Microsoft Word 2016 Review

For three decades, Microsoft Word has been the world’s premier word-processing application. With each new release, Word has grown in scope, scale and capability. It’s a staple of word processing software for businesses, students, teachers and writers.

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Our Verdict

This word processor has a ton of smart features and a built-in grammar checker that rivals many standalone applications.

For

  • Microsoft Word’s spelling and grammar checker is adjustable and catches a wide variety of mistakes.

Against

  • It doesn’t offer writing tutorials, and it fails to identify some advanced grammar issues.
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Microsoft Word image: In our test paragraph this program missed several grammatical errors.

Microsoft Word image: In our test paragraph this program missed several grammatical errors.
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Microsoft Word image: When opening a new document, Word will display a number of recently edited documents so you can click on the one you want to open.

Microsoft Word image: When opening a new document, Word will display a number of recently edited documents so you can click on the one you want to open.
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Microsoft Word image: The Document Info page lets you opt to protect the document or choose among different versions of a document you have worked on.

Microsoft Word image: The Document Info page lets you opt to protect the document or choose among different versions of a document you have worked on.
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Microsoft Word image: Word lets you customize settings, allowing you can do things like turn off the spell check as you type.

Microsoft Word image: Word lets you customize settings, allowing you can do things like turn off the spell check as you type.
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Microsoft Word image: You can turn off the auto correct function if you are, for instance, writing dialogue that requires you to intentionally misspell words.

Microsoft Word image: You can turn off the auto correct function if you are, for instance, writing dialogue that requires you to intentionally misspell words.
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Microsoft Word image: You can customize grammar and style options.

Microsoft Word image: You can customize grammar and style options.
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Microsoft Word image: You have the ability to reset all of the grammar and style options or select them one at a time.

Microsoft Word image: You have the ability to reset all of the grammar and style options or select them one at a time.

For three decades, Microsoft Word has been the world’s premier word-processing application. With each new release, Word has grown in scope, scale and capability. It’s a staple of word processing software for businesses, students, teachers and writers. As such, it’s natural that it contains many of the features we looked for when we compared and ranked the best writing enhancement software available. Although Word is a powerful, versatile application, it doesn’t have everything, even though it comes close.

To test this application, we created a paragraph full of intentional errors and ran it through Microsoft Word’s spelling and grammar checker. While it consistently found and corrected our spelling errors, it was inconsistent in grammar corrections for areas like capitalization.

As you write, Word color codes errors by type. You see a wavy red line under spelling errors, green for grammar errors and blue to indicate improper formatting. You can resolve the problem immediately or catch all the errors at once with the full grammar checker after you finish writing.

You can set MS Word’s autocorrect function to fix commonly misspelled words and capitalize words as you type. MS Word provides its autocorrect list of terms, complete with the incorrect term and the replacement for it. The spell check software also allows you to customize this list by adding or removing items.

You can adjust the preferences and standards on the grammar check in Word to give you an additional dialogue box at the end of your spelling and grammar check with information about your document such as word and character count and average sentence length.

Microsoft Word recognizes standard grammar errors like excessive use of passive voice and subject-verb agreement mistakes. It also checks for redundancy, particularly if you typed the same word twice in a row. However, it overlooks advanced grammar issues like confusing modifiers and excessive adjective use. The software analyzes the meaning of your content to a certain level, but it is always good to read through your work after you use this grammar checking application to look for errors it might have missed.

Microsoft Word is one of many applications in the Office 365 suite. Much more than a writing enhancement program, MS Word makes it easy to collaborate with teammates, coworkers and other students in real time through connected programs.

This writing software has evolved into a collaborative tool over the years. In Word 2016, you can sync and share documents with OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud service, and Skype, an IM and chat service included in the 365 suite. Word can even access your contacts in Outlook and send your document to coworkers. From there, they can click and edit the same document through the MS Word web, mobile or desktop app.

The Tell Me feature allows you to ask how-to questions to access a feature and insert it directly into the document. For example, if you didn’t know how to make an index in previous versions, Tell Me simply inserts an index template into your document rather than guiding you through help menus and online articles.

At the end of the day, Microsoft Word can be everything you need in a writing enhancement software. It has powerful grammar, spelling and syntax tools that can improve your writing. However, it doesn’t include some of the advanced English usage and grammar checks we found in other top writing enhancement software packages we reviewed. Nevertheless, this grammar checking tool and its smart features make it convenient for a variety of purposes. Whether you are a student, professional or learning English as a second language, Microsoft ward can sharpen your writing skills.

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