This tutorial shows how to use the Editor in Word for Microsoft 365. The Editor is an update to the spelling and grammar check available in older versions of Word.
If you are using an older version of Word that doesn’t have an Editor button, please see my other tutorial “How to Use the Spelling and Grammar Check in Microsoft Word.”
This tutorial covers five topics:
- How to Select Grammar Issues and Refinements
- How to Run the Editor
- How to Review the Suggested Edits
- How to Finish the Edit
- How to Run a Fresh Edit
Attention Mac Users: The Editor is available in Word for Microsoft 365 for Mac. The basic steps are similar to those shown here. However, the process of selecting grammar issues and refinements is different, so we will cover the Editor in Word for Mac in a separate tutorial.
This tutorial is also available as a YouTube video showing all the steps in real time.
Watch more than 200 other writing-related software tutorials 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.
How to Select Grammar Issues and Refinements
The Editor can check for over 150 grammar issues and refinements beyond spelling, including the following:
- passive voice
- Oxford comma
All the grammar and refinement options are available in the Word Options dialog box. You should select from these options before running the Editor.
- Select the File tab in the ribbon.
- Select the Options tab in the Backstage view.
- Select the Proofing tab in the Word Options dialog box.
- Review the spelling and grammar options that affect how the Editor interacts with your document:
A. Ensure that Check spelling as you type and Mark grammar errors as you type are selected if you want issues to be marked in the text as you type.
B. Ensure that Check grammar and refinements in the Editor Pane is selected to include grammar and refinements.
C. (Optional) Ensure that Show readability statistics is selected to show your readability statistics after running the Editor.
D. Ensure that Hide spelling errors in this document only and Hide grammar errors in this document only are not selected.
- Select Grammar & Refinements or Grammar in the Writing Style menu. (Most users will want to choose Grammar & Refinements because it offers more options.)
- Select the Settings button.
- 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 for many of the options sorted by language.
- Select the OK button to close the Grammar Settings dialog box.
- Select the OK button to close the Word Options dialog box.
Now that you have decided how you want Word to proof your document, you can run the Editor.
How to Run the Editor
- Select the Home tab in the ribbon.
- Select the Editor button. (The Editor button is also available in the Proofing group on the left end of the Review tab.)
The Editor Pane will appear on the right side of your screen.
How to Review the Suggested Edits
- Review your Editor Score. This score will change based on choices you make within the Editor Pane. Therefore, you may choose to disregard this number while working with the Editor.
- (Optional) Select a level of formality from the drop-down menu.
- Formal—The Editor will apply all the grammar and refinement rules, resulting in the most recommendations.
- Professional—The Editor will apply most of the grammar and refinement rules, resulting in fewer recommendations than the Formal option.
- Casual—The Editor will apply the fewest number of grammar and refinement rules, resulting in the fewest recommendations.
Your Editor Score will change based on your choice of formality.
- Select the Editor Score (see figure 12) to review each of the recommendations starting from the current placement of your cursor. Or, skip to step 4 to review by category.
- Select the Corrections or Refinements category you want to review. The available categories will depend on your selections in the Grammar Settings dialog box (see figure 7).
Categories with a checkmark don’t have any suggestions.
- Choose a suggestion to change the individual 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 spelling suggestions, it will still let you add the word to your custom dictionary, ignore the word once, or ignore all instances of the word.
After you select or ignore a suggestion, the Editor will automatically move to the next issue in that category or return you to the main view to chose a new category.
Grammar and Refinement Issues
- Review each grammar or refinement issue. In some cases, the Editor will suggest a way to rewrite the text.
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.
Open the drop-down menu above the text box if you want additional information about the issue.
Pro Tip: The navigation arrows on the right side of the pane let you move forward and backward to issues you have not yet addressed. The arrow on the left side will return you to the Editor’s main view.
The Editor Pane also provides options to search the web for similar text and give feedback to Microsoft about the Editor.
How to Finish the Edit
If you included readability statistics in your proofing options in the Word Options dialog box (see figure 4), the Readability Statistics dialog box will appear after you have accepted or ignored all the Editor’s suggestions.
- Select the OK button to close the Readability Statistics dialog box.
- Select the OK button in the dialog box stating that you have finished reviewing the Editor’s suggestions.
How to Run a Fresh Edit
If you have updated your text since running the Editor, you may want to run a fresh check.
- Select the File tab in the ribbon (see figure 1).
- Select the Options tab in the Backstage view (see figure 2).
- Select the Proofing tab in the Word Options dialog box (see figure 3).
- Select the Recheck Document button.
- 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.
- Select the OK button to close the Word Options dialog box (see figure 9).
Follow the steps in the How to Run the Editor section above to recheck your document.
Important Note: Microsoft plans to continually add new features to Word for Microsoft 365. Therefore, your version of Word may have different features than those shown here.
How to Change the Proofing Language in Microsoft Word
How to Use the Clipboard in Microsoft Word
How to Edit Your Custom Dictionary in Microsoft Word
How to Create an Exclusion Dictionary in Microsoft Word
Updated April 29, 2023