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How to Proofread with Microsoft Word

April 25, 2024 254 views

One great thing about Word, especially when competing with other office suites, is that it helps you ensure your documents are free from errors. While you can manually go through the entire document yourself to ensure grammar, punctuation, and capitalization are correct, it's inevitable that humans can make errors. Word simplifies the proofreading process with its editor tool, making it much easier. In this article, we will provide you with in-depth information on how to proofread with Microsoft Word.

How to Proofread with Microsoft Word


How To Proofread in Microsoft Word

Now, we won't get into the intricacies of the backend stuff on how to proofread in MS Word. Instead, we'll focus on the ways in which Word can proofread. There are numerous things that Word spares you the trouble from, and we're going to discuss all of that.

All of the Microsoft Word proofing and language settings are available in the Microsoft Word Options dialog box. To access Microsoft Word, simply go to the File menu in the Microsoft Word interface and then click on Options in the left sidebar panel.

Microsoft Word Options



Set language preferences

Suppose that you live in the States, but you are working on a legal project for your client in the UK. Your job is to write a document that adheres to British English standards. Setting a language preference in Word will help you catch USA phrases and grammar that are acceptable in the US but not in the UK.

By setting the language preference, you can ensure that Word conducts spelling and grammar checks based on British English standards. This ensures that your document is aligned with the language conventions of your client's region. For example, Word will flag phrases like "color" instead of "color" and suggest alternatives that are common in British English.

Also, setting the language preference ensures that menus and options within Word are displayed in the chosen language. This not only enhances user experience but also helps in navigating Word's features more effectively. It allows you to customize your Word experience to align with your language needs and preferences, making the proofreading process more accurate and efficient.

Microsoft Word default language settings



To set up a new language, follow these steps:

Step 1: In Microsoft Word Options, select the Language tab and then click on "Add a Language".

Microsoft Word Add a new Language



Step 2: Scroll through the available languages and select your preference. Click on “Install” to install the new language in Microsoft Word.

Microsoft Word instal a new Language



Note: Microsoft Word will automatically install the new language for both display and proofing.
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Microsoft Word French Language added


Add custom words to the dictionary

Let's continue with the example of you being a US resident and working on a document for your client in the UK. You want to mention a legal term, but since it is relatively new, it will give that annoying red squiggly line underneath the word.

In such cases, adding custom words to the dictionary in Word can be incredibly helpful. By adding the new legal term to the dictionary, you can ensure that Word recognizes it as a valid word and stops flagging it as a spelling error. This is particularly important when working on specialized documents where industry-specific terminology or jargon is frequently used.

Microsoft Word not detecting a custom word



Adding custom words to the dictionary is a straightforward process. You simply need to right-click on the flagged word, select "Add to Dictionary", and Word will remember it for future reference. This not only eliminates the distraction of red squiggly lines but also improves the accuracy of spelling and grammar checks for your specific document.

By customizing the dictionary in this way, you can tailor Word's proofreading capabilities to better suit your needs and the requirements of your client's document. It ensures that your writing remains clear and professional, without unnecessary interruptions caused by unrecognized terms.

To add a custom word to your Microsoft Word dictionary, simply click on the word highlighted by a red squiggly line. This will open a small context menu where users will be shown a list of possible corrections. At the bottom, click on the dictionary icon with a plus sign to add the word to your Microsoft Word dictionary.

Microsoft Word add a custom word to dictionary


Enable grammar and spelling check feature

You might be a pretty confident person, having worked in the writing industry for a long time, and can bet on writing pages on your computer with your eyes closed without making a single mistake. However, even the most seasoned writers can benefit from a second pair of eyes. Enabling the grammar and spelling check feature in Word serves as that invaluable second pair of eyes, ensuring that your writing is error-free and polished.

Microsoft Word grammar and spelling mistakes



By enabling this feature, Word automatically scans your document for grammar and spelling errors, highlighting them for your review. This helps catch any overlooked mistakes or inconsistencies, no matter how small, and ensures that your writing maintains a high standard of accuracy and professionalism.

Moreover, the grammar and spelling check feature in Word is customizable, allowing you to tailor it to your specific writing style and preferences. You can choose to ignore certain grammar rules, add exceptions for specialized terminology, or adjust the sensitivity of the spelling checker to better suit your needs.

To enable spelling and grammar check in Microsoft Word, simply head over to the "Proofing" tab in the Word Options. Then, under the "When correcting spelling and grammar in Word" section, select the options you want for your spelling and grammar checking.

Microsoft Word Spelling and Grammar check settings


Utilize the thesaurus

You might have spent ages on a single document, and you find yourself on the verge of writer's block. This is especially common when working on creative pieces, where finding the perfect word can make all the difference. In such moments, utilizing the built-in thesaurus in Word can be a lifesaver.

The thesaurus feature in Word provides you with a treasure trove of synonyms and related words, helping you find alternatives to express your ideas more effectively. Whether you're searching for a more precise term, seeking variation in your writing, or simply looking to break through a creative rut, the thesaurus offers a wealth of options at your fingertips.

Microsoft Word thesaurus



By accessing the thesaurus, you can quickly explore different word choices, expanding your vocabulary and enhancing the richness of your writing. This not only adds depth and nuance to your work but also keeps your writing engaging and dynamic, captivating your readers' attention.

To utilize Microsoft Word's thesaurus, follow these steps:

Step 1: On the Microsoft Word interface, click on the Review tab and then select "Thesaurus”.

Microsoft Word Review tab



Step 2: The thesaurus will appear on the right side of the screen. Now simply copy a word and paste it into the search bar to find synonyms.

Microsoft Word Thesaurus window


Microsoft Editor

Now, while you might believe Word has everything with its built-in error detection capabilities, you can exert control over these changes to a degree and further enhance them using the power of AI through the Microsoft Word Editor tool. This AI-powered writing assistant offers grammar and spell checking, advanced suggestions for clarity, conciseness, formality, inclusiveness, perspectives, punctuation conventions, sensitive geopolitical references, and vocabulary enhancement.

Microsoft Editor



Beyond flagging errors and suggesting corrections, it provides guidance on refining writing style, making it invaluable for writers seeking to elevate their content. With the Word Editor tool, you can tailor suggested changes to your writing style and introduce further enhancements not covered by the integrated system, refining your writing to a higher degree of precision and polish.

Take Your Proofreading to the Next Level — WPS AI Spell Check

You've spent a long while working on documents—writing them, perfecting them, editing them—and for your experience in the field, you need to have all the right tools to help you with your writings. WPS AI will leave you assured that you are not lagging in anything in your writing with its innovative "AI Spell Check" feature.

WPS Office Spell Check



This cutting-edge functionality provides professional guidance across four proofreading dimensions: correctness, clarity, delivery, and engagement. Users gain clear insights into their texts and can effortlessly make necessary modifications, enhancing their overall document quality.

WPS Office AI Spell Check empowers you with intelligent document refinement, ensuring correctness, clarity, delivery, and engagement for comprehensive improvement. Accept or reject suggestions based on your needs for a personalized and efficient editing experience. Enjoy a more convenient and intelligent way to write with confidence.

How to Proofread with WPS AI Spell Check

WPS AI enhances the WPS Office Suite, offering a complete package with its Writer, Presentation, and Spreadsheet tools. With its integrated AI, it can streamline your workflow and make document management much easier. The user-friendly interface ensures smooth navigation and accessibility, while the AI-driven features deliver accurate results, aiding in tasks like spell checking, grammar correction, and formatting. However, it's important to objectively note some cons. For instance, WPS Office lacks a dedicated website or support for external plugins, limiting its versatility compared to some competitors. While the AI functionality is robust, there may be instances where it falls short in addressing specific user needs, resulting in incomplete functionality for certain tasks.

The AI spell check feature in WPS Office is a separate tool provided in WPS Writer. Let's take a look at how users can use AI to perfect their work:

Step 1: For simple spell check, click on any incorrect word; incorrect words in the document will be highlighted with a red squiggly line.

Step 2: A small menu will pop up with suggestions and other options like "Add to dictionary" or "Ignore".

WPS AI Spell Check



Step 3: WPS AI spell checker allows users to correct any spelling or grammar errors in real-time while they work.

WPS AI Real time Spell Check



Step 4: To further utilize WPS AI Spell Check, go to the Review tab and then click on "Spell Check". This will open the WPS Spell Check window on the right side, where users can easily accept or reject suggestions.

WPS AI user friendly Spell check window



Step 5: To enable the AI Spell Check, go to your Home tab and then click on "AI Spell Check" in the home ribbon.

Step 6: The AI Spell Check will open on the right side of the screen, where users can see suggestions for their document.

WPS AI Spell Check



WPS AI Spell Check not only corrects spelling errors but also evaluates clarity, correctness, engagement, and delivery of the document.

Step 7: Users can also set goals for their AI Spell Check by clicking on the "Set goals" option on the AI Spell Check window.

WPS AI Spell Check Set goals



Step 8: Now users can set their goals according to the domain, type, and format.

WPS AI Spell Check Set goals options


Features

  • AI Spell Check: Enhances document refinement with guidance.

  • Clarity: Simplifies sentences, ensures clear topics.

  • Delivery: Formats ideas coherently, ensures appropriate structure.

  • Correctness: Eliminates typos, maintains grammar, ensures punctuation.

  • Engagement: Utilizes powerful language, diverse structures, emotional connection.

  • Tailored Writing Suggestions: Choose from five categories for proofreading.

  • Real-time Identification: Categorizes modification suggestions for immediate feedback.

  • User-Friendly Correction Options: Easily accept or reject suggestions, clarify modifications.

Pros:

  • Thorough feedback across four dimensions provided.

  • Document type selection ensures relevant suggestions.

  • Prompt error detection and suggestions in real-time.

  • Easy acceptance/rejection of suggestions via user-friendly interface.

  • Reliable spell check and grammar correction ensure accuracy.

Cons:

  • No integration with online platforms like a website.

  • Some user needs may not be addressed completely.

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  • Edit PDF files with the powerful PDF toolkit.

  • Microsoft-like interface. Easy to learn. 100% Compatibility.

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Difference between WPS AI Spell Check & Microsoft Word

You might assume that Word is superior to WPS due to the bias towards Microsoft as an expensive industry standard. However, this simple table will demonstrate why such bias is unfounded.

Proofreading Feature

WPS AI Spell Check

Microsoft Editor

Real-time identification

Personalized article style settings

Multidimensional proofreading functions

Quick correction feature

Integrated seamlessly with own Office software

Pricing

2.99/month

6.99/month


Now, being a full-time writer, there was a time where I would put my trust in Word and get the job done. However, sometimes it is nothing less than frustrating because of its limitations and occasional glitches. So, with the affordability of WPS Office and its AI capabilities, the transition becomes enticing, promising a smoother and more efficient writing experience.

FAQs

1. How to Use Plugins in Word Documents?

To access further tools within the Word environment, you can use plugins. Follow these steps to use plugins in Word documents.

Step 1: Check Compatibility by ensuring your Word version supports plugins.

Step 2: Open Word and either open an existing document or create a new one.

Step 3: Access My Add-ins by navigating to the Insert tab and clicking on "My Add-ins."

Step 4: Find your desired plugin by searching for it in the add-in store.

Step 5: Install the plugin by clicking "Install" to add it to Word.

Step 6: Launch the plugin once it's installed by finding and clicking on it in My Add-ins.

Note any variations in steps based on your Word version and operating system.

2. Grammarly vs WPS AI Spell Check?

Grammarly and WPS AI Spell Check are both powerful text proofreading tools, each with distinct features and integration:

Grammarly offers extensive language proofreading services, covering spelling, grammar, punctuation, style, and tone suggestions. It's versatile, available as a browser extension, desktop application, and Word plugin, aiming to enhance writing quality and clarity.

On the other hand, WPS AI Spell Check, part of WPS Office, focuses on proofreading across four dimensions: correctness, clarity, delivery, and engagement. It provides tailored suggestions based on document types like academic or business and seamlessly integrates into the WPS Office environment.

Finesse Your Writing With WPS Office

Word might be an industry standard in the office suite domain, but WPS Office has so much to offer, especially since its spell check AI proofreader capabilities are continually evolving. With features tailored to enhance your writing experience, such as correctness, clarity, delivery, and engagement, WPS Office provides a comprehensive solution for document refinement and at the end of the day you wouldn’t feel the need to learn How to proofread in Word. See for yourself, and download WPS Office today!

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.