Tip 735: Contextual Spelling

Every so often we see a question from someone asking why Outlook adds an extra space following apostrophes. This isn’t an Outlook problem, but it is a sign we spend too much time in Outlook…

This is caused by Contextual spelling in Office. Contextual spelling picks up words that are spelled correctly but used out of context, like there and their or pair and pear. Its disabled if you have less than 1 GB of ram as it’s a resource hog. (A really convenient resource hog!)

In older versions of Outlook, make the check the contextual settings in Tools, Options, Spelling, Spelling & Autocorrect Options. Look for a setting for 'Use contextual spelling' and uncheck it. In Outlook 2010, it's at File, Options, Mail, Spelling and Autocorrect Options.

Turn Contextual spelling off
[Click to view larger image]

If you want to use contextual spelling, you can undo the changes it makes in error by pressing Ctrl+Z right after typing the apostrophe. Backspacing then retyping the apostrophe may also take care of it.

See Choose how spelling and grammar checking work for more information about contextual spelling.

Published April 16 2010

  • Aliese Davis

    This did not fix the problem!! Help!!

  • Diane Poremsky

    Do you have an extra space after some characters? Which characters?

  • Aliese Davis

    When I type an apostrophe, as in it's, her's, etc.