Google Sheets Spell Check: A Quick Guide (3 Simple Ways)

Spell check is used more with word processors such as Google Docs or MS Word or with presentation tools such as Google Slides or PowerPoint.

But what about a Google Sheets spell check function?

While Google Sheets is more about data entry, record keeping, and data analysis, you may still need to run spell check for Google Sheets in it from time to time.

A lot of people also use Google Sheets with a lot of text data. And in such cases, Google spreadsheet spell check is a must to ensure there aren’t any spelling errors, especially if it is an official document.

Unfortunately, unlike Google Docs, which highlights misspelled words with a red underline, there is no visual indication when there are misspelled words in Google Sheets.

But you can easily run spell check in Google Sheets, and in this tutorial, I will show you how to use spell check in Google Sheets.

So let’s get started!

How to Spell Check on Google Sheets

For spell check to work in Google Sheets, you need to select all the cells where you want to check for misspelled words. This could be a specific range of cells or the entire sheet. Let’s take a look at how to spell check Google Sheets.

Suppose you have a list of items as shown below, and you want to use spell check on this data:

Dataset to run spellcheck

Below are the steps to run spell-check on this data:

  1. Select the data on which you want to run spell check
  2. Click the Tools option in the menu
    Click the tools option in the menu
  3. Click on Spelling
  4. Click on ‘Spell check’
    Click on spell check

The above steps will run the spell check in Google Sheets, and you will see it open as a separate dialog box in the top right part of the sheet. In the dialog box, the spell check tool will give you one or more suggested spelling options for the spelling errors it finds. This will of course, depend on the language that Google Sheets is set to. However, the spell check tool won’t mark words in British as spelling errors if you’re using American English. But if you write a spelling error, it will give you the spelling for the default language.

Spell check dialog box

Google Sheets Spell Check Shortcut for Keyboards

Although there is no way to add the spell check option to the toolbar in Google Sheets, thankfully, there is a keyboard shortcut you can use to run spell-check.

But before you can use the keyboard shortcut, you need to enable one small setting – enable compatible shortcuts option (one-time thing):

Below are the steps to enable compatible shortcuts and how to turn on spell check in Google Sheets with them

  1. Click the Help option in the menu
    Click on the Help Option in the menu
  2. Click on the Keyboard shortcuts option
Click on Keyboard Shortcuts
  1. In the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog box that opens, enable the ‘Enable compatible spreadsheet shortcuts‘ option.
    Check the enable compatablity spreadsheet shortcuts

Once you have done this, you can use the keyboard shortcut F7 to run spell-check in Google Sheets:

Understanding Spell Check on Google Sheets – Options

When you run a spell check in Google Sheets, you have a couple of options:


You can change ṭhe misspelled word with the suggestion. If the suggestion is incorrect, you can also enter the correct spelling. You can also do this for each cell one by one or apply this change all in one go.


If the spell check has highlighted something which is not a misspelled word, you can ignore it. You can also choose the ‘Ignore all’ option to ignore all the instances of this word.

When you choose to ignore, it usually applies to the entire sheet or the whole selection. If you choose ignore by accident, one way to remove it is to clear the caches for Google docs in your browser settings.

Add to Dictionary

If spell check highlights a correct word and you plan to use it later as well, it’s best to add it to the personal dictionary. This could be useful when you’re using people’s names or company names that are flagged as misspelled words by Google Sheets.

If you have added a word to the dictionary and want to remove it, a prompt usually appears after adding the word with the option to undo it. If you’re ok adding the word, you can just dismiss the prompt. Otherwise, you can undo it.

How to Check Spelling in Google Sheets With an Add-On

To get better and more easily tackled spell-checking in Google Sheets, you can install an add-on. One thing about using addons to check spelling in Google Sheets is that they come with extra features such as the ability to check grammar as well.To install an add-on:

  1. Navigate to Extensions>Add-ons>Get add-ons

    Get add ons
  2. Type in spell checker in the pop up window
  3. Download in install the Scribens Spell Checker and Grammar for Google Sheets
    Install Scribbens

Then, to use this software:

  1. Highlight the cells you want to check
  2. Navigate to Extensions>Spell checker and Grammar checker by Scribens>Check
  3. Click Start Correcting
  4. Click the appropriate selections from the suggestions
    How to use spell correction in Scribens

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Does Spell Check Not Work in Google Sheets?

It does work, but you have to do it manually on the cells. It doesn’t do it automatically because spreadsheets often contain characters that are not dictionary-recognized words, such as shorthand, etc. So, if you want to use spelling check Google Sheets, you have to highlight the cells manually and navigate to Tools>Spelling>Spell check

Does Google Sheets Have Auto Correct?

No, it doesn’t. You must spell check through the Tools menu because autocorrect would change too many important entries in a spreadsheet.

How Do I Spell Check and Grammar in Google Spreadsheet?

You can check spelling through the built-in spell checker in the Tools menu. Grammar on the other hand, requires you to install an add-on such as the free Scribens one

Learn More About Google Sheets

Google Sheet spelling check is a useful tool that helps you check spelling to avoid spelling mistakes in your spreadsheet. You can use spell check through the tool menu, with a keyboard shortcut or by using an addon. So this is all you need to know about using Google Sheets spell check.

Hope you found this tutorial useful, but don’t let that stop your learning. We have plenty of other Google Sheets tips and tricks to maximize your skills. You might be interested in our article on how to get the Word Count in Google Sheets.

Other Google Sheets tutorials you may like:

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Sumit is a Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel Expert. He provides spreadsheet training to corporates and has been awarded the prestigious Excel MVP award by Microsoft for his contributions in sharing his Excel knowledge and helping people.

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