Collaboration

How to get the Office spell checker to ignore Internet addresses

Internet addresses fill our correspondence and documents, and those addresses confuse the spell check feature. If you don't want the spell checker to stop at each Internet address, tell it to stop -- permanently.

If your documents contain e-mail addresses or URLs, the spell checker will stop at every one, and that's going to annoy you. Well... I know it annoys me. You can inhibit this behavior by simply telling Office to ignore Internet addresses as follows:

  1. From the Tools menu, choose Options.
  2. Click the Spelling & Grammar tab.
  3. Check the Ignore Internet And File Addresses option.
  4. Click OK.

If you're using Office 2007, do the following:

  1. Click the Office button and then click Word Options (or whatever application you're using).
  2. Select Proofing in the left pane.
  3. Check Ignore Internet And File Addresses.
  4. Click OK.

This permanent change affects all documents.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

27 comments
douglasalt1
douglasalt1

Thanks for the tip, this will, after modification and screen dumps to show graphically,now be posted onto the groups IT training page. Have also contacted office admin managers at remote sites to let them know of the new tip. You would be amazed at the results of providing simple tips. They can reduce the number of calls to the 'hell-desk'.

WLaddR
WLaddR

What bites is that Outlook 2003 doesn't have this option. About half the time it ignores the "Ignore original message text..." checkmark and wants to hit on everything. It would even hit my own signature till I added it to my dictionary.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

After I re-read the tip I realized my initial response didn't apply.

JackOfAllTech
JackOfAllTech

Anyone who could not figure this out on their own should not be using computers. RTFM.

Oook!
Oook!

These tips are great - I've trained others on the use of Word (along with Excel, Outlook etc) for years now, and it is definitely the little things that people appreciate the most. People don't have a lot of time to learn everything that a product can do, and when you show them something as simple as this one, they reply with 'do you know much time that will save me?' - the training then has an easy to calculate return on investment. Shame the same option doesn't appear in Outlook (2003 at least - haven't looked in 2007 much yet as most 'trainees' are still on '03)

ssharkins
ssharkins

You might try to repair your copy of Outlook because this option works perfectly for me.

denybkd
denybkd

Granted, business ops today do not give the functional worker 'time' to learn new technologies that can benefit them as well as their employer. If a worker, regardless of tech-savviness, took some spare time during their lunch break or a few minutes after dinner to brush up on some simple tricks of the trade, I believe they will be able to view their forever increaseing workload much more manageable. just bloggin

N4AOF
N4AOF

You are right that this tip is ridiculously obvious. On the other hand when I saw "How to get the Office spell checker to ignore Internet addresses" listed in the Tech Republic newsletter, I came here to read the article to see if someone had discovered a way to make this setting actually work. I have used this setting in Office 2003 and now in Office 2007 for both Word and Outlook. It did not work consistently in Word 2003. I guess that it is working in Word 2007 because I don't recall being annoyed by the spell check stopping on email addresses and URLs lately.

n4aof
n4aof

The better reason that this article has got to be kidding is that the writer assumes that applying this setting actually works. My experience with Office 2003 is that most programs that use the Office spell check (including Word 2003) simply ignore the setting rather than ignoring email and internet addresses.

george-barna
george-barna

If you're in customer support, you shouldn't be. If you're not, you shouldn't be.

gsinkinson@att.net
gsinkinson@att.net

One of the great joys of reading the tips is in seeing tips I missed the first time or didn't think I'd need. I'd much rather see something twice than miss something useful because a 'newbie' was too intimidated to post his 'discovery'.

ritgar80
ritgar80

In my Agency, the IT Director (who is now the CIO) eliminated the IT trainer, stating "it wasn't necessary, people could teach themsleves this stuff." Well, guess what, most staff are lucky to get a letter out & it breaks my heart to see what they go thru. They are clueless & just don't have time (or are given time) to learn on their own. Also, the contract support that replaced regular FT IT employees aren't supposed to go out looking for things to do, they wait for requests. If staff don't know what to ask, the contractors are sleeping or doing their homework!

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Many a Cisco expert and C programmer probably don't think much about how they could eliminate Office annoyances. Despite the target audience at TR, we do get computer newbies here on a regular basis. Any of those people would find this tip useful. Not everything here has to appeal to everyone.

ssharkins
ssharkins

You know what -- the simplest tips are the ones that I get the best responses on. I'm serious. Most people are just too busy to figure out every little thing their software does that might help them work more efficiently. They often drone through without even wondering if there's a way to avoid a particular behavior. Sorry you don't like the tip, but the folks who find this tip useful (and there will be some) don't deserve your ire.

steve.brett
steve.brett

Keep it up TechRepublic - one of the reasons I stay subscribed is because your forums and newsletters apply to the whole spectrum whether you be a programmer or a newbie user

ssharkins
ssharkins

Well, if they don't use these programs outside of work, I don't see most users spending their own time to improve their skills. It's kind of a foolish economy -- well trained employees will be more productive and it's the company's responsibility to make sure employers are trained. This is the 1900's when women had to carry their own sewing machines to the sweat shops. :) But, I'm taking your point seriously and I'll share a bit of my own story. In the early 80's I found myself single with two small babies to take care of and few marketable skills. I was working as a receptionist when the company bought a pc -- it cost $5,000! Then, they spent the next few weeks training everyone in the company but me as I wasn't expected to use it. So, I showed them. I spent my lunch hours teaching myself. So, I understand what you're saying, but I had something motivating me.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

We also do what I feel is a less than satisfactory job of training our users. We're a manufacturing plant in a small SC town. While the problem is getting smaller as we gain younger employees, many of our older employees had used only a terminal before we started putting computers on the factory floor about a decade ago. Some still hadn't touched one until we mandated clocking in and out of SAP at the start of 2007. While they get task-oriented training ("click here, click OK"), many don't understand the most basic Windows skills.

ssharkins
ssharkins

I've been writing these tips and articles since 1992 -- some are aimed at high-end users and developers, and some at users with less practical experience. The one thing I've learned is that they all seem to have value and even when I think something is aimed at a user type audience, experiences writers will contact me privately and say, "Wow... I should've known that..." There's so much to learn about these programs, most of us will never know it all. I know I certainly don't.

readerlis
readerlis

This issue of simplicity is THE issue. Staff at any company are very busy doing their jobs, whether it is answering phones, printing invoices, answering emails, selling products, creating new products, creating new procedures. One of our roles as IT people is to find simple solutions which do not require users to have a huge learning curve. I have a wonderful staff. I have always tried to respect the roles for which they were hired and help whenever I can on computer issues, even if it appears simple to me. If Mister Softee could 'eliminate Office annoyances' and make their new programs simpler to adjust to and programs less 'robust'for the average user, as IT staff we would have less 'simple' issues.

JackOfAllTech
JackOfAllTech

This is not a matter of some obscure option in Word, this is basic Windows CUA usage. I'm not an expert (yet) but I am a Cisco tech. I'm also a C programmer. I'm also a "Button-Pusher" as another thread describes. Give me a tool and I'll take the time to make it work the way I like. That's where the "Tech" in TechRepublic should be. I used to really like this place but now it's too commercial, too social and caters to much to newbies too lazy to do their own research. Flame me if you so desire, I'm out of here. Bye.

bmurrow
bmurrow

This is a great tip for busy people who have to turn out documents quickly and have no time to twiddle with settings or spend hours reviewing all the Options settings. I am a trainer in a law firm -- not only did I not explore this option, I guarantee you that no attorney or Legal Secretary knows about it either. Thanks for a great tip. Sometimes it's the little things...

ssharkins
ssharkins

Thank you and welcome to the site.

carose
carose

Hi I am new to TechRepublic but I am very experienced in computer use. I did not know this tip and think it's wonderful that these tips can help all computer users, new or old. Keep it up.

ssharkins
ssharkins

Thanks for chiming in -- it's good to know what people want.

ssharkins
ssharkins

This is NOT the 1900's... sorry about that.

ssharkins
ssharkins

What a neat idea -- would mind sharing the results with us?

silver beemer
silver beemer

Can't believe your response to this tip. I am by no means a "newbie" as you disparagingly refer to people who do not sit on the same pedestal as yourself. I did know this "tip" and yes, it is a simple one, but I have carried out a straw poll of IT colleagues who use Office and several of them weren't aware of it. Word alone has over 1500 commands and options: I do not have the time to research them or make them work so I am certainly grateful for thse sort of tips.