How to Remove Red Underlines (Spell-Check) in LibreOffice Writer

This tutorial explains how to remove red wavy underlines caused by spell-checking from documents in LibreOffice Writer.

Similar to MS Office, the LibreOffice Suite comes with a powerful spell-checking module that checks for typos and other misspelled words and puts a red wavy underline where it thinks a correction is needed. However, there are times when you intentionally want to remove the red line for several reasons.

The most common reasons are when the red lines start to distract you from focusing on and working in a document and when you want to share a document with others without showing the red underlines beneath misspelled words, regardless of whether the other person has spell-checking turned on or off in their LibreOffice settings.

Why LibreOffice Shows Red Wavy Lines Under Words

Being a popular open-source productivity suite, LibreOffice has a spell-checking feature similar to MS Office. It checks for words that do not exist in the built-in dictionary or user-defined word list.

If it finds words that need correction, those words get a red underline with a wavy, squiggly, or zig-zag pattern indicating the error. It’s a common feature that millions of users have become accustomed to or dependent on for writing document without leaving any misspelled words or typos.

Turning Off Red Spell-checking Underlines in LibreOffice

To remove the annoying red underlines in a document, the simplest and best way is to turn off the auto spell-checking feature in LibreOffice. Simply go to the top menu bar and select Tools > Automatic Spell Checking.

Disabling automatic spell-checking hides the underlines, but the typos and other unknown words that LibreOffice cannot find in its dictionary are still present. You are simply hiding them intentionally for a period of time until you turn the feature back on to see the red underlined mistakes again.

Making LibreOffice to Ignore the Misspelled Words

The first option is sufficient for most users to remove the red underlines. However, if you want to remove red underlines from a word that you are 100% sure is not a mistake, you can either add it to the ignored list or add it to the user-defined dictionary.

The main difference between ignoring a word and adding it to the user-defined dictionary is that when ignored, LibreOffice simply ignores whether the word is misspelled or not. But if you manually run the spell-check by selecting Tools > Spelling from the top menu bar, it will again show the word as an error that needs correction.

Start manual spell-check.

Whereas when you add a word to the user-defined dictionary, LibreOffice no longer sees the word as an error and treats it as a correct word. Therefore, you should always add a word to the user-defined dictionary when you are certain that the word is not a mistake. You can read more on how to add a word to the user-defined dictionary in LibreOffice for more details.

To make LibreOffice ignore certain words and stop showing red underlines, you can either right-click on a word or phrase and select Ignore or Ignore All from the context menu. However, this is not a permanent solution and the underlines will show up again when you reopen the document.

Suggested words on typos.

To permanently remove the underlines, you can add the words to the user-defined dictionary in LibreOffice.

To do this, right-click on the underlined word and select Add to Dictionary from the context menu. Once a word is added to the user-defined dictionary, it will no longer be considered an error by LibreOffice.

Add words to custom dictionary.

To access the user-defined dictionary, go to Tools > Options (press Alt + F12 on the keyboard for the shortcut), then navigate to Languages Settings > Writing Aids.

Under the User-defined Dictionaries section, select Standard [All] and then click on the Edit button on the right side. You can add new words to the list or delete existing words if you no longer need them.

Remove the Red Underlines From Documents When Shared

All the options mentioned above for removing the red underlines from words only work on your own computer where LibreOffice is installed. If you want to share your document with others without the revealing those red underlines, you can either export the document in PDF format or use an extra option available in LibreOffice.

Step 1: From the top menu bar, select Tools > Language > For All Text > None (Do not check spelling)

If you save the document and share it with others, they won’t see any red underlined words when they open the document, regardless of whether they have automatic spell-check enabled in their LibreOffice Writer or not.

After changing the document language, the status bar at the bottom should display [None], indicating that LibreOffice is no longer checking the text against any known dictionaries.

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Shiba Prasad
Shiba Prasad

I’m the creator behind, and Professionally, I’m a freelance technical writer who shares a passion for open source technologies. Learn more, or follow me here → Instagram, Linkedin, Medium

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