1. Design & Illustration
  2. Adobe InDesign

How to Use Spell Check in InDesign

Read Time:5 minsLanguages:
Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

You can find various spell-checking options in the Edit menu in InDesign, and they can be a great way to streamline your workflow. There are a large number of options, and you might be surprised by how some of these features work. Let's take a look at how to use spell checking in Adobe InDesign.

Follow along with us over on our Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:

1. How to Spell Check a Text Box in InDesign

Step 1

Within your document, select the text box containing the text that you want to spell check. When you have a text box selected, it will run the Spell Checker on that text box, specifically.

Note: If you don't have a text box selected, the Spell Checker will check the whole document.

Selecting a Text BoxSelecting a Text BoxSelecting a Text Box

Step 2

Now, go to Edit > Spelling > Check Spelling. This will run the Spell Check on the selected text box.

Check Spelling MenuCheck Spelling MenuCheck Spelling Menu

Step 3

With the Check Spelling dialog window open, you can adjust any spelling mistakes that the software catches. For example, we can type in the Change To field to manually make a correction, or we can choose one of the Suggested Corrections.

Change SpellingChange SpellingChange Spelling

Step 4

Once you are satisfied with your change, select the Change button and the dialog box will move on to the next spelling mistake. 

If there aren’t any other spelling mistakes, the Change button will not be selectable. Again, remember, you can choose Suggested Corrections by clicking any options underneath the Change To field.

Suggested CorrectionsSuggested CorrectionsSuggested Corrections

Step 5

If a word isn't part of your chosen dictionary, you can add it by selecting the Add button. This is perfect for stopping acronyms from being flagged as spelling mistakes.

Add to DictionaryAdd to DictionaryAdd to Dictionary

Step 6

When you are satisfied with your changes, click Done to close the Check Spelling window.

Close Check Spelling WindowClose Check Spelling WindowClose Check Spelling Window

2. How to Use Dynamic Spelling in InDesign

Step 1

If you want automatic spell checking, like what is commonly used online and in many word processors, this is an option you can turn on. 

When you turn on Dynamic Spelling, possible spelling mistakes are underlined and easy to change. You can easily toggle this on and off, if you find the underline markings distracting.

Go to Edit > Spelling and select Dynamic Spelling to activate it.

Open Dynamic Spelling MenuOpen Dynamic Spelling MenuOpen Dynamic Spelling Menu

Step 2

With Dynamic Spelling turned on, you will now see spelling mistakes underlined throughout the entire document. Being able to see mistakes will immediately let you see any issues that might need fixing.

Dynamic Spelling ExampleDynamic Spelling ExampleDynamic Spelling Example

Step 3

Right-click on a spelling mistake to see suggestions. Select a correction to change it. Nice and simple!

You can also use these options to quickly add words to the dictionary. This is useful if the word has been flagged as a mistake but you want to include it the way you typed it.

Dynamic Spelling Right Click MenuDynamic Spelling Right Click MenuDynamic Spelling Right Click Menu

3. How to Add Words to the Dictionary in InDesign

Step 1

There may be times when you want to add words to the dictionary before you start spell checking. This is a good idea if your project has a lot of body copy and it uses some unique terms or acronyms which you know will be regularly used in your project.

To add a new word, we can use the User Dictionary.

Go to Edit > Spelling and select User Dictionary.

Open User Dictionary MenuOpen User Dictionary MenuOpen User Dictionary Menu

Step 2

For the Dictionary List, make sure Added Words is selected. 

You can also make changes to other lists such as Removed or Ignored words. There are quite a lot of options here in the drop-downs, but for now let’s leave them at their defaults.

User Dictionary WindowUser Dictionary WindowUser Dictionary Window

Step 3

We can add words by inserting them into the Word dialog box. Select Add to add your new word to the list.

Add New WordAdd New WordAdd New Word

Step 4

Add as many words to the dictionary as you need. Then when you’re done, simply click Done. Now, these words won’t be picked up by Spell Checking or Autocorrect.

Close User Dictionary MenuClose User Dictionary MenuClose User Dictionary Menu

4. How to Use Autocorrect in InDesign

Step 1

You may also want to use Autocorrect in your document. 

Autocorrect is a tool you may be familiar with; it’s a common feature on touchscreen devices. 

Keep in mind that Autocorrect does not necessarily automatically correct any misspelled word, as you might expect. You will need to manually insert any spelling mistakes you would like to be corrected. 

You can use this feature to check for common misspelled words or acronyms related to your project.

Go to Edit > Spelling and select Autocorrect.

Open Autocorrect MenuOpen Autocorrect MenuOpen Autocorrect Menu

Step 2

Now that Autocorrect is on, we need to specify words for it to correct.

Go to Edit > Preferences > Autocorrect.

Open Autocorrect SettingsOpen Autocorrect SettingsOpen Autocorrect Settings

Step 3

With the Autocorrect Preferences window open, click on Add.

Autocorrect Preferences MenuAutocorrect Preferences MenuAutocorrect Preferences Menu

Step 4

Enter the misspelled word you would like Autocorrect to check for. This will need to be an exact misspelling.

Then, enter what you would like this word to be corrected to, and select OK.

Add Autocorrect WordsAdd Autocorrect WordsAdd Autocorrect Words

Step 5

From here, you can add more words, edit words, or remove words, as needed. When you're done, select OK.

Now, when you type into any textbox, your defined spelling mistakes will be autocorrected.

Close Autocorrect Preferences WindowClose Autocorrect Preferences WindowClose Autocorrect Preferences Window

And There You Have It!

Now, you should be more familiar with the basics of Adobe InDesign's spell check features. They can come in really handy and prove to be a strong addition to your workflow.

There's actually even more to unwrap here, if you're willing to spend some time with these settings. Check out the Preferences panel for even more content to customize. For example, you can toggle on or off whether Adobe InDesign will check for capitalization, or even what color the markings are, when using Dynamic Spelling. You can switch dictionaries, or even import custom dictionaries related to your project or audience.

There you have it! Adobe InDesign has a lot of versatile tools that help make checking your document's spelling a breeze.

If you liked this guide, you may like some of these other great InDesign resources!

One subscription.
Unlimited Downloads.
Get unlimited downloads