False positive spelling mistakes? Here is the solution.

The problem: False Positive Spelling Mistakes

This is a funny problem which everyone suffers from.

You send a proposal to a customer. The customer name is shown as a spelling mistake. Now you correct it on your PC by adding the name to your dictionary… now you think you have solved the problem… but it has not been solved.

Your dictionary will not be traveling with the document. So on the customer’s PC it will show that name as a spelling mistake (unless customer has added the name to the local dictionary). Usually customer would add their own company name to dictionary – so it is not a problem.

But on their PC, your name will be shown as a spelling mistake… that is a problem! In addition, many technical terms may be shown as spelling errors – which they are not.

How do you solve this problem while knowing that you have no control over the custom dictionaries at the destination?

Amazing solution

The solution is intelligent and elegant.

First of all, you must do a regular spelling and grammar check. No shortcuts available here.

Having done that, you still have some spelling errors which are words not included in the dictionary – but in the context of your business domain, those are correct words.


Now go to Tools – Options – Proofing and choose two smart options …

Solution to False positive spelling mistakes


That’s it.

Notice that this setting is specific to the file. That means, it travels with the document.

The mistakes will not be shown on ANY PC. Problem solved!

Warning: this setting is dangerous

If you keep this setting ON all the time, you will not be able to notice genuine spelling mistakes as well. Therefore here is what you should do.

  1. Create document
  2. Regular spelling and grammar check
  3. Enable hide spelling and grammar errors setting
  4. Send document to the intended recipients
  5. Immediately disable the hide spelling and grammar settings
  6. Save the file

This way you don’t have to worry about missing genuine spelling mistakes.

The best way

Of course, what I showed above is a workaround. Word is NOT a workaround. It is a comprehensive solution to all our problems.

This problem has also been thought of and an elegant solution given.

The solution? Create a new style derived from Normal style. Name it as “No spell check”

Modify the style – Format – Language and choose this setting

Do not check spelling or grammar option

Now whenever there is a word which is shown as a spelling mistake but it is a domain specific word or a name, select it and apply this style.

This is the right way.

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