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Spell Check in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

Learn how to run a spell check on your entire presentation in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows. Now, there's no excuse to let a misspelled word show up!


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 and higher






For presentations that contain slides with too much text, or even little text -- there are always chances of spelling mistakes showing up! However, you don't necessarily have to search for these mistakes by skimming all your slides one by one since PowerPoint lets you do a spell check of the entire presentation, and make corrections as well. However there are some caveats associated with spell checking, and this does not have anything to do with PowerPoint. First of all, PowerPoint will ignore spelling errors in charts because charts are not essentially PowerPoint content -- for all practical purposes, a chart in PowerPoint 2013 is a part of Excel saved in your slide! Another caveat is that while PowerPoint is good at finding spelling mistakes, it won't find any wrong words you have used as long as the spellings can be found in a dictionary. As far as PowerPoint is concerned, "dear" and "deer" both are valid spellings -- so "Deer Dairy" is acceptable when you may have meant "Dear Diary"! So always do skim your slides even after you do a spell check. Having said that, here's how you can do a spell check in PowerPoint:

  1. Open your presentation in PowerPoint 2013 -- the presentation you open should be in a fairly finished stage because there's no sense in running a spell check on a presentation with one incomplete slide! Now select the Review tab of the Ribbon (highlighted in red within Figure 1).
  2. Presentation opened for spell check
    Figure 1: Presentation opened for spell check
  3. Within the Review tab, click the Spelling button as shown highlighted in red within Figure 2.
  4. Spelling button
    Figure 2: Spelling button
  5. This opens the Spelling Task Pane, as shown in Figure 3. As soon as the Task Pane shows up, it highlights the first spelling mistake encountered, and also provides a list of possible corrections (see Figure 3 again).
  6. Spelling Task Pane
    Figure 3: Spelling Task Pane
  7. Figure 4, below shows the list of possible corrections suggested within the Spelling Task Pane -- in addition, you can also see all other options available. You can choose any of these options, and then PowerPoint will highlight the next misspelled word.
  8. Options within Spelling Task Pane
    Figure 4: Options within Spelling Task Pane
  9. Options within the Spelling Task Pane, are explained below, as marked in Figure 4 above:
  10. A. Ignore/Ignore All

  11. Click the Ignore button to ignore the currently highlighted word and continue spell check for the rest of the presentation. You choose this option when you know the word is spelled correctly. If this word is used often in your open presentation, you can click the Ignore All button so that PowerPoint does not highlight it as a spelling mistake during the present spell check session.
  12. B. Add

  13. If you think your original word is spelled just fine, click the Add button to add the word to the custom, default dictionary. This is saved into a custom dictionary that is used by PowerPoint and also other Microsoft Office programs including Word and Excel. Thus, this word will no longer show up as a spelling mistake even in those programs.
  14. C. Suggestions

  15. Change suggestions -- if there are too many suggestions, you can scroll down to find more alternative spelling suggestions.
  16. D. Change/Change All

  17. Click the Change button to accept the first suggestion (or the selected suggestion, if you have selected any other suggestion than the first suggestion) within the list of suggested corrections. To change all instances of this misspelled word in the presentation, click the Change All button. Sometimes, PowerPoint may get stumped and offers no suggestions -- just overtype the highlighted word with the correct spelling on the slide, and then click the Resume button (highlighted in red within Figure 5, below) within the Spelling Task Pane to resume the spellcheck. You can overtype a correct spelling even if PowerPoint offers suggestions.
  18. Tip: Did you just move away from PowerPoint to another program? Once you get back, you will see no Ignore button, or even most of the other buttons we mention in this tutorial. Instead you will see the Resume button, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 5 -- press this button to start the spell check process again.
  19. Resume button within the Spelling Task Pane
    Figure 5: Resume button within the Spelling Task Pane
  20. E. Meaning

  21. Displays meaning of the selected word within the Suggestions list.
  22. F. Dictionaries

  23. This drop-down list shows various dictionaries.
  24. As soon as you finish checking all spelling errors in the presentation, PowerPoint will prompt you with a message window which indicates that your presentation is free of spelling errors (see Figure 6). Click the OK button to dismiss this message window.
  25. PowerPoint message window
    Figure 6: PowerPoint message window
  26. Save you presentation often.
Tip: Did your first spelling error you encounter show up in slide 6 or 7 rather than your first slide? No worries -- this just means that all your earlier slides were marked as spelling-errors free! PowerPoint always starts spell checking from slide 1 even if you were working on slide 6 when you started spellcheck.

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