I'm forced to use Outlook at work, and I have a couple of questions about the spell checker. The option of not using the spell checker is an option, but my spelling is so sufficiently bad that it's probably a better idea to use it...

  1. Is it possible to get Outlook to just underline misspelled words as I type them, like every other application on the planet? My options appear to be no spell check, manual spell check, or automatically spell check as I hit send and ask me about every word it doesn't know.

  2. In case the 1st isn't an option, is it possible to tell the spell checker something like "if it has punctuation in it, treat it as a valid word"? I'm a programmer, so if a word has punctuation in it, there's a REALLY good chance that it's something like foo.py or get_cksum() and I don't need that to be spellchecked...

  • What version of Outlook are you using. The last version that I remember using was Outlook 97 and that did not have an auto spell checker. I know that 2007 and 2010 does.
    – kobaltz
    Mar 8 '12 at 22:22
  • 2003. Don't ask why. Also, don't ask why my laptop has a "Windows 7" sticker, but they re-installed XP... Mar 8 '12 at 22:26
  • I think you are out of luck. You should really add the Outlook version to your original question (I see it in the comments).
    – uSlackr
    Mar 8 '12 at 22:51

Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2002

Compose a new message.
On the Tools menu, click Options and then click the Spelling & Grammar tab..
Click the Check spelling as you type check box.
Click the Check grammar as you type check box.

Taken from how to disable auto spell checking. I assume doing the opposite will enable it. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/937422

  • That was how I turned on auto spell checking, which happens right when you click "send". It doesn't appear to have grammar checking at all. Mar 8 '12 at 23:19

If you are using MS Word as well, it may be being used to compose your emails in Outlook.

If so, ensure your Check Spelling as You Type is turned on in Word, and turn off Spell Check on Send in Outlook.

From here:

To set Word as the default editor for email messages in Outlook:

  • Select Tools->Options from the menu in Outlook.
  • Click on the Mail Format tab.
  • Make sure the Use Microsoft Office Word 2003 to edit e-mail messages checkbox is selected.
  • In versions before Outlook 2003, the text

From the KB document kobaltz linked (KB937422):

Word 2003, Word 2002, and Word 2000

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Spelling & Grammar tab.
  2. Click to clear the Check spelling as you type check box.
  3. Click to clear the Check grammar as you type check box.

Important The Check spelling as you type and Check grammar as you type settings will affect any open documents in Word. If other people use the documents, you may want to notify the people that you made this change.

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