How to Use Spell Check in Google Sheets (Simple Guide)

Last updated January 9, 2022

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 spell check in Google Sheets?

While Google Sheets is more about data entry, record keeping, and data analysis, you may still need to run spell 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 Sheets pell check is a must.

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 do it.

So let’s get started!

How to Spell Check in Google Sheets

For spell check to work in Google Sheets, you need to select all ṭhe 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 menuClick the tools option in the menu
  3. Click on Spelling
  4. Click on ‘Spell check’Click on spell check

The above steps would run the spell check and you will see it open as a separate dialog box in the top right part of the Google Sheets.

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 menuClick on the Help Option in the menu
  2. Click on the Keyboard shortcuts optionClick on Keyboard Shortcuts
  3. In the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog box that opens, enable the ‘Enable compatible spreadsheet shortcuts‘ optionCheck the enbale compatiblity spreadsheet shortcuts

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


Understanding Spell Check on Google Sheets – Options

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

  • Change: You can change ṭhe misspelled word with the suggestion. In case the suggestion is not correct, you can also enter the correct spelling. You can also do this for each cell one-by-one or apply this change to all at one go.
  • Ignore: 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
  • Add to Dictionary: If spell check highlights a word that is correct and you plan to use it later as well, it’s best to add it to the personal dictionary. This could be useful in case when you’re using people’s names or company names that are flagged as misspelled words by Google Sheets.

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. To install an add-on:

  1. Navigate to Extensions>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

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

Google Sheets Spellcheck FAQ

Why Does Spell Check Not Work in Google Sheets?

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

Does Google Sheets Have Auto Correct?

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

How Do I Spell Check and Grammar in Google Spreadsheet?

The spelling you can check 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

So this is all you need to about using spell check in Google Sheets.

Hope you found this tutorial useful, but don’t let that stop your learning. We have plenty of other Google Sheets tutorials to maximize your skills.

Other Google Sheets tutorials you may like:



Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel Expert.

1 thought on “How to Use Spell Check in Google Sheets (Simple Guide)”

Leave a Comment