Disabling proofing in Office 2010

Recently upgraded to Office 2010 Pro on my work desktop. All my hard work in making the proofing system tolerable was lost, so I had to start over.

I really can’t stand the proofing tools in MS Office. Never have.

Much of the time their grammatical “advice” is simply wrong, and the spell checker completely fails to do its job most of the time, at the cost of impeding content creation.

After struggling with this for nearly three decades of Office releases I finally decided it was time to end the war. Proofing just needs to be killed completely.

First, the official answer:


How to turn off automatic spelling checking and automatic grammar checking in Office programs

Basically you need to go to File… Options… Proofing in Word (or File… Options… Mail… Editor Options… Proofing in Outlook) and uncheck “Check spelling as you type” and “Mark grammar as you type”.

Unfortunately the above is incomplete when it comes to Outlook 2010. In addition to the advice given, you also need to go to File… Options… Mail and uncheck “Always check spelling before sending”. Otherwise the software will check your spelling even though you’ve disabled checking as you type.

The above will not help if some juvenile delinquent has deployed a Group Policy to enforce what they, in their high school or college science major understanding of the Humanities, think are the appropriate defaults (basically the shipping defaults — because they don’t have any basis on which to criticize those). For a GPO response, see the following:

Disabling Proofing Tools and related options Word 2010.

Yes, there are good reasons after all for the ranks of Information Technology to be salted with those who excelled in the Humanities during their academic journey.

And yes, I AM qualified to say such things:

B.A. Humanities, State University of New York, 1979, GPA 3.8
M.A. History, Long Island University, 1989, GPA 3.9
J.D., Rutgers University, 1982

Oh yes, and, as if it matters:

Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, 1997

This entry was posted in Editorial, System Administration on by .

About phil

My name is Phil Lembo. In my day job I’m an enterprise IT architect for a leading distribution and services company. The rest of my time I try to maintain a semi-normal family life in the suburbs of Raleigh, NC. E-mail me at philipATlembobrothersDOTcom. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own and not those of my employers, past, present or future (except where I quote others, who will need to accept responsibility for their own rants).