9 Ways to Spell Check in Microsoft Excel

Wondering if Excel has any spell check feature or how to spell check in Excel? Read on!

When you analyze data and create visualizations in Excel, you must often type a lot of text in the report as legends and instructions for the audience. If the viewers find awkward spelling mistakes it doesn’t look good from various perspectives like professionalism, attention to detail, and communication etiquette.

Hence, Microsoft included a spell-checking program in Excel so you don’t go to your audience with reports containing ridiculous spelling issues. Read the article until the end to learn more about spell check in Excel, like its features, auto spell checking, and the best methods to check the spelling of text content.

Does Excel Have Spell Check?

Excel spell check
Excel spell check

Yes, Excel comes with a native spell-checking tool. It’s located inside the Proofing commands block in the Review tab of the Excel ribbon menu, termed Spelling. The hotkey for this tool is F7.

Spell check Excel dictionaries
Spell check Excel dictionaries

There are multiple dictionaries in the back end of the spell check Excel tool. These are mainly for three popular languages: English, French, and Spanish. However, you’ll find more than one dictionary for languages like English (United States), English (United Kingdom), French (France), French (Canada), Spanish (Spain), Spanish (Mexico), and so on.

Custom dictionaries in Excel
Custom dictionaries in Excel

There’s also a custom dictionary to which you can add words that Excel would otherwise flag as incorrect spelling. For example, the Excel spell checker can flag a proper noun, such as the name of a client or business. So, you can add the client’s or business’s name in the custom dictionary to avoid confusion.

Enable AutoCorrect in Excel

To get automatic spell-checking assistance when you type text strings in Excel, do the following:

Excel options proofing category
Excel options proofing category

Press Alt + F + T to bring up the Excel Options dialog.

Autocorrect options
Autocorrect options

Go to the Proofing category on the left-side navigation panel and click the AutoCorrect Options on the right-side menu.

Autocorrect tab
Autocorrect tab

You should now see the AutoCorrect dialog box. Navigate to the AutoCorrect tab and checkmark the checkbox for the Show AutoCorrect Options buttons.

You can also checkmark other AutoCorrect features like Capitalize names of days, Capitalize first letter of sentences, and so on.

Excel Spell Check For the Whole Worksheet

The spell-check feature of Excel works depending on the position of the highlighted cells in the worksheet.

Correcting a spelling mistake in Excel
Correcting a spelling mistake in Excel

Suppose, you highlight cell A1 and press the F7 key or click on the Spelling command button inside the Proofing block, Excel will check spelling for the whole worksheet. Excel shall immediately highlight the first cell that contains misspelled words.

On the Spelling dialog, click the AutoCorrect button to fix the spelling.

Next spelling error
Next spelling error

Excel will then move on to the next misspelled word in the same cell or the next cell of the worksheet.

However, if you highlight cell D8 and hit F7, Excel shall check the spelling in D8 only.

Check spelling from beginning
Check spelling from the beginning

In the current example, there aren’t any text strings in D8. So, Excel spell check asks you if you want to check spelling from the beginning (cell A1) of the worksheet.

If you choose Yes, Excel will check for spelling mistakes from cell A1 again. However, if you choose No, the spell-check tool will close without performing any further actions.

Excel Spell Check For a Cell Range

When your Excel worksheet is huge and datasets occupy all the rows and columns an Excel worksheet can handle, checking the spelling of the entire worksheet could be resource-intensive and time-consuming.

Spell check Excel for cell range
Spell check Excel for cell range

In this scenario, you might want to select a small portion of the worksheet, known as cell ranges (for example, C8:G14), and perform spell-checking quickly and avoid slowing down the PC. The spell-checking tool will only scan the content within the selected area.

Excel Spell Check For Texts in Formulas

Excel only checks for misspelled words in cells that don’t contain any formula.

However, if calculated cells contain formulas with texts that are sensitive to spelling, you might need to use Excel spell check to ensure accuracy.

For example, in the following IF formula, there are spelling mistakes:

A formula containing misspelled texts
A formula containing misspelled texts
=IF(A2="Enginering","X1A234",IF(A2="Marrketing","M1A235",IF(A2="Finance","F1A236", "Not Allowed")))

Now, if a data entry operator enters ‘Engineering‘ or ‘Marketing‘ in cell A2, the formula won’t work.

So, it’s imperative that you fix spelling errors in formulas too.

To do that, you need to manually go to every formula cell in your worksheet and check spelling using the Excel spell check feature.

Correcting spelling in formula
Correcting spelling in the formula

You must double-click on a calculated cell to enable edit mode. Then, highlight the text you suspect misspelled.

Now, hit F7 to check if the selected text is actually misspelled or not. If there’s a spelling mistake, click AutoCorrect to rectify the problem.

Unfortunately, this is manual work and has the potential to slow down your productivity. However, this method is way better than manually correcting spelling mistakes by referring to an online or physical dictionary.

Excel Spell Check For Comments

The Spelling tool doesn’t include spelling mistakes in the comments of cells.

Edit comment
Edit comment

To perform spell-checking in comments, click on a cell containing a comment. Then, click on the pencil or the Edit comment icon to access the comment in edit mode.

Spelling errors on comments
Spelling errors in comments

If there are any spelling issues, Excel will highlight those words in red underlines.

Correcting misspelled words in comments
Correcting misspelled words in comments

Right-click on a word and choose the right spelling from the context menu to fix spelling mistakes in Excel comments.

Posting comments
Posting comments

Press the Ctrl + Enter keys together to post the corrected comment.

Excel Spell Check For Multiple Worksheets

Besides the active worksheet, you can also use the Spelling tool to spell check on other worksheets without opening them.

Selecting multiple sheets
Selecting multiple sheets

When on the active worksheet, press the Ctrl key on the keyboard and select other worksheets by clicking on the sheet tabs at the bottom.

Calling Spelling tool for multiple worksheets
Calling Spelling tool for multiple worksheets

Once you’ve selected more than one worksheet, press F7 to call the spelling tool.

AutoCorrect on multiple sheets
AutoCorrect on multiple sheets

Keep clicking the AutoCorrect button on the Spelling dialog until Excel completes correcting misspelled words on all the worksheets.

Excel Spell Check For the Whole Workbook

Select all sheets
Select all sheets

Right-click on any of the sheet tabs on your workbook.

Click on the Select All Sheets option in the context menu.

All sheets selected
All sheets selected

This will highlight all the worksheets in your Excel workbook.

Spell check on whole workbook
Spell check on the whole workbook

Now, hit F7 or click on the Spelling button on the Proofing commands block to bring up the Spelling dialog box.

The Excel spell checker will highlight the first cell in the first worksheet that contains misspelled words.

Click on the AutoCorrect button to fix the spelling issue of the highlighted cell.

The Spelling tool will now highlight the next misspelled word. Keep clicking the AutoCorrect button to fix all spelling mistakes in the workbook.

How To Check Spelling in Excel Using an Add-In

So far, I’ve explained the built-in Excel tool for spell-checking. If you find these methods a bit complicated, you can use a third-party tool. Try out the Spell checker and Grammar checker by Scribens add-ins for Excel.

Office add-ins dialog
Office add-ins dialog

Go to the Developer tab of your Excel app and click on the Add-ins button.

Now, go to the Store tab on the Office Add-ins dialog and search ‘Spell Check‘.

Add Scribens
Add Scribens

The Spell checker and Grammar checker by Scribens add-ins will show up on the top of the add-ins search list.

Click on the Add button to install the Excel add-in.

Continue installing add-in
Continue installing add-in

Now, hit the Continue button on the next dialog box.

Scribens spell check
Scribens spell check

Once the add-in is installed, it will show up on the Insert tab.

Also, a right-side navigation panel will appear on your Excel desktop app.

Misspelled words
Misspelled words

You shall now see all misspelled words on the active worksheet.

Correcting spellings in add-ins
Correcting spellings in add-ins

On a spelling mistake card, click on the correct spelling to replace the misspelled word.

Repeat the steps for the rest of the spelling mistakes highlighted as cards by the Scribens add-in.

Scanning next worksheet with Scribens
Scanning the next worksheet with Scribens

Now, go to the next worksheet and allow the tool to scan it so you can fix spelling mistakes effortlessly.

How to Use Excel VBA to Spell Check in Excel

If you use Excel VBA for automation, you should try out this method to automatically correct spelling mistakes by executing a VBA macro.

Here’s a VBA script that loops through all the visible Excel worksheets in your workbook and fixes misspelled words by calling the Spelling tool.

VBA script to spell check workbook
VBA script to spell check workbook
Sub SpellCheckWorkbook()
  For Each wks In ActiveWorkbook.Worksheets
    If wks.Visible = True Then
      wks.Activate
      wks.CheckSpelling
    End If
  Next wks
End Sub
 

If you’re wondering how to create a VBA macro using the above script, read the following article:

📒 Read More: How To Use The VBA Code You Find Online

How to Fix Excel Spell Check

Often you run spell check on the whole workbook but still find misspelled words. This could happen if you’ve added some of the misspelled words in the custom dictionary of the Excel workbook.

For example, you can see in the above screenshots that I’ve run a spell check in my dataset. Excel has corrected all the items except for ‘grrapes‘.

I’ve accidentally added the word ‘grrapes‘ in the custom dictionary of my Excel app. Hence, Excel ignored this error.

Excel options window
Excel options window

If you’ve also done something like this, press Alt + F + T on your Excel desktop app to launch the Excel Options dialog.

Custom dictionaries button
Custom dictionaries button

Open the Custom Dictionaries dialog from Excel Options > Proofing menu.

Delete word
Delete word

Select the dictionary entry that says RoamingCustom.dic and click on the Edit Word List button.

There, find the misspelled words and delete those one at a time.

Once done deleting all the incorrect dictionary entries, click OK on all the dialog boxes to save the changes you’ve made.

Autocorrect text
Autocorrect text

Highlight the cell range on your worksheet again and press F7 to fix the misspelled words that Excel didn’t auto-correct previously.

Conclusions

There you go! These are all the possible methods to spell check in Excel.

Did the article help you to understand the various features and functionalities of the Excel Spelling tool? Drop a comment below. Did I miss something you find interesting in Excel spell check? Don’t forget to add that in your comment.

About the Author

Tamal Das

Tamal Das

I'm a freelance writer at HowToExcel.org. After completing my MS in Science, I joined reputed IT consultancy companies to acquire hands-on knowledge of data analysis and data visualization techniques as a business analyst. Now, I'm a professional freelance content writer for everything Excel and its advanced support tools, like Power Pivot, Power Query, Office Scripts, and Excel VBA. I published many tutorials and how-to articles on Excel for sites like MakeUseOf, AddictiveTips, OnSheets, Technipages, and AppleToolBox. In weekends, I perform in-depth web search to learn the latest tricks and tips of Excel so I can write on these in the weekdays!

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