2 Ways to Spell Check in Google Sheets

This post is going to show you all the ways to run a spell check in your Google Sheets.

The spell checker plays an important role in spotting your mistakes when you type.

Spell checkers are more frequently connected with word processing programs like Google Docs. But Google Sheets can have a lot of text, and reading through blocks of text to detect spelling errors may be very laborious.

Users of Google Sheets work with numbers more frequently than they do with text. However, spell check remains one of the crucial checks that should be in place.

In most word processing software, a red underline will appear below a misspelled word. Unfortunately, nothing of that nature appears in Google Sheets.

Spell checking does not operate automatically in Google Sheets. You will need to manually run a spell check in your Google Sheet to catch any typos.

You have the option to check all your sheets, specific worksheets, or individual ranges. Google Sheets will spell check the entire sheet if you select a single cell but if a range is selected then it will only check those cells inside the range.

Download your copy of the example workbook used in this post and follow along!

Spell Check from the Tools Menu

The spelling options in Google Sheets are simple and can be found under the Tools menu.

Follow the below steps to run a spell check for a selected range in Google Sheets.

  1. Select the cell range of cell you wish to check.
  2. Go to the Tools menu.
  3. Select the Spelling option from the menu.
  4. Select the Spell check option.

Google will identify any mis-spellings and display your text along with one or more suggestions in the dropdown in the popup dialog box one by one.

  1. Select from Change, Ignore, or Add to dictionary for each misspelled word identified.

You should understand how the spell check works in Google Sheets.

If you select a single cell in google sheets and run spell check, Google Sheets will go through all the cells in the first row starting from A1, then move to the second row, etc.

It will check each row from top to bottom and check each cell in the row from left to right. It displays the text in the dialogue box if it identifies a spelling error.

Google Sheets will go through all the cells in a select range and run the spell check in the same top to bottom row and left to right cell pattern. 

Once it has checked all the selected cells. Google Sheet spell check will suggest to you either Search the rest of the sheet or Search all sheets.

Please note that Search the rest of the sheet will show only if you have data in your sheet other than the selected range.

Search all sheets will show only If you have multiple sheets in your workbook.

List of Options Available in Spell Check

  • Change: When Google Sheets highlights an error, it also shows one or more suggestions in the dropdown of the spell check dialogue box. You can select one of them and click Change. It will change only the current word.
  • Change all: You can find the Change all option in the Change dropdown. You can select one of the suggestions from the list and click Change all. It will change all the occurrences of the misspelled word in your document.
  • Ignore: Sometimes you may need to keep the word as is, but spell check identifies it as an error. In that case, you can click on Ignore. It will ignore only the current occurrence of the word.
  • Ignore all: Choose Ignore All found in the Ignore dropdown if you need to keep the word as is for the entire workbook.  It will work only on the current instance of the workbook. 
  • Add to Dictionary: You can select Add to Dictionary if you want to keep the word such as a company, brand, or product name for all your Google Sheets documents and do not want to flag it as an error in any workbook. Google Sheets will add that word to your personal dictionary and will not flag it again.

Spell Check with a Keyboard Shortcut

You can use any one of the Google Sheets keyboard shortcuts to access the spell check dialog box.

  • F7
  • Alt + R, S
  • Alt + T, S, S

You must first Enable compatible spreadsheet shortcuts in the Keyboard shortcuts menu before using the F7 and Alt + R, S keyboard shortcuts.

Follow the below steps to enable the compatible spreadsheets shortcut.

  1. Go to the Help menu.
  2. Choose the Keyboard Shortcuts option in the menu
  1. Toggle on the Enable compatible spreadsheet shortcuts option in the Keyboard shortcuts dialog box.
  2. Press the X at the top right to close the keyboard shortcuts dialog box.

Now you can use the F7 or Alt + R, S shortcuts to access the Spell Check dialog box.

Add or Remove Words in Your Personal Dictionary

Often you need to add your company, brand, or product name to your sheets since these words are not misspellings but will like be flagged as errors.

You can add those words to your personal dictionary so that Google Sheets will recognize them and never give any suggestions for correcting them.

How to Add a Word to Your Personal Dictionary

There are two ways to add the word to the personal dictionary.

Follow these steps to add a word that appears in your sheet to your dictionary.

  1. Select your range of cells.
  2. Run a Spell check.

Google Sheets will popup a suggestion for any misspelled words such as howtoexcel. But this instance is referring to a website and should be left as is!

  1. Select Add to dictionary to add the word to your personal dictionary in Google Sheets.

The other approach is to add a word from the Tools menu without running a spell check.

Follow the below steps to add any word to the personal dictionary.

  1. Go to the Tools menu.
  2. Click on the Spelling option.
  3. Select Personal Dictionary from the submenu.

This will open the Personal dictionary dialog box.

You can see all your words are listed in your Personal Dictionary.

  1. Type the word you want to add in the input box.
  1. Press the Add button.

Once your word is added to the list, the OK button will be enabled.

  1. Click on the OK button.

You have added the words to your personal dictionary. Google Sheets will recognize them and will not give any suggestions for these words.

How to Delete a Word from Your Personal Dictionary

Follow the below steps to delete the word from the Personal dictionary list.

  1. Go to the Tools menu.
  2. Click on the Spelling option.
  3. Select Personal Dictionary from the submenu.

This will open your Personal dictionary.

Now you can see all the words you’ve added to your personal dictionary.

  1. Hover the cursor over the item in the list you want to delete. This will reveal a trash can icon on the right.
  2. Click the Delete icon.

Once you remove the word from the list, the OK button will be enabled.

  1. Press the Ok button.

The word is removed and will now be flagged as an error across all your documents again.

Conclusions

You have seen all the different ways to run the spell check in Google Sheets.

Spell check can be easily run from the Tools menu or with a keyboard shortcut.

You can create a personal dictionary to make your own list of words that Google Sheets will then automatically ignore in the spelling suggestions.

Both options are simple to use and will save you a massive amount of time as compared to manually reviewing your spelling for accuracy.

Do you know any other methods to run a spell check in Google Sheets? Let me know in the comments below!

About the Author

Arnold Layne

Arnold Layne

Arnold is a Google Workspace certified consultant and Google Sheets expert. He has over 15 years of experience in the IT industry and specializes in helping businesses implement and use Google products to increase efficiency and productivity. He is an avid traveler, and loves exploring new cultures and learning about different ways of life.

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