This tutorial shows how to use the Editor in Microsoft Word. The Editor is Word’s new spelling and grammar check and is currently available in Word for Office 365.
If you are using an older version of Word or your spelling and grammar check looks different than the one shown here, please see my previous tutorial “How to Use the Spelling and Grammar Check in Microsoft Word.”
This tutorial covers five topics:
This tutorial is also available as a YouTube video showing all the steps in real time.
Watch more than fifty other videos about Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat on my YouTube channel.
Are you looking for information about editing in Word with Track Changes instead of using the Editor? If so, visit “How to Use Track Changes in Microsoft Word” for a step-by-step tutorial covering ten editing tasks.
Important Note: Microsoft plans to continually add new features to Word for Office 365. Therefore, your version of Word may have more features than those shown here.
How to Select Grammar Issues and Refinements
In addition to spelling, the Editor can check for over sixty-five grammar issues and refinements, including the following:
- passive voice
- Oxford comma
- spaces between sentences
A Note on Including Grammar: Older versions of Word’s spelling and grammar check don’t include grammar by default. Instead you have to choose to include grammar from the Word Options dialog box (File > Options > Proofing > Check grammar with spelling). The new Editor now includes grammar by default and no longer includes the “Check grammar with spelling” option.
All the grammar and refinement options are available in the Word Options dialog box.
1. Select the File tab in the ribbon.
2. Select Options in the Backstage view.
3. Select Proofing in the Word Options dialog box.
Pro Tip: If your Editor pane is already open, you can access the Word Options dialog box by selecting Settings.
4. Select Grammar & Refinements or Grammar in the Writing Style drop-down menu. (Most users will want to choose Grammar & Refinements because it offers more options.)
5. Select the Settings button.
6. Select or deselect options from the Grammar Settings dialog box.
Defining each grammar option is beyond the scope of this tutorial. However, the Microsoft Office Support website provides a detailed explanation of most of the options.
7. Select the OK button to save your selections and close the Grammar Settings dialog box.
8. Ensure that Check spelling as you type and Mark grammar errors as you type are selected in the Word Options dialog box if you want issues to be marked in the text as you type.
Pro Tip: Always run the Editor, even if you chose to have spelling and grammar issues marked as you type, because you may not notice all the in-text edits. Plus, the Editor seems to be more thorough than the check provided as you type.
9. Ensure that Hide spelling errors in this document only and Hide grammar errors in this document only are not selected.
10. Select the OK button to save your choices and close the Word Options dialog box.
How to Run the Editor
1. Select the Review tab in the ribbon.
2. Select Check Document in the Proofing group.
Important Note: The groups in the ribbons shrink as options are added, so your Check Document button may look smaller than the button shown in Figure 13.
How to Review the Editor’s Suggested Corrections
1. Select the category you want to review (Spelling, Grammar, Clarity and Conciseness, or Punctuation Conventions).
Or, select the Results button at the top of the Editor pane to review all the suggestions in order of appearance in your document.
2. Choose a suggestion to change the spelling error.
Or, open the drop-down menu for the suggestion and select Change All to change every instance of the spelling error.
You can also choose (a) Ignore Once to ignore that spelling one time, (b) Ignore All to ignore that spelling every time it appears in the document, or (c) Add to Dictionary to add the word with its current spelling to your custom dictionary.
If the Editor is unable to provide any suggestions, it will still let you add the word to your custom dictionary, ignore the word once, or ignore all instances of the word.
Grammar and Refinement Issues
3. Choose a suggestion to change the grammar or refinement error.
Or, select (a) Ignore Once to ignore that instance of the issue or (b) Don’t check for this issue to stop checking for that type of issue in the rest of the document.
4. Open the drop-down menu above the text box if you want additional information about the issue.
Pro Tip: The Editor will pause itself if you update the text during the check. Select the Resume button to restart the Editor.
How to Finish the Edit
If you have chosen to include readability statistics in your proofing options in the Word Options dialog box, the Readability Statistics dialog box will appear after you have accepted or ignored all the Editor’s suggestions.
1. Select the OK button to close the Readability Statistics dialog box.
When the Editor is finished, a dialog box will appear stating that the check is complete.
2. Select the OK button to close the completion dialog box.
How to Run a Fresh Edit
If you have updated your text since running the Editor, you may want to run a fresh check.
1. Select the File tab in the ribbon (see figure 1).
2. Select Options in the Backstage view (see figure 2).
3. Select Proofing in the Word Options dialog box (see figure 3).
4. Select the Recheck Document button in the Word Options dialog box.
5. Select the Yes button in the dialog box stating that the new spelling and grammar check (Editor) will recheck issues that you ignored during the last check.
6. Select the OK button to close the Word Options dialog box (see figure 11).
7. Follow the steps in the How to Run the Editor section above to recheck your document.