Monday

Crucial Tips for Spell (and Grammar) Checking Your Writing

Some days when I write, I feel so inspired my fingers can hardly keep up with my brain. Other times I agonise over each word and change everything several times until it begins to get muddled and messy. Either way, it can be hard to keep the spelling and grammar in check at the same time.
I have a little trick.
I don’t bother.
When I am busy writing and the words are tumbling out, it can be annoying to focus on spelling and grammar. If I am in “the zone” I don’t even try to get the spelling right, it stops the flow of creativity. I can always fix it up later when I am not feeling so inspired.
If you work like this, (or even if you don’t and want some help getting your finished writing tidied up) then the options in Word are a great help. I use them all the time.
First, I use the automatic spell checker and the grammar checker. It finds many common errors and underlines them in green. Then I reread it myself, out loud to see if it sounds “right.” Then I get someone else (or many someones if possible) to check for errors.
The automatic spell checker is my first line of defence. To turn it on do the following.
In Word 2010, go to File, Options (Under Help), then Proofing. The box below will come up and these are the boxes I have ticked on mine. It finds lots of issues for me and colours them green. I thought I was very good at grammar and spelling but this often finds mistakes I miss.  The latest versions are exceptional.

You can go to autocorrect Options if you want more control but that should be set already. The important thing, (I think), is to have the Mark Grammar and Check Grammar boxes ticked but Check Readability can be helpful too.
When using the Spell and Grammar Checkers, there are some things to remember though.
Note
  1. Occasionally, the checker will throw up errors that are not errors. If you have the wrong language set then it might highlight “colours” as an error and insist on “colors” or insist you use “program” when you want to use “Programme.” Make sure you have the right version of English ticked.
  2. It will underline examples of passive writing for you but sometimes that is what you wanted to say. If it still sounds right to you, or mimics your style of speech better, then you may want to override the grammar checker. (Right click the word or sentence, and choose “ignore.”) You could also choose to word it differently so it suits your style, and the grammar checker is happy too.
  3. Most importantly, many errors in spelling cannot be caught by the computer checker. Words such as “there” and “their” or “its” and “it’s” are all correct spellings so may not be picked up if placed in the wrong sentence. There is no substitute for having someone read it over for you.
Having someone else read it is also important because you know what you meant to write and your mind sometimes fills in missing words or does not notice extra words.  
One last hint that really helps when checking the article for readability is to read it aloud. You will soon see whether a sentence sounds good or is a little awkward.
I hope these tips help. They have saved me many times.
Happy writing.


Extra Help
If you only want to use the spell check for the document you are working on, or set it up for future documents, follow the instructions below. (Copied from Word)
Word
1.     Click the File tab.
2.     Under Help, click Options, and then click Proofing.
3.     To turn on or off automatic spelling checking and automatic grammar checking for the currently open document, do the following:
1.     Under Exceptions for, click Name of currently open file.
2.     Select or clear the Hide spelling errors in this document only and Hide grammar errors in this document only check boxes.
To turn on or off automatic spelling checking and automatic grammar checking for all documents that you create from now on, do the following:
1.     Under Exceptions for, click All New Documents.
2.     Select or clear the Hide spelling errors in this document only and Hide grammar errors in this document only check boxes.

13 comments:

  1. Hi buddy, your blog’s design is simple and clean and i like it. Your blog posts are superb. Please keep them coming. Greets! St Kilda Backpacker

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    Replies
    1. You are so kind. Thanks for your encouraging comments

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  2. Good idea about writing first and cleaning up later!

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    Replies
    1. I found it works for me. Thanks for commenting and sorry I took so long to reply.

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  3. Writers have it good these days with the state technology is in! :)

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  4. Hi Craige. I am very grateful for the new technology. I rewrite so many times I would still be on chapter one if I had to do it by hand. Thanks for commenting

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    Replies

    1. It’s a great site to see. That will help for improvisation of me. Will definitely marked as Bookmark.

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  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  6. spell checking is really good for us to write a paper.

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  7. I have heard fine obsessions about this topic. Is there a way I can move all my word press content into it? Any kind of assist would be very much respected!
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  8. very good post,
    informative and useful tips
    Thank you Nikki!
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Comments welcome. I would love to hear from you.and I read everything..