Ok, so this post can happily be filed in the “Gee I really needed to know that – NOT!” category. It’s seriously fun but, unless you’re color blind, not something you absolutely HAVE to know.

It’s easy (if you’re a dab hand at changing registry entries) to change the color of the wavy underlines used for spelling and grammar errors in Word 2007. Choose Start > Run > Regedit and locate this key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Proofing Tools

If the SpellingWavyUnderlineColor entry exists, double-click it and when the Edit DWORD value dialog appears, click Hexadecimal and type an eight digit hexadecimal number representing the RGB color value of the color to use (add two leading zeros to the value). So to use Blue, type 000000FF and click Ok. If the value isn’t in the list, choose Edit > New > DWORD value, type SpellingWavyUnderlineColor and then double-click it and change its DWORD value to the hexadecimal number you want to use.

To change the grammar underline color, change the GrammarWavyUnderlineColor value, and to change the contextual spelling error color change the ContextualSpellingWavyUnderlinecolor entry. If any entries don’t exist, just create them.

When you’re done, close the registry, restart the computer, and restart Word and the changes will be in place.

If you don’t know what hexadecimal color is what, visit http://www.patman.org/webdesign/hexcolors2.asp and find a color and its appropriate hexadecimal value here. Add two leading zeros and you’re done.

Of course, before you touch the Registry you should back it up in case everything goes pear shaped. Also – NEVER mess with anything you don’t understand!

Helen Bradley