Microsoft Word Grammar Checker

I found a couple of related articles which complain about the flaws in Microsoft Word’s grammar checker. This one at the Chronicle of Higher Education points back to Sandeep Krishnamurthy’s online article.
I find the grammar checker is useful at finding my common typographical mistakes like extra spaces and double words. It can get annoying because it tries to correct matters of taste and style – the passive voice error, and the use of which and that. I end up ignoring the suggestions most of the time. I should be able to change the settings but that means time with a manual and fiddling with the program. Configuring Word is not simple, and that is a drawback.
I was first forced to use Word to share documents with co-counsel on a case I did a few years ago. I hated it instantly. It does insane things to paragraph formats based on hidden commands. The last versions of Wordperfect for DOS and the Lotus versions of Wordperfect for Windows (6.1) gave the user much more control. However Word has become the standard and many clients and contacts require documents in Word format to open and print them. I tend to work in text and convert to Word only when it is required to print or send the content.


One response to “Microsoft Word Grammar Checker”

  1. Zosma Zack Avatar
    Zosma Zack

    Word is a monstrosity. Even within our shop it causes endless headaches. One person creates a template with Heading 1, heading 2, heading 3, body text, etc defined a particular way (spaces before and after paragraphs, underlined text, font size, etc.) Writes a document in that template and saves it. It looks good. Sends it to another person whose definitions for Heading 1, heading 2, heading 3, and body text are completely different. Instant screw up. Not to mention that word uses the Windows system fonts. Your system probably doesn’t have the fonts mine has, since I have lots and lots (being in a design studio). Which means yours will fall back to something close, but not exact, or perhaps to Courier 10 pitch.
    Plain text, or HTML, are the easiest ways to share word docs. At least you know what you’re getting.