How to Turn On Automatic Spell Check in Word 2013: A Step-by-Step Guide

To turn on automatic spell check in Word 2013, simply navigate to the ‘File’ tab, select ‘Options’, then ‘Proofing’. Ensure the ‘Check spelling as you type’ box is ticked, and click ‘OK’. This quick action will enable Word to highlight spelling errors as you type, allowing for immediate correction.

After completing this action, Word will underline misspelled words with a red squiggly line. Right-clicking on the underlined word will provide spelling suggestions, or the option to add to the dictionary if it’s a word Word doesn’t recognize.


The written word is a powerful tool. It can persuade, inform, entertain, and inspire. But nothing undermines a writer’s credibility faster than a document riddled with spelling errors. That’s where the automatic spell check feature in Word 2013 comes in handy. This feature helps to catch typos and misspelled words, effectively saving you from potential embarrassment and maintaining the professionalism of your documents.

Whether you’re a student, a business professional, or just someone who likes to jot down thoughts, knowing how to enable automatic spell check in Word 2013 is essential. Imagine sending out a resume with spelling errors or submitting a report to your boss that’s full of typos. No one wants that, right? That’s why this topic is crucial – it helps to ensure that your documents are polished and error-free. And let’s face it, we all make mistakes, but with automatic spell check, those mistakes don’t have to be permanent.

Step by Step Tutorial – Turning On Automatic Spell Check in Word 2013

The following steps will guide you through the process of enabling the automatic spell check feature in Word 2013.

Step 1: Open Word Options

Open the ‘File’ tab and select ‘Options’ to access the Word Options dialog box.

In the Word Options dialog box, you’ll find a plethora of settings that allow you to customize your Word experience. ‘Proofing’ is where you’ll find all the settings related to spelling and grammar.

Step 2: Select the Proofing Tab

In the Word Options dialog box, click on the ‘Proofing’ tab on the left-hand side.

The ‘Proofing’ section is where Word keeps all of its language checking tools. This is where you can fine-tune how Word handles spelling and grammar checks.

Step 3: Check Spelling Options

Ensure that the ‘Check spelling as you type’ box is ticked under ‘When correcting spelling and grammar in Word’.

By ticking this box, you’re telling Word to actively monitor your spelling as you write. It’s like having a vigilant editor looking over your shoulder, but less intrusive.

Step 4: Click OK

Click ‘OK’ to save your changes and close the Word Options dialog box.

Once you click ‘OK’, the automatic spell check feature will be active. Any spelling errors you make from this point on will be underlined in red.


Immediate Error DetectionHaving automatic spell check turned on means errors are detected immediately as they occur, enabling quick fixes.
Improves Writing QualityThe feature enhances the overall quality of your writing by ensuring that spelling errors are minimized.
Saves TimeIt saves time by reducing the need for manual proofreading for spelling errors.


May Not Recognize All WordsSometimes, the spell check may not recognize certain words, such as technical jargon, leading to unnecessary underlines.
Can Be DistractingThe constant underlining of errors can be distracting for some users, interrupting their writing flow.
Not InfallibleAutomatic spell check can sometimes miss errors or suggest incorrect corrections, so it’s not a substitute for human proofreading.

Additional Information

While the steps provided will ensure spell check is working, it’s important to note that Word 2013’s spell check may not catch every single error. For instance, if you type “form” instead of “from”, spell check might not flag it because “form” is also a valid word. That’s where proofreading comes in – it’s always good practice to read over your document even after running a spell check.

Another tip is to customize your dictionary. If you often use specific terms that Word doesn’t recognize, you can add them to your dictionary so they won’t be flagged as errors in the future. Also, be mindful of the language setting – if you’re writing in U.S. English but the spell check is set to U.K. English, you might see some words flagged that are actually spelled correctly for your intended audience.

And let’s not forget about grammar check – while this article focuses on spell check, Word 2013 also offers a grammar checking tool that can be equally helpful. It can be turned on in the same ‘Proofing’ section of the Word Options.


  1. Open Word Options from the ‘File’ tab.
  2. Click on the ‘Proofing’ tab.
  3. Make sure the ‘Check spelling as you type’ box is ticked.
  4. Click ‘OK’ to save changes and enable the feature.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if Word is not detecting any spelling errors at all?

Ensure that the ‘Hide spelling errors in this document only’ option is not selected in the ‘Proofing’ settings.

Can I add words to the dictionary?

Yes, you can add words to the dictionary by right-clicking on the word and selecting ‘Add to Dictionary’.

Will spell check work in all languages?

Spell check is language-specific. You’ll need to set the correct language for it to work properly.

Does spell check work on text copied from the internet?

Yes, it does, but formatting issues may sometimes prevent spell check from working correctly.

Can I turn off automatic spell check?

Certainly, just uncheck the ‘Check spelling as you type’ box in the ‘Proofing’ settings.


Turning on automatic spell check in Word 2013 is a simple yet effective way to enhance the quality of your written documents. It’s like having an ever-present assistant whose sole purpose is to point out those pesky typos that can so easily slip past our eyes.

Remember, though, that technology is not perfect – it’s there to assist, not replace, good writing practices. So, use automatic spell check as a safety net, but don’t forget the value of a thorough manual proofread. Happy writing, and may your documents always be error-free!

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