dialog, press the Tab key until you hear "Checked, don't check spelling checkbox," and then press Spacebar. You hear: "Unchecked."

  5. To close the dialog and move the focus to the document, press the Tab key until you hear "OK button," and then press Spacebar.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Use a screen reader to share a document in Word

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Keyboard shortcuts in Word Online

Learn how to navigate Word using accessible features

Technical support for customers with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

If you are a government, commercial, or enterprise user, please contact the enterprise Disability Answer Desk.

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