Spell-check and Grammar-check

MS Word for Writers Intermediate Skills You Wish You'd Known Before You Started Writing Your Book
19 minutes
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Transcript

Next up on our list is spell check and grammar check. And we've had a little friend visiting today. This is Columbus. And Cleopatra is nearby. She's the white cat. So if they pop in, just wave hello and get a little chuckle for them.

They'll probably wander off soon, like they normally do anyway, but I'm going to accept the love when it's here. Oh, there he goes, the end of the love as I know it. All right. So when dealing with spell check and grammar check, there are a couple of additional things you can turn on that you might not know about. But basically finding the two features. One shortcut is available in your easy access toolbar.

It looks like ABC with a checkmark overtop of it, and might also be available if you don't have that feature turned on. Choose that drop down toolbar on your easy access and turn on the one called editor. It used to be called spellcheck But if you have a newer version that will have updated, okay, so you'll notice when you hover over top of it, that your keyboard shortcut is one of the function keys. So this is the keys across the top of your number row above that one. So the function seven or f7 key will automatically start spelling and grammar check. Or another way to get to it is on the review tab, it's in the left hand area of the proofing section.

And again, it looks like that ABC with the check mark underneath of it. Now a word of warning if you're not running the newest version of Office, mind is going to look a little bit different. They have added in what they call the editor now to I think indicate to folks like us that it is offering more robust options than just spelling in the old days that we got. So I also want to make you aware of a place that you can turn on more fully functioning features of your spellcheck. So head to file, and go down to options. Inside file options, it's going to open up a dialog box on your screen.

And from the left hand menu, notice the fourth choice down is save, excuse me, proofing, third choice proofing. And we're going to look for how word corrects and formats text. If there is something, that word automatically corrects on you that you wish you would stop doing. So you can open up the autocorrect options and tell it to stop typing it replacing a certain thing with a certain thing, or to start replacing those things. Like I don't know why, but it used to always replace my full name dimitra with dementia, that was its autocorrect choice. So there may be certain elements in your document words or a series of letters that are actions that you want to teach.

To do so this is where you do so, file options, proofing autocorrect options, when in terms of spelling and grammar. Notice the area further down in this dialog box. And notice that probably the only one checked on your document right now by default is check spelling as you type, but you may have the check mark in Mark grammar errors as you type, in which case, those little red squiggles you see under the word will be indicating spelling suggestion that an error on spelling might have happened. And green squiggles may indicate a grammar issue that it wants to bring to your attention or it might look blue, depending on the color scheme of your monitor. Note that you also have the options to have it highlight and check when it's when you're doing this spell check and grammar check to have it point out frequently confused words like their their and their or our and our depending on what You grew up, or I missed that on a spelling test when I was young, because the teacher pronounced it in a different way than I heard it.

You can also, we'll talk about this later in the advanced, but look at readability statistics. So I'll save that one for the moment. But notice that also you can have it, look at grammar only or grammar and other refinements and you can tweak some of those individual settings. But for the moment, I'm just going to click a few of these spelling, grammar and frequently confused words. As we begin to run a spellcheck. A really simple, basic spellcheck and learn a couple of things that you can do to make your life easier.

Okay, so either from the review tab check document or from your Quick Access toolbar, or from your keyboard shortcut of the f7 key. I'd like you to launch spellcheck, and remember on your screen, it may just be a pop up box that shows you but in the newest version, editor is going to open up in the right hand side here. And you'll see the active search going on as it locates spelling and grammar issues that it wants to bring to our attention. I'm going to click into spelling. It's not quite done yet, but I know a thing or two about this book, and it is set in a fantasy land. And all of the characters have unusual names.

And if you've got any characters in your manuscript that aren't regular, regularly occurring, this may be a trick you want to utilize. It's suggesting that ga r n, which is exactly how the author wants this character to be named, might be a misspelling, and the suggestions for replacement that it offers up are not ones that we want to use. So the choices are to just ignore this one and use the arrow to move on to the next one. Or we could be more specific and probably Be more helpful to ourselves in the long run and have it either just ignore this one instance. We could have it ignore all of the instances in this document. When capital G AR n Apostrophe S comes up.

Note that it will still find it without the possessive. So the name, grn will still pop up. If we ignore. If we choose to ignore all the GA or an apostrophe s, they are two separate words and treated that way and spellcheck or we can choose to add it to the dictionary. And let me just show you what that would look like. I click the button, and it adds it to the words and phrases that it already knows.

And so in the future when ga Rn Apostrophe S pops up, it will not even flag it in my document, it won't underline it. The next thing that it tags is a a region of the where the book is set called tour Ingle. This is also something that is spelled the way the author prefers it to be. So this time rather than adding it to a dictionary, I'm just going to tell word to ignore all the instances so that you see how this functions as well. And just like you thought, it simply moves you on, it learns and moves on. No talk back.

I like that. But now we see now when we have an example of that name without the apostrophe s, it did bring it to our attention. So I'm going to add this one to the dictionary too, as well as our protagonists name. dulken, she's a cute little troll. Troll. Yes, I believe the ones who are underground and she likes to ride horses.

That's her unusual skill. We're going to add her name to the dictionary and move on so we can see some of the more critical features of find it have spellcheck for you. This next one will often be flagged when you Create abbreviations by using the apostrophe, it will often flag them in spellcheck as being misspellings. And if you notice that them is often abbreviated as apostrophe, em, this may look absolutely just right. And you may want to ignore once or ignore all in the document. But because I'm a finely tuned editor, I want to point out the direction that this apostrophe is facing is backwards.

So this is an autocorrect feature, and one that I would choose to turn off before I write my manuscript that automatically replaces any apostrophe at the beginning of a word with an open single quote, notice how it faces a different direction than when I type in a true apostrophe. When we've used an apostrophe at the beginning of Word or in the middle of a word to replace letters, we want to use the version that looks like a comma that has that same direction and shape as a comma. So I would go through and replace those and spellcheck might be just the spot. When I noticed that happening, you'll notice because also, I clicked into the main text of the document and began making changes. When I come back to spellcheck. I have to resume use this button to take me to the next spot.

And the next spot here is one where I taught it the name, but I didn't teach it the possessive. So now I'm just going to have it ignore all of the possessive name, and the same with this village name. Now, this is an example of a phrase that's drawn from French to die and mess, where we might be prompted by seeing this to put this into a tallix. Or you could consider that it's used frequently enough in English that we could leave it in plain text, that's your choice or the house choice of your publishing house. I'm going to ignore it throughout in this instance, and move ahead. You may have characters who use dialogue in a colorful way.

And I would be firmly in that camp of recommending you do so. Rather than having someone who speaks in formally say, Do you too want to be alone? You too want to be alone comes out sounding more authentic as dialog. So you do just want to make sure that when you have created these compound words, out of two more formal words, that you're spelling it the same way throughout your text. So if you have characters, say Juana or Hannah, perhaps you have Wouldn't maybe if you're writing historical Scottish fiction, for example, wouldn't wouldn't couldna you could make sure that they're spelled identically each time throughout your texts because consistency is absolutely still important. There may also be here's another example of a compound word, let me lop his arms off, let me You can choose to ignore or correct that, but do make sure that your spelling is consistent throughout.

Sometimes spellcheck will alert you to a word that it feels should be hyphenated or should not be hyphenated. And I encourage you to dig a little deeper into its recommendations. In some instances, the options are available for you to have it either way, it could be up to you or your publishing house. So do check a stylesheet if they've sent you one from your editor, or consider doing an internet search before you adopt Microsoft words, flat out of the box recommendation. Now, let's Saying that you've worked your way all the way through the spelling pieces, but you want to see what grammar recommendations there are as well. In the new version, they're split into separate areas.

So you'd have to click the back button and get to grammar. But in older additions, they're going to pop up one after the other just in chronological order through the documents sequentially as it appears. So here in the newer version, we can flip right into this grammar section, and motion that he turned his back to him. I read this line and it feels right but I'm understanding that because of the tense it's throwing off, Microsoft words came in so it's recommending another choice. You need to still apply your critical thought and not just assume, because Microsoft world word suggests it to you that Microsoft is always right. You are the author, you are the creative, and you need to be able to look up some of the grammar and spelling rules to make sure that you're making the right Word and tense choices for your verbs.

One of the things grammar will grammar check will flag are homonyms and word choices that sound alike or look alike or are commonly misused. So in this example, if we do this, you wouldn't just lose your lose your Goblin half, we want the verb lose, and in this case, the suggestion is the one we want. So we can either click right on the box or from the drop down arrow, we can have it read the section aloud, spell it out. Or we can ignore it, but in this case, we want to use it so we're going to click right on the word lose, and you'll notice that it incorporated it and it moved on to the next recommendation. Now, I've planted lots of spelling and grammar errors in the document just for this case. So don't think anything South about my other friend, these are all errors that I've implanted in the drafts is to make our lecture more worthwhile.

This case, we're seeing spellcheck suggest that the word though in our document might rather be through. Before we even attempt to go with it. Ah, we're missing an R. So we're going to click through, it replaces it and it moves on. If you want to do this, I will give you all the data. Microsoft Word is suggesting, we might want to add a comma after the word this to break up the phrases, perhaps to make it easier to read clearly and understand. commas are very much subjective.

So I suggest that you and your editor have a little talk about the levels of comma that she wants her to introduce. But always think in the back of your mind. Every comma introduces a pause, and how will that affect the pacing of the read in this sentence in this section of the book, because pacing affects the way that reader interprets tension. And faster pace often accompanies more tension and having lots of commas. Unless they're really necessary, can slow down that taste can slow down that speed and de escalate the tension that you might otherwise want. Okay, here's an example where the phrase more rare might better be replaced by the word rarer.

In examples like this, which are contained inside dialogue, you'll note I want you to also consider how your character would speak. Would they speak with perfect proper English? Or would they speak in a less formal way? Just however, the words fall out. And then once you have that answer, if it's not really a hard, fast answer, and you know yes, I want them to be informal and it's okay if they say it grammatically incorrect, make make an informed decision about using perfect grammar versus imperfect grammar. And especially when dealing with things like conjunctions inside of dialogue because characters whose native language is English will almost invariably speak in contractions, they will say, I'm going to the store instead of I am going to the store.

So these are some issues you may come up against, but ultimately you have to decide, will your character speak grammatically correct or not? If you can get that power to do what it's told this kind of an awkward sentence, but it's dialogue. But this it's his standing for it is. So in that instance, we would need the apostrophe there to show that contraction to do what it's told. We can find About the rest of the sentence later whether you love it or hate it, but just getting the gist of how to use spell check and grammar. When you've completed all of the checks in your document, it will pop up with a box at the end.

Here is a super insider trick from the editing world. Let's say you've finished your first draft of the document. A perfect time to do spelling and grammar check is before you format your document to send it off to your beta reader or an editor. Go through spelling, but because you're probably writing a long document, allow yourself two or three work sessions to complete the entire file. Maybe Maybe it's enough to spellcheck a chapter at a time. It's very important that you keep your eyes and your mind fresh as you're going through spell check and grammar check, especially in these long documents, because you don't want to accidentally just click through yeah Yes, I agree.

I agree I agree incorporate this change. You want to use all the powers of your mind to make the right choice for each situation. And I know that at the end of a long spellcheck session, my eyes want to glaze over and yours might as well. So just break it up into chunks so that you can come to each section fresh and ready to go. Now, that said, the time to use spell check and grammar check is before you do a last proofread, a physical proofread. I would really, really, really, really hate for a spellcheck to come along at the bittersweet end of you getting ready to publish.

And we accidentally just by the click of a mouse introduce an error that we normally wouldn't have done. Had we been taking our time or had we done a proofread after that. So just be cautious about using spellcheck. As your final proofread, I like to do it as a penultimate check, or one before sending it away to someone whose views I appreciate and respect just as a way to honor them. But I really advise you strongly to do a final proofread after you've had spellcheck do its thing. Okay, enjoy.

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