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Aside from forgetting to wear pants, the most embarrassing thing that can happen during your presentation is a spelling mistake. Despite looking at your slides dozens of times, you won't catch the mistake that your audience does on the first run through. Let's rely on PowerPoint to catch those mistakes for us before it's too late. Users of Microsoft Office already know that words which are misspelled show up with a red squiggle underline. Let's head to slide number 14, Availability, where we have a red squiggle warning in the title. To fix the word, we can point to it with our mouse and right-click.
The menu that appears gives us suggested words, or corrections at the top. There is the correct word. We choose it, and the misspelling is fixed. But there is a little bit more to it than that. Check out slide number 1. See the mistake? PowerPoint doesn't. Unlike Word, PowerPoint doesn't catch contextual mistakes. We have to find those ourselves and fix them, but before the audience does. Now, let's move to slide number 3, Testimonial.
PowerPoint catches the misspelling on the top, but it also thinks that the business name and the owner's last name is a mistake. I can right-click on Testimonial and fix that, but what about the proper nouns? I can either ignore the squiggles forever, or I can tell PowerPoint to ignore the words. When I right-click on the proper noun I see suggestions followed by Ignore All and Add to Dictionary. Ignore All will tell PowerPoint to never bother me with the misspelling of this word again.
That's good. But if I add it to the dictionary, then it's even better, because Ignore All will only work on this PowerPoint presentation, just this one file. Adding it to the dictionary means that PowerPoint will ignore that misspelling, considering it a correct word, not just in PowerPoint, but even in Word, and Excel, and Publisher. So if the word truly is added right and I think I am going to be using it again, I should add it to the dictionary.
We can do the same on slide number 5, and by ignoring Ann's last name here, it will ignore all the last names here. I'll point to Ann's last name, Ignore All and when I move to slide 6, they are ignored. No matter how thorough we are, there will always be some squiggles that we missed. We can ask PowerPoint to sweep through the entire presentation and prompt us to fix anything that might be wrong. To do this, we switch the Ribbon to the Review tab, and click on Spelling, found at the far left.
At that point, the Spellcheck runs one more time, this time going through the entire presentation starting from the Slide Viewer on, going to the end, wrapping back to the beginning, and coming back to our current slide. Every mistake it finds shows up in a window like this. Pickin' isn't really a word, but we're trying to create something with our Olive Oil theme. So we are going to go ahead and leave Pickin', and ignore the mistake. It finds out a misspelled Employee and here are the suggestions to replace it.
I'll choose the first one and hit Change to make that change take effect. Cont. isn't exactly a real word, and you can see it suggested I write continued with a period at the end. I'll accept that and hit Change. I've misspelled or, so I'll accept that correction and hit Change. It tells us the spelling check is complete. There are now no misspellings, at least none that PowerPoint sees, in our presentation. That's how we avoid some potentially embarrassing situations.
Make the spell check process part of your overall workflow for every presentation you write. Here is a quick tip. To launch the Spellcheck by shortcut key, just press F7.
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