Troubleshooting is our topic now. Because sometimes, spellcheck isn’t getting it right. The problem is usually that spell checking has been turned off, either generally or for that specific text. Here are three things to check.
Problem number one is styles. Styles are used to style the text and headings in a document and to prepare it for design. They’re a very useful part of the publishing workflow. One of the settings for a style is language, and in that setting it’s possible to tell Word to never check the spelling of any text set in that style (Figure 1). That’s handy for quotes, for example. But if a style is set to not check spelling, spellcheck will ignore it; no matter how many times you turn spell checking on for the whole document, text in that style will keep getting missed.
The remedy is to change the setting in the style itself.
The second problem is that sometimes spellcheck gets turned off for the whole document. That is, it stops checking spelling as you type; you can still run it manually, as explained in Part 2. You might want to place a misspelled word at the top of the document as a check. Like a canary in the coal mine, your misspelled word will alert you that spellcheck isn’t working, when you see it isn’t marked as misspelled.
Spellcheck gets turned off in the process of adding a custom dictionary. You need to go back in to Options or Preferences (depending on whether you use Windows or Mac) and turn on “Check spelling as you type” (Figure 2).
If spellcheck is on, but marking every word as misspelled, the problem is probably that the language setting for that text (or that whole style) has been set to a different language.
Select the text and then click the Language icon on the Review tab of the ribbon and select the correct language for that text. In that same dialog box, make sure that the box at the bottom for “Do not check spelling” is not checked (the circle in Figure 1). If that tick box has a dash in it, that means that some of the selected text has been set to not check spelling.