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Spell Check in PowerPoint 2010

Learn how to run a spell check on your entire presentation in PowerPoint 2010.


Product/Version: PowerPoint 2010
OS: Windows 8 / 7 / Vista / XP

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. The main caveat is 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" are "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 2010 -- 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 in Figure 1).

    Presentation opened for spell check within PowerPoint 2010
    Figure 1: Presentation opened for spell check within PowerPoint 2010

  2. Within the Review tab, locate the Proofing group, and click the Spelling button (highlighted in red in Figure 2).

    Spelling button within the Review tab of the Ribbon
    Figure 2: Spelling button within the Review tab of the Ribbon

  3. This opens the Spelling dialog box, as shown in Figure 3. As soon as the dialog box shows up, it highlights the first spelling mistake encountered with suggested corrections (see Figure 3 again).

    Spelling dialog box
    Figure 3: Spelling dialog box

  4. Figure 4 shows the spelling mistake and the possible corrections suggested – in addition, you can see all other options available within the Spelling dialog box. You can choose any of these options, and then PowerPoint will highlight the next misspelled word.

    Options within the Spelling dialog box
    Figure 4: Options within the Spelling dialog box

    All options within the Spelling dialog box, as marked in Figure 4 are explained below:
    1. Not in Dictionary: This is the highlighted word that PowerPoint indicates as a spelling error.

    2. Change to: This is the first word in the list of correct words PowerPoint suggests for the misspelled word.

    3. Suggestions: More change suggestions, other than what you see in the Change to: text box – if there are too many suggestions, you can scroll down to find more alternative spelling suggestions.

    4. Ignore/Ignore All: 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.

      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 in Figure 5 -- press this button to start the spell check process again.

      Resume button within the Spelling dialog box
      Figure 5: Resume button within the Spelling dialog box

    5. Change/Change All: Click the Change button to accept PowerPoint's suggestion in the Change to: text box. 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 -- in that case, just type the correct spelling in the Change to: text box. You can type in a correct spelling in the Change to: dialog box even if PowerPoint offers suggestions.

    6. Add: 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.

    7. Suggest: If you scroll down the Suggestions list, and once again want to know what PowerPoint's original suggestion for the highlighted, misspelled word, then click the Suggest button.

    8. AutoCorrect: This button, when clicked, adds the highlighted misspelled word as an AutoCorrect entry -- and uses the suggested word as its corrected spelling. The next time you type that word into PowerPoint (or any other Microsoft Office program), it will be automatically corrected (that's what AutoCorrect means) to the new, correct spelling.

    9. Close: Click this button if you want to stop the spell check process.

    10. Options: This opens the PowerPoint Options dialog box where you can edit AutoCorrect entries, and add words to custom dictionaries. We will explain these further in subsequent tutorials.
  5. 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 OK to dismiss this message window.

    PowerPoint message window
    Figure 6: PowerPoint message window

  6. 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 summoned the Spelling option.

See Also:

Spell Check in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Spell Check in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Spell Check in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac


PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003

Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado? Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?

Go and get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences E-Book.

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences E-book


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