How to set up spellcheck to proofread your police report

A step-by-step guide to configuring Microsoft’s spelling and grammar checker

Nearly everything in policing has evolved due to technology – except for police report writing. That is about to change. Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), voice diction and video analysis technologies are making report writing faster and more efficient. But is your agency ready?  

This series, Report Writing for a New Generation: Merging Technology with Traditional Techniques, will cover general police report writing skills along with plain English instruction, professional and technical writing best practices, and how technology is changing the way officers write.

The remainder of the series is exclusive content for Police1 members. Not a member? Register here. It is free and easy!

Police report writing is tough. But when you add stress, deadlines and exhaustion to the mix, it becomes even tougher.

In my previous article, I mentioned three simple ways to instantly improve your law enforcement report writing skills, which included using a spelling and grammar checker. However, a word processor spelling and grammar checker are the most misused tools in your toolbox.

Don’t worry. It is not your fault that no one taught you how to configure these tools correctly. In fact, 99% of people just write their document, click review and correct everything the program suggests.

Spelling and grammar checkers are only as good as their users. Microsoft’s Word spelling and grammar checker, ProWritingAid, Grammarly, WhiteSmoke and dozens of other programs are all good options to help proofread your police report. But if you don’t know how to configure them, these tools will become weapons against you.

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