Spell-check and automatic corrections

You can check your spelling two ways with Google Docs: Docs underlines misspelled words in red as you type them, and provides a spell-check tool so you can review misspelled words in your document one by one.

Google Docs suggests spellings based on the content in your document (currently available for English only). Sometimes we’ll even suggest a word if it seems likely that you meant to use a different word.

Spell-check tool

To review all the words in your document for which Docs has spelling suggestions, click the Tools menu, then Spelling... A spelling dialog will appear in the top right corner of your document.

The spell-check tool will suggest different spellings for each of the words identified. To use one of the suggestions, select it from the suggestion list and click Change. If you'd like to use the suggested spelling throughout your document, click the drop-down arrow next to the "Change" button and select Change all.

If you want to ignore the spell-check tool’s suggestions for a given word, click the Ignore button to move on to the next word. If you want the tool to ignore that word wherever it appears in your document, click the drop-down arrow next to the "Ignore" button and select Ignore all.

You can also add words to the dictionary so that Docs never identifies them as misspelled. To add word that appear in the spell check tool to the dictionary, click the drop-down arrow next to the "Ignore" button and click Add to dictionary.

Add a word to your personal dictionary

You can also add words to your personal dictionary so that Google Docs never identifies them as misspelled, for example the names of friends and family. To add words to your personal dictionary, right-click the word and choose Add to personal dictionary. You can also add words in the spell-check tool by clicking the drop-down arrow next to the "Ignore" button and choosing to add the word to the dictionary.

Remove a word from the dictionary

If you mistakenly add a word to your dictionary in Google Docs, you can remove it.

  1. Open the document with the word you want to remove.
  2. Right-click the word.
  3. Select Remove from dictionary.

Spelling suggestions as you type

As you type, Docs automatically underlines in misspelled words in red. Right-click an underlined word to see the suggested correction and replace the misspelled word.

You can turn off the spell-checker by unchecking Show spelling suggestions from the View drop-down menu.

Automatic corrections

You can choose to always correct a specific word’s spelling by right-clicking on the word and selecting Always correct to [word]. This is useful for correcting frequent spelling mistakes, or for converting symbols like (c) to the copyright sign "©." This feature is available in Google Docs, Slides, and Drawings.

Once you do this, any time you misspell this word in a file, the term will automatically be replaced with the correct spelling.

If you want to undo an automatic correction that's made in your file, click Backspace on your keyboard right after the word is automatically corrected.

If you decide you don't want automatic corrections for a specific word, you can always turn them off.

  1. Select Preferences from the Tools drop-down menu.
  2. Either uncheck the checkbox next to the word or press the "x" to the right of the word to delete the row.

Document preferences

More text replacements

You can also add other kinds of text to be automatically corrected. Simply enter in the "Replace" column the text you’d like replaced, and in the "With" column, the word you'd like to use instead.

From the Preferences dialog box, you can also disable smart quotes, and choose to detect links automatically.

If you'd prefer to disable the option to replace text altogether, just deselect the checkbox next to "Automatic substitution."

Related topics

Mary is a Docs & Drive expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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