PowerPoint 2010: Checking Spelling

Effective spelling and grammar are critical for professional PowerPoint presentations. Even small mistakes can undermine your credibility and distract the audience. Fortunately, PowerPoint 2010 provides robust tools to catch errors and polish your slides.

Why Check Spelling?

Here are some key reasons to leverage PowerPoint’s spelling and grammar checking features:

  • Professionalism – Spelling or grammar mistakes look unprofessional and amateurish. They distract from your message.
  • Credibility – Errors make you seem less authoritative and knowledgeable to the audience.
  • Clarity – Misspelled words or bad grammar can confuse the meaning of sentences.
  • Flow – When seeing a mistake, audiences mentally stop to process the error. This disrupts the flow of your presentation.

Automatic Spell Checking

PowerPoint 2010 checks spelling automatically as you type text into placeholders. Misspelled words get flagged with red squiggly underlines.

When the spell checker flags a word:

  • Right-click on the word to see suggestions
  • Select the correct spelling from the options
  • Alternatively, ignore or add the word to your dictionary

This automatic checking helps you catch issues immediately without having to manually run a separate spelling check.

Manual Spell Checking

You can also manually check spelling for the entire presentation via the ribbon:

  1. Go to the Review tab
  2. Click Spelling in the Proofing group
  3. Dialog box shows spelling issues
  4. Correct, ignore, or add words as needed

Run this after finishing your slides to catch any remaining issues the automatic checker missed.

Custom Dictionaries

PowerPoint spell checking references custom dictionaries of properly spelled words, including:

  • Custom dictionary you build for the presentation
  • Main dictionary from the Microsoft Office package

When spell checking, you can add new words to the custom dictionary so they are properly recognized going forward.

Modifying Spell Check Settings

Further configure spell checking via File > Options > Proofing:

  • Check/uncheck “Check spelling as you type”
  • Edit autocorrect options
  • Disable checking for capitalization, spacing, etc.
  • Set language preferences

Modify these settings to tailor the experience to your needs.

Handling Multiple Languages

For presentations with multiple languages:

  1. Select the text in the secondary language
  2. On the Review tab set the proofing language
  3. Check spelling to get suggestions in that language

This ensures other languages get handled properly.

Top Spelling Errors to Avoid

Here are common PowerPoint spelling traps to double check in your slides:

  • Their/there/they’re – Easily confused homophones
  • Affect/effect – Also frequently mixed up
  • Loose/lose – Don’t loose slides from spelling issues
  • Lead/led – Leader leds with good spelling
  • Principle/principal – Different meaning, sounds alike

Don’t Forget Grammar

Along with spelling errors, also be vigilant for grammar mistakes:

  • Check for subject/verb agreement problems
  • Avoid sentence fragments
  • Ensure pronouns refer clearly to antecedents

Proofread text aloud to catch potential grammar issues.

Leverage Proofing Tools

Mistakes happen, but leveraging PowerPoint 2010’s robust proofing tools makes perfecting spelling and grammar easier.

Enable automatic checking to catch typos immediately. Perform manual checks to reinforce quality. Set your preferences to meet needs.

Refine text to ensure no distractions from a clear, professional, and polished presentation.