How to check spelling in Excel | Quick Guide

Excel doesn’t have a spell check built in to correct users if they make any spelling mistake. Unlike Microsoft Word in Microsoft Excel you can’t see red underline where you made mistakes.

If you’re not careful you could end up making grammatical mistakes which could lead to embarrassing moments in case somebody else sees the sheet. But don’t worry, there are ways to check spellings in excel.

In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to check spelling in excel using built in Excel Spell Check.

How to spelling check in Excel

There are two main ways to check spelling in Excel – built in feature and quick shortcut. Let’s look at the built in feature first.

  1. Here’s our data, which has some spelling mistakes

  2. Go to Review tab and select Spelling option.

  3. The Excel Spell Check dialog box will appear.

  4. Now to correct our spelling mistake, we can choose different options from Suggestions and then click Change. The spelling will get corrected in excel.

Once the spelling is corrected, excel will move on to the next incorrect spelling. Repeat the process till you correct the rest of the spellings.

Excel Spell Check Dialog Box

Let’s understand all the options within Excel spell check dialog box.

  1. Ignore Once: If you want excel to ignore a spelling mistake, you can use this option
  2. Ignore All: If you want to keep all spellings as is, then use this option
  3. Add to Dictionary: Just like in Word, if spell check in Excel identifies a correct word as a spelling mistake you can decide to add it in the dictionary. But remember, once you add it- it’ll never flag the word again while checking spelling in excel
  4. Change: If you want excel to use a given suggestion to replace the spelling mistake, use this option
  5. Change All: This will replace all the spelling mistakes
  6. AutoCorrect: This will replace the spelling mistake with selected suggestion and add it to the Excel AutoCorrect list. So the next time you make the spelling mistake, it’ll automatically replace it with the correct one
  7. Dictionary Language: You can switch between different languages.

How to check spelling in Excel – Using Quick Shortcut

To quickly check spelling in Excel just press F7 key. This will either open the Excel Spell Check dialog box or will show “Spell Check Complete” message in case of no mistakes.

How to spelling check in Excel – Across Multiple Sheets

Follow the below steps to check for spelling mistakes across multiple sheets within the workbook.

  1. Press and hold CTRL then select the sheet tabs you want

  2. Now use the shortcut F7 or go to Review tab and select Spelling

Correct the spellings across sheets. Once done, right click the selected sheet tabs and select Ungroup Sheets.

How to spell check in Excel – Entire Workbook

To check for spelling across all sheets or the entire workbook, do this

  1. Right click on any sheet tab and click Select All Sheets

  2. Now use F7 or go to Review tab and click Spellings. Repeat the process to correct the spellings.

This is how to spell check in excel across entire workbook.


You should be aware about the default settings in Spell Check in Excel.

  1. Excel ignore uppercase words. Example, if we have typed APPPLE as a word then it won’t be flagged as a mistake.

  2. Excel ignores words with numbers. Example, if we type Apple1, this again won’t be flagged as a spelling mistake.

  3. Excel ignores URLs, emails and website addresses.

  4. Excel flags repeated words. Example, if we type- Sales team achieved the the Then second ‘the’ will be flagged as a mistake

In case you want to make changes in default settings, select Options in the Spell Check Dialog box and you can uncheck the default settings if you want.

Excel spell check not working

Here are some troubleshooting tricks, in case excel spell check is not working.

  1. Spelling button is greyed out: If this happens, chances are the worksheet is protected. So you’ll have to unprotect the sheet and then check spelling in excel.

  2. Edit mode: In edit mode the spell check will only be performed on the cell which is currently being edited. Exit the edit mode and run spell check again to check spellings in excel across the entire cell range.

  3. Check text in formulas: If a cell contains a formula, it won’t be checked. In case you want excel to look for mistakes in the formula just double click the cell to entre edit mode and then run spell check.


This was all about how to do spelling check in Excel.

I hope this tutorial helped you understand process to check spelling in excel, default settings, what to do when excel spell check is not working, ways to check spelling in excel across sheets and entire workbook.

If you have any questions or tips, I’d love to hear them in the comment section below.

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