Allow use of old Spell Check dialog in Word 2016 and later
See this thread in the Microsoft Answers
Some of us prefer the old dialog to the new Edit pane.
Aaron Swetland commented
This is terrible. I'm a totally blind user who works as a writer. This editor is partially inaccessible and almost completely impractical for my job. I just shelled out another hundred bucks for what is gradually becoming a non-service with every round of updates. I can't keep doing this...
Please can either Microsoft add a switch to allow us to go back to the old checker or someone document in simple steps how to access it. I had figured this out but the new (horrible, un-ergonomic) one has re-appeared. Maybe I am missing a setting or something but where can I just click 'change all' ???
Stop making stupid unnecessary changes to Word! The Backstage function was bad enough but at least you can turn it off. The Editor pane is useless. The far superior spell checker dialog box immediately began, you know, spell checking (a good thing), the stupid Editor pane slows down the process by adding useless bells and whistles. I prefer PC MS word over Apple because PC word has far superior keyboard short cuts. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before Microsoft "improves" Word by eliminating keyboard shortcuts. Microsoft, do yourself a favor and whatever money you spend on "improving" Word, take it out back and set it on fire.
This discussion contains a macro that brings up the old-style spell check dialogue and still works in Office 365 (as of November 2019):
I just got switched from a Mac to PC at work and was shocked to find that in this version of Word I cannot spell check -- and more importantly get readability statistics for -- a selected block of text. This is infuriating. It is incredibly inefficient and time consuming to have to cut and paste a block of text to a new Word document, spell check the entire document to get the readability stat, then delete the text so I can cut and paste another block to get the readability stat for a different section. I'm just assuming that the Microsoft team that came up with this "improved" spell check did not include any editors or writers. Please bring back the old functionality!
Charles Kenyon commented
The macro is still working in version 1908.
September 18, 2019.
version 1909-1911 worjing - December 26, 2019
your mother commented
I bet you people at Microsoft have mothers. Think of your mother, being forced to change to windows 10 & all the stupid changes you've put into it.
I don't have any kids to help me with this - have to pay an expensive tech.
Shame on you.
Everything has changed FOR NO GOOD REASON! except it pays for your bloated salary.
Well, here's one "mother" rolling over in her early grave.
Roberta Metalious commented
I think we should start a campaign to inundate Bill Gates with tweets!
Typical MS Word. They seem to go out of their way to make things difficult. (I won't go into how difficult it is to use the Word Outline feature, let alone the absence of reveal codes; and no, the Word formatting marks are not the same as reveal codes.)
There was ZERO reason to have swapped out the old spell check which is far superior to the spell check now in Word 2016. And even though so many have complained, they do nothing about it. WHY NOT IMMEDIATELY restore the old spell check as an easy to use option.
But that is what monopoly power will do. Microsoft's overly dominant position in word processing allows them to do what they want and IGNORE customer concerns.
I still often use WordPerfect where possible. Only reason to use Word is because so many others use it, and one has to exchange documents during negotiation and document drafting situations.
Anyway, that is my opinion. Don't know how others feel generally about MS and MS Word, but certainly, from reading this forum and others, a lot of people are quite unhappy with the new spell check feature. SO, MS, CHANGE IT BACK ALREADY!
It would be great for Microsoft to explain WHY A/. they won't give us the choice of which spell-checker B/. why they think anyone would prefer the new one.
Surely most Microsoft staff must also prefer the old version?
Jerry Payne commented
Just want to add my two cents here which pretty much mirrors everybody's comments. I need to be able to spell check a sentence or paragraph or even a single word at a time. I don't know who designed the new system but I'm guessing it's not anybody who writes or edits for a living.
Yes, as an editor, I absolutely need to be able to spell check a selected block of text. This is my number 1 priority for a fix.
Furthermore, "Recheck document" seems to be nonfunctional. The spelling checker always rechecks the entire document.
Finally, the AI behind much of the grammar and other checking is quite faulty. It really wastes my time to go through all the incorrect results.
Brian Davis commented
The ability to spell check only sections is vital to my work flow. The fix of copying/pasting to a separate Word Document so the spell/grammar check only looks at that section, and not my whole document, is a clunky band-aid at best.
I would also like an option to just get the Readability information without having to go through each individual edit/correction before getting to see the stats.
The new edit pane is worthless if you use any words that are not in the standard dictionary. It is also worthless to correct any errors in spelling of words in the standard dictionary.
Microsoft really shot themselves in the foot with this one.
I agree with everyone. PLEASE let me choose the old spell check. I try to do everything without using the mouse, and the process with the new Editor is cumbersome and such a huge pain in the butt. Sooooo frustrating and time consuming.
B. Frederi commented
Old spell check good.
New spell check bad.
Seems like everytime Microsoft tries to "improve" a basic, simple, reliable tool, they turn it into a bloated, complicated mess that doesn't do what the customer needs.
Please, please, add an option, this is obvious and simple. The spell check "improvement" is grossly hideous, just awful, more clicks, more work, with way too much useless information now in the way of what close to 100% of the time is and should remain a simple and easy task, correcting a misspelled word. Here, I am sure, is the root of the problem, and I offer a solution. Many of your tech and business experienced users know and understand that you employ 100s, probably 1000s, of programmers who institutionally must justify their jobs by finding "improvements." And, of course, in most organizations, the review process to approve and prioritize "improvements," is conducted by ex-programmer managers with the same institutional bias and necessity. To ameliorate this, for the sake of users and the company's reputation, you could ensure that decision-making personnel are evaluated and rewarded with job security and benefits by rejecting instead of perpetuating "improvements" that are anywhere near as stupid and unnecessary as this new spell check. But you obviously don't have that organizational wisdom, yet, so here's plan B: have some of your programmers put in an option, so users can use choose to use the classic, easy, good old spell check, instead of the new stupid one. It's a win-win! Users get to choose a good, simple easy spell check, and some programmers get to stay busy by continuing to "improve" the new stupid spell check system, AND making sure the fine old one stays compatible with various other unnecessary under-the-hood "improvements" programmers with too much time will still be making to your software. Thank you!
Agree with everyone. Look, knuckleheads - make it an option. This is why other software will take over - the customer is always right. This new version is terrible. Huge step backward.
Peter Mokover commented
Re: The new style spell checker in Word:
1. It's significantly slower. It appears to check the entire document before it displays results including a count of the number of errors. The older version of the spell checker stopped on each misspelled word as it found it. The entire process is now much slower.
2. Even though I have every setting pertaining to grammar checking turned OFF it shows a grammar error count right below the spelling error count.
Please, at least give the option to use the old style spell checker.
This is ridiculous, I need to highlight sections at a time to check the Flesh Kincaid level as I am in clinical research. I hope this gets fixed soon. Ridiculous!!!