Determine the reading level of a document

Word uses the Flesch Reading Ease scale to indicate the relative complexity of written text. This system uses an analysis that is based on the average number of syllables per word and words per sentence. Higher scores correspond to text that is easier to understand, and lower scores correspond to text that is more difficult to understand. Most documents should have a score between 60 and 70.

  1. On the Word menu, click Preferences.

    Note: To open Word Preferences, you must have a document open.

  2. Under Authoring and Proofing Tools, click Spelling and Grammar.

  3. Under Grammar, select the Check grammar with spelling check box.

  4. Select the Show readability statistics check box, and then click OK.

  5. On the Tools menu, click Spelling and Grammar.

    After Word finishes checking spelling and grammar, it displays information about the reading level of the document.

Tip: If you set up Word to check the spelling and grammar of text in other languages, and a document contains text in multiple languages, Word displays readability statistics only for text in the last language that you check. For example, if a document contains three paragraphs — the first in Spanish, the second in French, and the third in English — Word displays readability statistics for the English text only.

See also

Count words and lines in a document

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