Powerpoint Spell Check

PowerPoint Spelling

You've spent a lot of time and effort into planning the structure of your presentation, designing it and then adding the whistles and bells in the form of graphics, video or animation. There's one last thing you need to check. Spelling! Poor spelling can really let down an otherwise professional presentation, so you shouldn't neglect this important but often overlooked step. Spelling and grammar mistakes can distract readers from the work that you put into your documents, so you want to eliminate these mistakes. Fortunately, PowerPoint has it's own tools to perform your proofing tasks.

You have different options when it comes to checking your spelling. You can allow PowerPoint to use its automatic spellchecker as you create your presentation (the wavy red, blue, and green lines). Alternatively you can postpone the spellchecking until you have completed your presentation.

Viewing PowerPoint Proofing Options

You can view your current PowerPoint proofing options by clicking the File tab > Options > Proofing.

PowerPoint Proofing Options

This window gives you a lot of control over how PowerPoint will proof your presentation. The first button allows you to set the auto correction settings (more on that in another tutorial).

Some of the options shown in the window that is displayed apply to all Microsoft Office programs. Regardless of which program you are using to change the option, the setting that you select applies to all the programs. These options are titled When correcting spelling in Microsoft Office programs. Towards the bottom you can set PowerPoint specific proofing options in the section titled When correcting spelling in PowerPoint.

The following is an explanation of what the proofing options do.

Proofing Option Explanation
Ignore words in UPPERCASE Ignore words in which all letters are uppercase. For example, if you select this option, the spelling checker does not flag ABC as a mistake.
Ignore words that contain numbers Ignore words that contain numbers. For example, if you select this option, the spelling checker does not flag a1b2c3 as a mistake.
Ignore Internet and file addresses Ignore words that are Internet and file addresses.
Flag repeated words Ignore repeated words. For example, if you select this option, the spelling checker does not flag beep beep as a mistake.
Enforce accented uppercase in French Alert you to French words that contain uppercase letters that are missing an accent mark. When you are using the French (Canadian) dialect, by default this option is always turned on, because the dictionary for this language includes the accented uppercase form of words in this language.
Suggest from main dictionary only Suggest words only from the main dictionary that is built into the spelling checker. If you select this option, words from your custom dictionaries are not included in the list of suggested words when you check the spelling of a document.
Check spelling as you type While you work in a document, the spelling checker can work in the background, searching for mistakes. As a result, when you finish the draft that you are working on, the check spelling process goes faster. This can save you time, especially with large documents.
Use contextual spelling PowerPoint will use context to determine whether a word is misspelled. For example, "a pear of shoes" would flag "pear" as being misspelled.
Hide spelling errors Your PowerPoint flags misspelled words while you work, so that you can easily see them. If you don't want PowerPoint to do this, check this box.

Manually Proofing Your PowerPoint Presentation

At any point you can decide to spell check your entire presentation. Click Review > Proofing > Spelling. The next misspelled word in the presentation is highlighted in the spelling window, together with a brief description of the mistake and also possible actions on the word. For example, this is a word that wasn't found in the PowerPoint dictionary:

Word Not In Dictionary

There is a variety of buttons to the right of the window that allow us to take different actions, such as to ignore the misspelling, add it to the dictionary or change it to one of the words that PowerPoint suggested as a replacement.

Moving on to the next example misspelling and we can see a contextual misuse of the word "pear" in "a pear of shoes":

Wrong Word In Context