Tag Archives: Mac

Q&A: Grammar Check is Greyed Out!

QI’m using MS Word for Mac, Office 365 subscription, and for some reason grammar check is greyed out. I can’t figure out how to turn it on. Any ideas? Google search just tells me to put in on in the preferences, but that is where it’s greyed out. The language is set for English (US), so it shouldn’t be that. Thanks!

ACheck the language settings in the Style setting of that text. If it is set to a language whose dictionary is not installed, the Grammar check options won’t be available.

While the grammar checking aspect of the (newly termed) Editor is improving, one of the most useful aspects of this tool is the reading level assessment (readability statistics) it can provide at the end of the process. For more on reading levels assessments, see this other blog post.


Check all of the styles used in the document.

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Learn more about Styles starting on page 59 of the self-study book and about Language settings on page 27.

Be sure to click on the desired language and click OK. Just because it’s listed at the top doesn’t mean that a language is selected.

In the Style’s settings, ensure that the “Do not check spelling and grammar” option is NOT checked off/ticked/selected.

Save and close the document if this change doesn’t work at first. Close and reopen Word, too.

Got a gnarly Word problem? Submit your problem and we’ll try to answer it in the Q&A thread.

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5 Magic Ways to Select Text in MS Word

These fast and accurate ways to select text can revolutionize the way you work. Keyboard shortcuts are especially good when precision is required to cut, copy, or style content, or when a very large chunk is concerned. These shortcuts won’t jump unexpectedly like a mouse can.

Not only do these methods work in Word, they work in most other software including WordPress, Adobe Acrobat, and other content management systems. (Instructions for Windows users appear in brackets if they’re different from the Mac instructions.)

  1. Select the word the cursor is in, then the sentence, paragraph, or the whole document using this toggle repeatedly: fn + F8. To quit this mode, press escape.*
  2. Select an entire sentence with cmd + click anywhere in the sentence. (In Windows: ctrl + click)
  3. Select one word forward or back of the cursor’s position with shift + opt + right/left arrow. (In Windows: shift + ctrl + right/left arrow)
  4. Select one paragraph forward or back with shift + opt + up or down arrow. (In Windows: shift + ctrl + down/up arrow)
  5. Select a word with a double-click and the whole paragraph with three clicks.

*The fn key lets you access the root functions of the F keys that are now usually mapped to shortcuts like screen brightness and volume controls. If your F keys don’t operate computer functions, you may not have to press the fn key.

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Find out more about Alternatives to Macros, starting on p. 76 of the book.

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cover of Editing in Word 2016 2nd ed