Human Proofreading Will Never Die

My library upgraded to Office 2007 a while back and since then I’ve also tested Office 2010. Like a lot of trainers I have multiple versions of Office on my computer so that I can troubleshoot or train staff using any version.

I gave a presentation this morning to a small group of managers and luckily a friend pulled me aside and said, “You might want to run your handouts through spell check.”

Say what?

Word has spell check built in right?

It does BUT if you install multiple versions of Office on the same computer the settings for the previous version can remain and override the settings for the newer version. After some searching through developer forums on MSDN I found a solution.

If you have multiple versions of Office installed and spell check is not working for you, close your Microsoft programs, open RegEdit, then rename or delete the following registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftShared ToolsProofing Tools1.0

Open your Office product again, a new registry key is automatically created, and spell check should work. If opening an existing document, you may need to rerun spell check on the document by clicking the Office button, selecting Word Options, Proofing, then Recheck Document.

With all that said, it still never hurts to have human eyes spell check your document. Computers are great for a lot of things but they still have a long weigh to go when it comes to context!

About Lori Reed

Lori Reed, coauthor of Workplace Learning & Leadership: A Handbook for Library and Non-Profit Trainers, is a learning and communication strategist with more than twenty years experience in learning and development. A 2009 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and a 2010 "One to Watch" for paralibrarians, Lori graduated cum laude from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in Communication. Lori is a certified Synchronous Learning Expert and a North Carolina Master Trainer and has traveled across North America speaking about libraries and training.


  1. ANYTIME I create a document I ALWAYS recheck it visually, spell-checker or not. Just because my doc has been spell-checked doesn’t mean the grammar is correct! English has many words that can be spelled correctly but be wrong in context, and that alone can send the wrong message.

    At any rate, this is a great article with a real-world solution. Keep up the great work!

    • Good point Jim. I normally do this with more formal handouts, but these were talking points for managers that were finished in the wee hours of the morning last night. Still it’s not the impression one wants to present!

      I was appalled at how many errors there were. I’ve come to rely on technology for so much. I’m noticing that even online right now Chrome is letting me know which words I’ve misspelled. I’m surprised I have not noticed this before with Word but I also realize that I create most of my documents online in Google Docs.

      Thank you for commenting!

  2. Excellent points well maid.

Speak Your Mind