Spell check and automatic corrections

Google Docs helps you check your spelling two ways: by underlining misspelled words in red as you type them, and by providing with you a handy spell check tool, so that you can review all the misspelled words in your document one by one.

Google Docs uses contextual spelling suggestions (currently available for English only) to try to figure out which words you meant to type based on the content in your document. Sometimes we’ll even make suggestions for valid dictionary words if we think it’s much more 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 selecting 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.

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 deselecting 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...". 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 Google document, the term will be replaced automatically with the correct spelling.

If you change your mind, you can always disable automatic corrections for a specific word.

  1. Select Preferences from the Tools drop-down menu.
  2. Either deselect the checkbox next to the word for which you'd like to disable text substitution, 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 "Text Substitution."