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Excel 2003: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald

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Spell Check

A spell checker in Excel? Is that supposed to be for people who can't spell 138 correctly? The fact is that more and more people are cramming text—column headers, boxes of commentary, lists of favorite cereal combinations—into their spreadsheets. And Excel's designers have graciously responded by providing the very same spell checker that you've used with Microsoft Word. As you might expect, Excel's spell checker examines only text as it sniffs its way through a spreadsheet.

Tip

In Office 2003 and Office XP, the same spell checker works in almost every Office application, including Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

To start the spell checker, follow these simple steps:

  1. Move to where you want to start the spell check.

    If you want to check the entire worksheet from start to finish, move to the first cell. Otherwise, move to the location where you want to start checking. Or, if you want to check a portion of the worksheet, select the cells you want to check.

    Unlike the find and replace feature, Excel's spell check can only check one worksheet at a time.

  2. Choose Tools Spelling, or press F7.

    The Excel spell checker starts working immediately, starting with the current cell and moving to the right, going from column to column. After it finishes the last column of the current row, checking continues with the first column of the next row.

    If you don't start at the first cell (A1) in your worksheet, Excel will ask you when it reaches the end of the worksheet whether it should continue ...

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