This tutorial shows how to use the Editor in Word for Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365). Editor is the new name for Word’s spelling and grammar check.
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:
- How to select grammar issues and refinements
- How to run the Editor
- How to review the Editor’s suggested corrections
- How to finish the edit
- How to run a fresh edit
This tutorial is also available as a YouTube video showing all the steps in real time.
Watch more than 100 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
In addition to spelling, the Editor can check for over sixty-five grammar issues and refinements, including the following:
- passive voice
- Oxford comma
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 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.
- 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.
Pro Tip: If your Editor pane is already open, you can access the Word Options dialog box by selecting the Settings button at the bottom of the pane.
- Review the proofing 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. Ensure that Hide spelling errors in this document only and Hide grammar errors in this document only are not selected.
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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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. (Note that the Editor button is also available in the Review tab. If you see a Spelling & Grammar button instead of an Editor button, you may need to update Word.)
The Editor will start running immediately.
How to Review the Editor’s Suggested Corrections
The Editor pane tells you how many potential errors you have in each category. A green check mark indicates there are no errors in the category.
- Select the category you want to review:
- Punctuation Conventions
Or, select the Total Suggestions button at the top of the pane to review all the suggestions in order of appearance in your document.
- 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.
Grammar and Refinement Issues
- 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.
- Open the drop-down menu above the text box if you want additional information about the issue.
How to Finish the Edit
If you included 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Select the File tab in the ribbon (see figure 1).
- Select Options in the Backstage view (see figure 2).
- Select Proofing in the Word Options dialog box (see figure 3).
- Select the Recheck Document button in the Word Options dialog box.
- 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 365. Therefore, your version of Word may have more features than those shown here.