Sometimes one of the programs just glitches. Sometimes an update causes a problem. Sometimes you do it to yourself when you get a bright idea like turning off the spelling/grammar/formatting check because it’s making you lazy as a writer. Actually, that last isn’t a bad idea at all (says I who did it) but they don’t make it easy for you to turn it on again. Actually it’s damn near impossible to get it back working the way it did when you first installed the program.
So you’re having a problem with some part of Office or you’re trying to turn the proofing tool on again. Microsoft support has a lot of good articles about the editing tools, customizing them, turning them on and off, Office programs crashing, and other glitches. You can also google Office diagnostics and repair. If you try the suggested fixes and run diagnostics and don’t get anywhere, there’s always the uninstall/reinstall.
Depending on your software’s license, you may have a limited number of installs. Always confirm this before uninstalling any version of Office. I have Office Home and Student 2007. I can install it on three different computers. I’m on my third laptop since I got the program. YES, you can uninstall and reinstall the program on the same computer multiple times. BUT, as my friend DD said when Word was giving me a fit yesterday, trying uninstalling, running a program like CCleaner (available from CNet) that contains a registry cleaner and THEN reinstalling Office. Uninstalling alone leaves some Office files on your computer.
Turning the editing tools back on involves manually making a lot of changes and even then, you may not get it back working perfectly.
But then again, Word’s proofing tool never worked perfectly for me–if I took all its suggestions, “waking from a dream” would be “walking from a dream” and my manuscripts would have no contractions. If you’re having the problem with Word flagging every contraction as an error, select “ignore rule.”
Good night and good luck.
P.S. BACK UP YOUR WRITING before uninstalling or installing any writing program.