How to Disable Autocorrect in Microsoft Word for Mac

Feb 11, 2019 - 5 Comments

How to disable autocorrect in Microsoft Word for Mac

If you use Microsoft Word and Microsoft Office on Mac you may have noticed that Word has aggressive autocorrect functionality which is separate from the general MacOS autocorrect feature. Essentially this means that Microsoft Word autocorrect will continue even if you disable autocorrect in Mac OS through System Preferences. Autocorrect is often one of those features that people either love or hate, but even if you like autocorrect you may find it sometimes erroneously corrects a word or gets in the way, thus there are many reasons you might want to disable this feature in Word.

If you want to turn off autocorrect in Microsoft Word for Mac, we’ll show you how to do that.

How to Turn Off Autocorrect in Word for Mac

  1. Open Microsoft Word if you haven’t done so already
  2. Pull down the “Tools” menu in Word then choose “AutoCorrect”
  3. How to disable autocorrect in Microsoft Word for Mac

  4. To disable all autocorrect in Word, toggle the checkbox next to “Automatically correct spelling and formatting as you type”
  5. How to disable autocorrect in Microsoft Word for Mac

  6. Close Autocorrect settings in Word and use the word processing app as usual

With autocorrect disabled, you’re free to type (and typo) whatever without Word aggressively correcting the words automatically. If you’re a typo machine with spelling this settings change may not be a good idea, but many writers may appreciate turning off this feature, while many others may want to keep it on.

While you’re in these Microsoft Word correction settings you might also want to disable Word capitalization of the first letter of words too if you don’t like that, though some users may like that feature.

Like virtually all settings changes, this can easily be reversed by simply returning to the Word “Tools” menu > Autocorrect > and checking the “Automatically correct spelling and formatting as you type” box again.

This may seem weird for Microsoft Word to have a separate autocorrect feature from that which is broadly in Mac OS, but that’s actually not too unusual. In fact, many Apple apps also have their own separate autocorrect functionality, and you can separately disable autocorrect in Pages for Mac, or TextEdit for Mac and disable autocorrect in the Mail app for Mac too, all with or without broadly disabling autocorrect in Mac OS.

Obviously this is for the Mac, but this setting is probably the same for disabling autocorrect in Microsoft Word for Windows too, and perhaps even Microsoft Word for iOS as well. If you have any experience with that, or have any other thoughts about autocorrect in Microsoft Office or Microsoft Word, share with us in the comments below.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting

5 Comments

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  1. Art says:

    I’d love to learn how to disable autoselect or smartselect, whatever they are calling it these days. Sometimes, I really want to select just part of a word!

    • RM says:

      Me too. Along the same road, Apple Pages has a similar annoying feature only worse: the incorrectly spelled word will get deleted/overwritten entirely unless you are extremely carefully in selecting it just the right way.

      I’m inclined to disable all this stuff, I think it’s making us stupid as a society.

  2. Pete says:

    Cobrian makes a good point. However, it’s worse than he may realize. InDesign maintains its own dictionary, which can easily accept new words (or ignore specific words in a particular document). Thus you can have very different corrections based on the program you’re in.

    Personally, I generally don’t mind autocorrect, as I make my share of typos — and have a Mac keyboard that’s subject to key bounce (double letters) which sometimes autocorrect fixes and most of the time it simply leaves the red underline.

    Where the frustration come in is that I do book typesetting, and some authors have quirky preferred spellings and/or use a multitude of unusual character names (all dutifully underlined in red). This adds so much red-line clutter that I can miss real typos.

  3. Shirah says:

    I love Autocorrect and when I updated to the new Microsoft WORD for Mac I lost the autocorrect. The instructions I found for copying the old autocorrect into the new are so confusing I couldn’t do. Any suggestions?

  4. Cobrian says:

    I always thought it was weird that apps have their own autocorrect, Pages and many Apple apps do this too.

    So you turn off one, then autocorrect stays on elsewhere. If you turn off system wide, some apps still autocorrect with their own.

    The system setting should be universal and respected by all other apps IMO

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