Tech Tip #18: No Excuse for Spelling Errors

As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each week, I’ll share one with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

Q: What are those red and green squiggly lines and will they show up when I print my Word doc?

A: When you see a red squiggly line in a Word doc–or lots of other docs too, even online–it indicates a possible spelling error. I’ve found that most times, it’s true. You did spell the word wrong and need to fix it. If it’s a common word, the word processor will offer a list of suggestions if you right click on the word. Click on the correct spelling and it will replace your misspelled word. If you’re too far off, you won’t see your word. Try to sound it out or make some educated guesses for changes in spelling and try again. If you’re sure you’ve spelled the word correctly, Office offers a choice to add it to your dictionary. Do that so it doesn’t come up as an error in the future.

Green squiggle lines show up only in MS Office and indicate a grammar error. I’ve found as often as not, Office is wrong about these, so use your best judgment. Right click on word that’s underlined and decide if you like the suggestion. If you don’t, ignore it.

BTW, neither shows up on the printed doc. They are for online only.

Questions you want answered? Leave a comment here and I’ll answer it within the next thirty days.


Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Author: Jacqui
Welcome to my virtual classroom. I've been a tech teacher for 15 years, but modern technology offers more to get my ideas across to students than at any time in my career. Drop in to my class wikis, classroom blog, our internet start pages. I'll answer your questions about how to teach tech, what to teach when, where the best virtual sites are. Need more--let's chat about issues of importance in tech ed. Want to see what I'm doing today? Click the gravatar and select the grade.

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