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Old 22nd January 2009   #1
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Outlook 2003 suddenly refuses to spellcheck


One of the girls in the office is running Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, on Vista 32-bit. She's been using the same program since she upgraded to this computer, around last spring, and hasn't had a single problem with her Outlook until now. It was even fine when she booted up her computer this morning, and then around noon when she went to send an email to a client, it refused to do a spell-check for her. I poked at her computer for ten minutes, and I can't figure out what could be causing it, or why the change happened so suddenly.
What I did:
- Made sure that in Options -> Spelling, that Outlook was set to always automatically check before sending a message. It was, so no help there...
- Closed and re-opened her Outlook (just in case, you never know)
- Composed a new email, full of really terrible spelling errors, and sent the email to an alternate email address of my own. It sent automatically, without doing the spell-check.
- Composed another new email full of spelling errors, and then in the message, went to Tools, and then Spelling and Grammar. It said that there were no errors, and then said "Text marked with 'Do not check area for spelling or grammar' was skipped"... This completely confuses me, because I can't even get in to the spell-checker inside Outlook, and I have no idea what, if anything, my co-worker did!
- Went into Microsoft Word, and confirmed that not only does that spell-check open properly, but it also went through the document normally, and asked me to correct the misspelled words there.

I'm not sure what else I can do. It definitely seems to be directly connected with her Outlook, but all the settings I checked seem to be the same as on my own computer. What am I missing?

Thanks for your time!

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Old 22nd January 2009   #2
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Old 22nd January 2009   #3
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It seems to be a problem with this option:
Do not apply the Do not check spelling or grammar option. The spelling checker doesn't check text that has the Do not check spelling or grammar option applied.
To remove this option from text, select the text, point to Language on the Tools menu, and then click Set Language. Clear the Do not check spelling or grammar check box, and then click OK. Then, repeat the spelling check.


I went through all these steps, but it still refuses to spell-check. I've tried setting the unchecked "Do not check spelling" as default, but it refuses to stay. During my troubleshooting, I tried to find this setting on my own Outlook, to see what my setting was... and now I'm having the identical problem!
I'm clicking Set Language, clearing the appropriate checkbox, and clicking OK. I try to do a spell-check myself now, and I'm getting the same error message as the other girl in my office. Plus, when I go back to Set Language, it says "Do not check spelling" again, and it won't stay unchecked

Now I'm even more confused, I didn't do anything, but it broke my spell-checker too!


Last edited by nekorequest; 22nd January 2009 at 19:05. Reason: Adding more detail
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Old 23rd January 2009   #4
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Does this link help at all:
http://www.freeemailtutorials.com/mi...ingOptions.cwd

Another thing to keep in mind is that if your using word as your email editor the settings in word for spell checking will override outlooks. If this is so I would open word and make sure all is set as needed and spellchecker is functioning correctly.


Last edited by goddez1; 23rd January 2009 at 01:08.
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Old 23rd January 2009   #5
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No luck
All the settings from that site seem to be on par with my current settings.

I re-checked my spell-checker in Word alone, and that still works fine. Typing in the same misspelled word in both Word and then a new blank email message, in Word I get the little red underline, and it spell-checks as it normally should, but still in both my and my co-worker's email, we don't get the red underline under misspelled words, and it still keeps giving the same error message.

That setting under "Set Language" while in a new email message still refuses to remain unchecked; no matter how many times or how many different ways (hi-lighting the whole message, hi-lighting the misspelled word alone, not hi-lighting anything, etc) I try, it immediately reverts back to the setting "Do not check spelling or grammar"

So strange...

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Old 27th January 2009   #6
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Hi nekorequest,
Darn it! I've had this running notepad that I've been keeping on your problem. I haven't posted because I figured you had abandoned this post. Been watching to see if you'd return to the board but haven't seen hide nor hair of ya'. Looks like you came and went while I was sleeping. I guess I will tack up what I got so far the hopes that you will return yet again, so tag your it!

This sure is an aggravating problem to research. While the net is full of this kind of problem, the solutions seem to be the same and either they worked or the poster never returns, for a comment or update, after stating the fixes suggested didn't help or to share the fix once they've found it. The most common solutions found have already been suggested to you and as you reported have not helped. I hope you will keep this post updated with your progress and share the fix when found. That said see the below......

1] To start with, I suggest if you have not done this recently now would be a good time. I don't know know how far and to what extreme you will go to fix your current problem so a backup is recommended.
How to manage, backup and restore .pst files in Outlook 2007, in Outlook 2003, and in Outlook 2002
http://support.microsoft.com/default...B;EN-US;287070

2] Did you know about this and have you used it in the past:
Description and use of the Save My Settings Wizard
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/826809

If you have used this in the past and have this type of restore available I give it a go. But for heavens sake, if this is new to you, now is certainly not the time to use it. Why save settings when they're messed up? On second thought..... a backup now would allow you to at least restore it to the point you have it now.

3] That said here is a hodge-podge of stuff I've been collecting. Try what you wish at your own risk. You can't break whats already broken. Keep notes on changes you've made so you can reverse them should they prove useless or have no effect.

4] http://www.experts-exchange.com/Soft..._21846896.html

5] In outlook 2003 new message window, hit F7. this will bring up the spelling and Grammer option (also available through tools menu item). Press the options button and see if the required options are selected. if not selected, select Check Spelling As you Type.

6] Open a new message and type an incorrect word. Did it autocorrect? By what you mentioned it will not underline in red. Can you see the list of probable words when you right click on the word? See if the same issue applies when you change the format with word. RTF/HTML/PLAIN TEXT.

7] In Outlook, try to click on "Help" select "About"
Click on "Disabled Items"
See if you spell check is listed there.

8] Or, also in Outlook, try to click on "Tools", "Options".
Then click on the "Mail Format" tab.
Change the value next to "Use Microsoft Word to edit e-mail messages...."
Apply the changes.

9] There is an option to "Use MS Word as email editor" under Tools\Mail Format
This allows you to use spellcheck, thesaurus, grammer check, etc.

10] A look see http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:...=us&lr=lang_en

11] You may wish to try uninstalling and reinstalling the Proofing Tools of Office. See if there is an option to remove the proofing tools of office and after removal and fresh reboot add or reinstall them again. You'll need the office cd to do this.

12] Perhaps a new profile:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Soft..._22925068.html

13] HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Outlook\Options\Spelling This is the registry key where a clue may be offered. It is worth a look see to see what is enabled and what is disabled. Just don't make any changes unless you export this whole hkey for a method to restore the the thing.

---------------------------------------
This is what I have so far. I will continue to hunt and peck on this as time permits. I sure hope something above will work though.


Last edited by goddez1; 27th January 2009 at 15:07.
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Old 27th January 2009   #7
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Wow, thanks! I'll give them a go, and let you know how things turn out

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Old 28th January 2009   #8
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I'm the one that sets up new computers when they're brought into the office to replace the aging units we have. I'm definitely familiar with how to do a backup and restore in Outlook
That being said... thank you SO much for all your time and everything, but I'm still not having any luck. I went through all the links and all the steps you suggested in your last post, but every time I get it to work, when I open a new mail message again, I'm back to square one, and then stuck at square one for a half hour of fiddling until THIS time when I go through the exact same option and steps that I have the whole time, it actually works, lol!
I've been doing some pecking around online myself to no avail; nothing seems to fix the issue permanently. The next step would just be re-installing Outlook, I'm thinking!
Again, thank you so much for all your help. If I happen across a solution to this problem that doesn't involve re-installing Outlook, I'll post it here to help anyone else who's come across the same annoying situation.

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