Even though you should never only rely on your spellchecker to find mistakes in your document, you can make the most of your spellchecker by changing the settings. It isn't as scary as it sounds and once you learn where these settings are, you can change them as often as you need to for whatever guidelines you have to use for a particular document that you are writing.
These punctuation settings are consistent with the American publishing industry. If you are writing for Great Britain (the United Kingdom) or writing in English for any other country, be sure to learn what punctuation rules are used in that country's publishing industry. You can reset the spellchecker options at any time so that when you run spellcheck, it will automatically check for the right punctuation placement.
Hereís the easy 1-2-3 instructions for changing and checking your spellchecker settings:
1. Open Word.
2. On the toolbar, click on Tools. In the drop-down window, click on Options.
3. Click on the Spelling & Grammar tab, hit the Settings button. A new window will appear. Set the first three requirements:
Comma required before last list item (always)
Punctuation required with quotes (inside)
Spaces required between sentences (1)
Now, close all the windows that are open. Your spellchecker has now been re-set and these option settings will be in place for all Word documents that you create from now on. You only need to go through this procedure again is if you need to change these settings to comply with a specific publishing requirement. If you do change the settings, remember to change them back to these settings once you have finished that document.
Be sure to always run a final spellcheck of your document, after you have made your final corrections!
This article was posted on March 05, 2005