Proofing Tools for MS Word
By Lisa Cox
If you are writing a document that needs to be free of all errors and polished to perfection, then MS Word has a number of proofing tools available. The tools will enable you to correct as you go--or once the document is complete, you can utilize each of these tools to create a clean document and ensure everything is correct.
Track Changes enables you to make edits and corrections in a document while tracking the changes. You can find Track Changes in the "Tools" tab in earlier versions of MS Word and in the "Review" tab of the latest version by mid-2010. Afterward, you--or the person to whom you send the document--can accept or reject the changes, write or respond to in-document comments and check that all formatting and editing is correct.
Spelling And Grammar Checker
The spelling and grammar checker tool will search the entire document for spelling and grammar errors. You have the option to ignore or accept the corrections and choose from a list of other suggested words and grammar styles. If you choose to turn on the spelling and grammar checker as you work, it will mark all spelling and grammar errors with a colored underline. Right-clicking on the colored line will give you a list of correction options.
Dictionary And Thesaurus
MS Word comes with a built-in dictionary and thesaurus. You can find this option in the "Tools" tab in older versions and the "Review" tab of newer versions. Alternatively, you can highlight or right-click on a word you would like to check. You also have the option of downloading dictionaries and thesauruses in other languages from the Microsoft website.
Autocorrect in MS Word will automatically correct commonly misspelled words and misused punctuation. You can turn off or customize this tool in the "Options" tab.
Lisa Cox is a publishing senior editor who works in both the digital and print industry. She is also a corporate editor and writer for media companies, as well as a medical/scientific writer and developmental editor for universities and medical institutions.