Get your document's readability and level statistics

When Word finishes checking the spelling and grammar and errors corrected, you can choose to display information about the reading level of the document, including readability scores according to the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level test and Flesch Reading Ease test.

  1. Go to File > Options.

  2. Select Proofing.

  3. Under When correcting spelling and grammar in Word, make sure the Check grammar with spelling check box is selected.

  4. Select Show readability statistics.

After you enable this feature, open a file that you want to check, and check the spelling by pressing F7 or going to Review > Spelling & Grammar. When Word finishes checking the spelling and grammar, it displays information about the reading level of the document.

Important: You must correct or Ignore all errors found in the document before the readability statistics will display.

  1. On the Word menu, click Preferences.

    You must have a document open to see preferences.

  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 close the Spelling & Grammar dialog box.

  5. On the Tools menu, point to Spelling and Grammar and click Spelling & Grammar.

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

Note: You must correct or Ignore all errors found in the document before the readability statistics will display.

Understand readability scores

Each readability test bases its rating on the average number of syllables per word and words per sentence. The following sections explain how each test scores your file's readability.

This test rates text on a 100-point scale. The higher the score, the easier it is to understand the document. For most standard files, you want the score to be between 60 and 70.

The formula for the Flesch Reading Ease score is:

206.835 – (1.015 x ASL) – (84.6 x ASW)

where:

ASL = average sentence length (the number of words divided by the number of sentences)

ASW = average number of syllables per word (the number of syllables divided by the number of words)

This test rates text on a U.S. school grade level. For example, a score of 8.0 means that an eighth grader can understand the document. For most documents, aim for a score of approximately 7.0 to 8.0.

The formula for the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level score is:

(.39 x ASL) + (11.8 x ASW) – 15.59

where:

ASL = average sentence length (the number of words divided by the number of sentences)

ASW = average number of syllables per word (the number of syllables divided by the number of words)

The languages that you use in a document can affect how your Office program checks and presents readability scores.

  • 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 for text in the last language that was checked. For example, if a document contains three paragraphs — the first in English, the second in French, and the third in English — Word displays readability statistics for the English text only.

  • For some European languages within an English document, Word displays only information about counts and averages, not readability.

Expand your Office skills
Explore training
Get new features first
Join Office Insiders