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How to Deal with Incorrectly Flagged Words in Word 2013

Occasionally in Word 2013, the spell checker bumps into a word it doesn't recognize and incorrectly flags it as misspelled, such as your last name or perhaps your city. Word dutifully casts doubt on the word, by underlining it with the notorious red zigzag. Yes, this case is one of those where the computer is wrong.

Two commands are on the spell checker’s right-click menu to deal with those false negatives: Ignore All and Add to Dictionary.

  • Ignore All: Select this command when the word is properly spelled and you don’t want Word to keep flagging it as misspelled in the current document.

    For example, your science fiction short story has a character named Zadlux. Word believes it to be a spelling error, but you (and all the people of the soon-to-be-conquered planet Drebulon) know better. After you choose the Ignore All command, all instances of the suspect word are cheerfully ignored, but only in that document.

  • Add to Dictionary: This command adds words to Word’s custom dictionary, which is a supplemental list of correctly spelled words that are used to proof a document.

    When you right-click the incorrectly flagged word, choose the Add to Dictionary command. Presto — the word is added to Word’s custom dictionary. You’ll never have to spell-check that word again.

  • If the word looks correct but is red-wiggly-underlined anyway, it could be a repeated word. They’re flagged as misspelled by Word, so you can choose to either delete the repeated word or just ignore it.

  • Word doesn’t spell-check certain types of words — for example, words with numbers in them or words written in all capitals, which are usually abbreviations. For example, Pic6 is ignored because it has a 6 in it. The word NYEP is ignored because it's in all caps.

  • You can adjust how spell-checking works, especially if you feel that it's being too picky.

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