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Screen shot showing options for Word's Inclusiveness Editor

How to Enable the ‘Inclusiveness’ Editor in Microsoft Word

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Posted in: Microsoft or Windows, Tech Tips, Word

Our language is constantly changing, and lately, there has been a lot of focus on “inclusiveness.” When writing any kind of text in Word or otherwise, you want to make sure that you’re using the right terms and avoiding making mistakes that may be offensive to certain people.

What if there was an editor that could help you with this? Just as Microsoft Word can check your spelling and grammar, it can also check for more inclusivity.

Many users are unaware that Microsoft has introduced this feature with this editor. The main reason is that it’s disabled by default, and you must enable it to use it.

What is Inclusiveness Editing?

When you enable inclusiveness editing in Microsoft Word, it flags any words or phrases that may be offensive and noninclusive. In addition to highlighting the term, the editor also suggests acceptable alternatives.

The inclusiveness editor puts the control in the users’ hands, allowing them to select the suggestions they want to receive. It provides several categories that users can select from, including age bias, racial bias, cultural bias, ethnic slurs, gender bias, sexual orientation bias, and gender-specific language.

Which Version of Word Supports Inclusiveness Editor?

The inclusiveness editing feature was introduced a few years ago and is available for Word for Microsoft 365. Unfortunately, it’s not available for standalone Office 2019 or earlier versions. It’s also not (currently) available for the web version of Office 365.

How to Enable Inclusiveness Editor in Word?

This feature is somewhat hidden and may be hard to find if you don’t know where to look. Here are the steps to enable this feature:

  1. Launch the Microsoft Word desktop app and click on Editor on the right side of the Home tab.
  2. Click on Settings at the bottom.
  3. In the proofing settings, scroll down to “When correcting spelling and grammar in Word.”
  4. Go to Writing Style, and from the drop-down menu, select Grammar & Refinement.
  5. Click on the Settings button next to it.
  6. In the dialog box, scroll down to Inclusiveness and check the boxes for the categories you want to apply (there are seven).
  7. Click OK

There’s an alternate way to get to the proofing settings (step 3). Here’s how you can get there:

  1. Click on the File tab.
  2. Select Options, and a Word Options dialog box will open.
  3. Select Proofing from the navigation tab on the left.

Once you have enabled the inclusiveness editing settings in the Word editor, you’ll see suggestions underlined in purple. Simply right-click on them to see the more appropriate and inclusive alternatives.

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