PowerPoint 2010: Checking Spelling

Lesson 7: Checking Spelling



Lesson 7

If you're worried about making mistakes when you type, don't be. PowerPoint provides you with several proofing features that will help you produce professional, error-free presentations. In this lesson, you will learn about the various proofing features, including the Spelling tool.

Checking spelling

To make your slide show appear professional, you'll want to make sure it is free from spelling errors. PowerPoint has several options for checking your spelling. You can run a spell check, or you can allow PowerPoint to check your spelling automatically as you type.

Optional: You can download this example for extra practice.

To run a spell check:

  1. Go to the Review tab.
  2. Click the Spelling command.
    Spelling commandSpelling command
  3. The Spelling dialog box will open. For each error in your presentation, PowerPoint will try to offer one or more suggestions. You can select a suggestion and then click Change to correct the error.
    Correcting a spelling errorCorrecting a spelling error
  4. If no appropriate suggestions are given, you can manually type the correct spelling and then click Change.
    Typing a correctionTyping a correction

Ignoring spelling "errors"

The spelling check is not always correct. It will sometimes say something is spelled incorrectly when it's not. This often happens with people's names, which may not be in the dictionary.

If PowerPoint says something is an error, you can choose not to change it using one of three options:

  • Ignore Once: This will skip the word without changing it.
  • Ignore All: This will skip the word without changing it, and it will also skip all other instances of the word in your presentation.
  • Add: This adds the word to the dictionary so it will never come up as an error again. Make sure the word is spelled correctly before choosing this option.

Automatic spell check

By default, PowerPoint automatically checks your presentation for spelling errors, so you may not even need to run a separate check using the Spelling command. These errors are indicated by red wavy lines.

Automatic spell check errorsAutomatic spell check errors

To use the automatic spell check feature:

  1. Right-click the underlined word. A menu will appear.
  2. Click the correct spelling of the word from the list of suggestions.
    Correcting a spelling errorCorrecting a spelling error
  3. The corrected word will appear in the presentation.

You can choose to Ignore an underlined word, Add to Dictionary, or go to the Spelling dialog box for more options.

Modifying proofing options

With customizable proofing options, PowerPoint gives you the ability to change the way it addresses spelling errors, including automatic spell check and contextual spelling. Contextual spelling—an option that is turned off by default but that can be turned on—can help you find and correct spelling mistakes like the use of too vs. two or there vs. their.

To modify proofing options:

  1. From Backstage view, click Options.
    Opening PowerPoint OptionsOpening PowerPoint Options
  2. Select Proofing. The PowerPoint Options dialog box gives you several options to choose from:

    • Check spelling as you type: Uncheck this box if you don't want PowerPoint to check for spelling errors automatically. (This automatically checks Hide spelling errors.)
    • Use contextual spelling: Check this box if you want PowerPoint to check for contextual spelling mistakes, like the use of your vs. you're.
    • Hide spelling errors: Check this box if you want to hide the red wavy lines that mark spelling errors. (This option is disabled if Check spelling as you type is unchecked.)
Modifying proofing optionsModifying proofing options

If you've turned off the automatic spell check, you can still run a check by going to the Review tab and clicking the Spelling command.

Modifying any settings in PowerPoint Options—including Proofing—affects all of PowerPoint, not just your current presentation.


  1. Open an existing PowerPoint presentation. If you want, you can use this example.
  2. Correct some of the errors detected by the automatic spelling check by right-clicking the underlined word.
  3. Go to the Review tab to manually run a spell check, and correct the remaining errors.