… or why did Word not correct my typo?
This is an off-topic post from my normal Configuration Manager, PowerShell, etc. technical ramblings.
As a senior consultant I have the questionable joy of writing documentation and editing/reviewing other’s docs (which is certainly preferable). Everyone needs a second set of eyes on occasion.
On a recent review I decided to force a spellcheck (from the ribbon select Review then Check Document) on a whim and was greeted with this concerning message:
No one knows how this setting got enabled or why. I even question why the feature exists. This wasn’t the first time either; I’ve seen other documents with this bug enabled.
Even without forcing a spellcheck, it’s simple enough to view/verify this setting, set things right, and allow spellcheck to do its job.
But what if that isn’t enough? What if you force a spell check and still notice some word(s) that your 5th grade English teacher would give you a stern look at its spelling?
Enter “non-proofing language”
Microsoft Word has the ability to disable spelling and grammar checking on a Style, a Language, or even on randomly selected text. Check out these features!
To set the Proofing language and options on selected text:
The same proofing language and settings can be applied to a Style
One might ask, wowee Brutis, how did you know that even existed? You’re a ConfigMgr geek, not a technical writer. That person would be correct, but what they didn’t know is that during my illustrious college days when I was migrating from Lotus AmiPro to Microsoft Word and taking a junior level business communications class, I earned a negative grade (something like -12) on a research paper due to numerous misspelled words. In my desperation to repair my grade and understand how my feeble self-editing skills failed so miserably I found the non-proofing text in the depth of Word settings. My professor gave me grace (we all need a little grace in life, don’t we!) and allowed me to resubmit my typo-free paper for some redemption. But more importantly I learned a valuable lesson: take ownership of your responsibilities and even when things go poorly you’ll come out the other side a better person.
During our internal discussion about this feature/bug, Mick Talbott (https://www.linkedin.com/in/micktalbott), an awesome colleague of mine, brought up a few points and tips.
Turning off spell checking for the current document (this setting gets saved in the .docx file, and travels with the document distribution) turns off the squiggly underline characters for words such as proper nouns, acronyms and abbreviations and technical jargon that the Microsoft Office spell checker (proofing tools) doesn’t natively understand, and flags as typos. But there are better options! Leave spell checking turned on, and:
- Add properly spelled but unknown words to the custom dictionary – that’s what it’s for! Many Microsoft Office components share this common spell checking and grammar checking library and custom dictionary, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and even the email editor in Outlook.
- Before you publish formal documents in Microsoft Word (.docx) file format use the Document Inspector tool (File Menu, Info tab, Inspect Document) to check for and optionally remove unwanted / unexpected metadata.
- “Mark as Final” (File Menu, Info tab, Protect Document button). Marking a document as final (and then saving as a copy of the original/master doc) further removes metadata such as doc revisions in the final version of the doc, and also marks the doc “read-only recommended” when a reviewer opens the document in Word. Word knows to not highlight spelling or grammatical errors in a document after it has been marked as final. If needed you can edit/revise the master document and save another copy and mark it as final. If you don’t have the master document you can also “un-mark as final” without losing any of the doc contents.
There you have it: spell checking with proverbs.
P.S. Back in college, our student section at football games had a cheer called “big words”. In that vein, did you like my avoidance of a tautology by using an anthimeria in the title? ?