In this video, learn how to enable the Check for readability option when checking spelling and grammar in your document to show statistics with regard to reading ease and grade-level readability.
- [Instructor] Well, it's probably safe to say that most of the Word documents you create here in Microsoft Word are intended for others to read, so readability is going to be important when creating these documents. Good news is, there's a feature to help you with readability, it's what we're going to explore in this week's Word Tip. You can open up this file, Press_release033 if you have the exercise files or follow along with one of your own documents. To check readability, it's actually part of the spelling and grammar check but it's not turned on by default, so, the first step is to enable it.
Let's click the File tab on the ribbon then go down to Options and click there. Next in the Word Options dialog, click Proofing because it's here in the spelling and grammar section where we see Show readability statistics. Click there to enable the readability check. Now, you can see other things I have checked off, grammar and spelling are checked together, frequently confused words, there are a number of other things being checked that you can decide whether or not you want turned on or off by clicking Settings.
I just want you to see mine because when we go through the grammar and spelling check, I may stop at things in my document that you won't stop at in yours or visa versa and it's all based on the selections here. You can see with Grammar & More selected here under Writing style, look at all the grammar check boxes, everything but date formatting is checked off here and you may see grammar only here with limited options below if you don't have an Office 365 subscription like I do or if you haven't installed the latest updates, once this feature is rolled out to those with a regular Office 2016 license, so, commonly confused phrases and words are selected, capitalization.
Scrolling down to the next section, clarity and conciseness, I only have a couple of things checked off here, nominalizations and wordiness but you can turn any of these on or off by selecting their check boxes to select or desselect. Inclusive language, formal language, contractions and slang I have checked off. If you don't, you won't stop at those things and I will. So, I want you to see those. I'm going to click OK without really changing anything and click OK to save our changes to check the readability of our document at the end of the spelling and grammar check.
Now we're ready to go. Up to the Review tab on the ribbon and we'll find Spelling & Grammar here in the proofing group in the very far left. F7's your keyboard shortcut. Let's give it a click. And you can see what happens right away, something's going on here in the About the Landon Hotel section. Looks like formal language. Consider avoiding contractions. That's because that's a feature I had enabled to be checked. I can see the context here where the two words who had are being contracted into who'd, it's suggesting I replace who'd with who had and by selecting it here, I'll do just that.
You could ignore, stop checking the issue, and go back to the formal language options we just saw right from here if you wanted to make changes but I'm going to go with the suggested replacement who had. Clicking there takes me to the next sentence, checking for clarity and conciseness in this case where it's suggesting that I can be more concise by taking out the word located here and just going with the Landon Hotel's are in 20 countries instead of are located in 20 countries. That'll simplify things, I'll click the suggested replacement, it's fixed up, wraps around back to the top, depends where your cursor was too when you started.
You can see the word And here is underlined in a double blue, that indicates, and you can see it here as well, that should probably change the capitalization for the word And, everything else has an initial cap, the word And shouldn't, we'll just click the suggested replacement to fix it up. That's the last one, at least for me. You can continue if you still have other things that need to be checked and fixed. Eventually, though, you'll arrive at this readability statistics dialog. It shows up because we just enabled it a moment ago.
You can see counts for words, characters, paragraphs, and sentences. You can see average sentences per paragraph, average words per sentence, even average characters per word. These are things being considered in a couple of different tests that are taking place to give you the readability scores you see down below. The first one is the Flesch Reading Ease test and it rates the text in your document on a 100 point scale. The higher the score, the easier it is to understand the document and it uses an algorithm to figure that out.
You can see the score for this document is only 33.8 and you should be trying to get between 60 and 70 on a regular basis. So, this is not all that easy to read. The next test is the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level test and that one rates text on a US school grade level. So, for example, if we look at the score over here on the right hand side, if we saw an eight, just as an example, that would mean that an 8th grader would understand the document. I'm seeing 13.8. So, an eighth grader might have difficulty understanding this document.
It's not really intended for an eighth grader. You can see 13.8, grade 13.8 or higher, probably university or college students would have an easy time understanding this document and, of course, this is a press release that's not intended for school children, so, that's not a bad score but you should probably be aiming for a seven to eight if you want to ensure that everyone's going to be able to read and understand your document. You'll also see Passive Sentences down here at about a quarter or 26.3% for me.
So, those are the readability stats that show up when we enable that feature. Click OK and if you wanted to now, you could go in and make adjustments based on those scores but it's good to know if readability is a concern for the documents you create here in Microsoft Word, there are a couple of tests that can be used to check for readability moving forward.
Skill Level Intermediate
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