How to Turn on Passive Voice Monitor in Microsoft Word 2007

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All writers are guilty of using passive voice at some time or another, and sometimes it's the most natural form for a sentence. But excessive use of the passive voice will make your writing less effective. Fortunately, if you use Microsoft Word, you can turn on the passive voice monitor that will let you know when you're using passive voice so you can correct the problem.

  • Open Word and click the "Office" button. Choose Word Options from bottom of the pull-down menu.

  • Click Proofing on the left hand side of the Word Options menu.

  • Choose Grammar & Style from the pull-down menu under "When correcting spelling and grammar in Word."

  • Click the "Settings" button next to the pull-down menu beside "Writing Style."

  • Make sure Grammar & Style is selected from the pull-down menu at the top of the Grammar Settings window.

  • Scroll down to the Style heading and check Passive Sentences.

  • Click OK.

Tips & Warnings

  • Though they are few, there will be sometimes it will be clunky to avoid a passive sentence. When you find yourself bending over backwards to accommodate active voice, this may be one of those few times.
  • For more information on passive sentences and grammar, check out one of the books in the resource section. Strunk and White's Elements of Style is a must have.
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