Using PowerPoint Proofing and Spellchecker

powerpoint proofing

Okay, if you’ve been following my previous lessons, then you must have spent a lot of time and effort learning how to structure your presentation, designing it and then adding effects in form of transition, audio and animations. These are excellent features of PowerPoint, but there is one last thing you need to be conscious of. Spellings and Grammar! Wrong spellings can let down an otherwise professional presentation; therefore you shouldn’t neglect this important aspect of your presentation. Spelling and grammatical errors can distract readers from the message or even lead them astray. So you must make an effort to eliminate these from your presentation. The good news, however, is that PowerPoint Proofing/Spellchecking tool makes it swift for you to perform a thorough spell checking task on your slides.

There are different options when it comes to spelling checking your slides. You can use PowerPoint automatic spellchecker as you add text to your presentation (some wavy blue, red, and green lines that appear underneath your text). Or you can ignore spell checking until you’ve finished adding text to your presentation.

Viewing PowerPoint Proofing Options

powerpoint proofing

If you want to view your current PowerPoint slide proofing options, simply click the File tab >> Options >> Proofing.

The PowerPoint Proofing Option window that appears allows you to adjust how PowerPoint reacts to spellings and grammatical errors in your presentation. The first button allows you to adjust the autocorrect settings.

Be careful in altering options shown in the PowerPoint Proofing Option window as some options apply to all Microsoft Office programs. Regardless of which program you are using, a change in the segment relating to all office programs will affect all your office programs. This segment is titled “When correcting spelling in Microsoft Office programs. While the options titled “When correcting spelling in PowerPoint” applies only PowerPoint specific proofing options.

Below is an explanation of what each PowerPoint proofing option does.

Ignore words in UPPERCASE:  This will ignore spelling errors in words which all the letters are uppercase. For instance, if you activate this option, the spell checker will not flag GAOL as a mistake.

Ignore words that contain numbers:   Ignore spelling errors in words that contain numbers. For instance, if this option is active, the spelling checker will not flag compla2n as a mistake.

Ignore Internet and file addresses:    Ignore spelling errors in words that are Internet and file addresses.

Ignore repeated words:  Ignores repeated words. For instance, if this option is active, the spelling checker will not flag ‘come come’ as a mistake.

Suggest from main dictionary only:    It will only suggest words from the main dictionary which is built into the spelling checker. Activating this option means words from your custom dictionaries will not be included in the list of suggestions while spell checking a document.

Check spellings as you type     Activating this open allow the spell checker to work in the background as you work on a document. The spelling checker can continue searching for mistakes.  This can save you a lot of time, especially when working with large documents.

Use contextual spelling:        This option tells PowerPoint to use a document context to determine whether a word is misspelt.  instance, “a pear of sucks” would flag “pear” as being misspelt.

Hide spelling errors: When you activate this option, PowerPoint will not flag any misspelt word in your work, this option is useful when you are working on a document with many non-English words.


Doing your PowerPoint Proofing Manually

powerpoint proofing

At any point, you can decide to manually spell check your entire presentation. Click Review >> Proofing >> Spelling. Notice that the next misspelt word in the presentation appears highlighted in the spelling window, with suggestions and possible actions on the word. In the example below, this word ‘cate’ was not found in the PowerPoint dictionary:

There is are several buttons to the right of the window that gives you choices of actions you can take to correct errors; such as to ignore the misspelt word, Add the word to the dictionary or Change it to one of the suggested words.


Adjusting PowerPoint Pointer

The mouse pointer in PowerPoint is a very useful tool to attract attention to certain objects you want your audience to pay attention to in your presentation. In the course of your presentation, you can adjust the mouse pointer to draw, write or create a highlight on any object you want to emphasize. This tool is only available when are running a presentation as a visual aid for your audience.

To activate the PowerPoint mouse pointer, right click on any slide and select Pointer Options >> Pen. There are three options available for the pointer:

  • Arrow – this is the default pointer and is useful when pointing at objects.
  • Pen – the pen pointer very useful for drawing lines and circles around objects and can also be used as handwriting.
  • Highlighter – the highlighter pointer allows you to highlight an object with a background colour to make that particular object a focal point.

Changing the Colour of the pen pointer:

To change the colour of the ink, right click again and select >> Pointer Options >> Ink Colour. Choose the new colour and it will apply to all new drawings henceforth.

Changing the colour of the highlighter:

You can also change the ink colour of the highlighter, same way you changed the ink colour for the pen pointer.

At the close of your PowerPoint presentation, if you’ve drawn anything on any slide using the pointer, PowerPoint will ask whether you would like to keep your ink annotations.

If you click Keep, what you have drawn on the slides will be saved to be displayed the next time you run the presentation. The drawings will be saved as objects that you can edit at any time.