[SOLVED] Word 2013 – Spell check not working

When Microsoft Word 2013 refuses to spell check it’s usually because it’s been disabled for the selected language in the particular document.

Some templates have this option enabled by design to hide the red or green underlines for words that aren’t in the default dictionary. This can result in spelling and grammar mistakes being released in the final document.

How to enable spell checking for a particular document

  1. Open the word document which is failing to spell check
  2. Select all the text by pressing Ctrl + A on the keyboard
  3. Select the ‘REVIEW’ tab at the top of the window
  4. Click on the ‘Language‘ button then select ‘Set Proofing Language’
  5. Ensure the correct language is selected in the list and the ‘Do not check spelling or grammar’ option is not selected – empty, not ticked, not a blue square
  6. Click ‘OK’ to save the changes

If this doesn’t resolve the spell checking issues you may need to enable spell checking from the options menu.

  1. With Microsoft Word open, select the ‘FILE’ menu then select ‘Options’
  2. Select ‘Proofing’ from the left hand menu
  3. Under ‘Exceptions for’ ensure that both options are not enabled.

How to enable spell checking for all new documents

If you’ve found that all new documents have the spell check disabled, you can use these steps to enable the spell check by default.

  1. With Microsoft Word open, select the ‘FILE’ menu then select ‘Options’
  2. Select ‘Proofing’ from the left hand menu
  3. Under ‘Exceptions for’ select ‘All New Documents’
  4. Ensure that both options are not enabled

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7 comments on “[SOLVED] Word 2013 – Spell check not working

  1. The “How to enable spell checking for all new documents” section was the key information I needed to fix my grammar flagging issues in word. This was the only webpage that I found that shared this information, BIG THANKS!!!

  2. The “Hide spelling errors in this document only” option was enabled but grayed out, the workaround I found was to remove Office with the Fix It tool and install the x64 bit version instead of x84 (reinstalling the 32bit didn’t work). Thanks!

  3. 8 July 2015. Made no difference – settings were already correct. Word 2013 spellcheck USED to work but has stopped since recent Office update – even when I explicity select a rubbish word -it says OK. It sometimes red underlines words it doesn’t like but won’t detect them using spellcheck.

    ** ALSO Outlook 2013 doesn’t work properly – it only spell checks emails when I RE-open them again in the Outbox NOT when first created and [Sent] – hopeless !!

  4. the spell check on word 2013 was working fine before, but then it stopped working for some parts of the document.. although this isn’t exactly for MS 2013, it did help me solve the issue! this is very helpful!! thank you!!

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