This article is written for Google Workspace for Education administrators.

Your teachers' writing tests or vocabulary tests may fail because Google Docs's built-in spelling & grammar checking helps your students cheat! This feature eliminates Google Docs as a viable tool for online testing capabilities.

Google Docs's spelling correction ruins online testing
Google Docs's spelling correction ruins online writing tests

While the feature can be turned on or off in individual student device, it's infeasible to enforce the rule remotely, as Admin Console doesn't provide the option.

This article explains how Safe Doc disables the spell checking feature in Google Docs. If you have not installed Safe Doc for your school, get a 30-days trial today.

What's the change in Google Docs?

The major spelling check feature is the misspelling and grammar suggestions. Misspelled words are underlined in red. Grammar suggestions are underlined in blue. Safe Doc disables these options as well as locks students from re-enabling them.

Safe Doc disables spell and grammar checking in Google Docs
Safe Doc disables the spelling suggestions and the grammar suggestions features Google Docs

When you click the Spell and grammar icon spelling and grammar icon in the toolbar, Google Docs opens a spell and grammar dialog that walks through all misspelled words and suggests the correct candidates. Safe Doc removes the icon, the Spelling and grammar dialog and the salmon-colored misspelled word.

Safe Doc removes the spelling and grammar checking icon, dialog and color hints in Google Docs
Safe Doc removes the spelling and grammar checking icon, dialog and color hints in Google Docs

There are also another 2 spelling correction features in the Tools > Preferences > General dialog, Automatically capitalize words and Automatically correct spelling. These features are backed by Google's machine learning algorithms. The Automatically capitalize words feature could convert this is a chair to This is a chair. The Automatically correct spelling feature could convert There are eihgt apples on the table to There are eight apples on the table.

Safe Doc disables these features and hides from students so that they cannot turn them back on. When these two features are turned off, no automatic correction will occur for whatever you type.

Safe Doc disables the two machine learning backed spelling correction features, Automatically capitalize words and Automatically correct spelling.
Safe Doc disables the two machine learning backed spelling correction features, Automatically capitalize words and Automatically correct spelling.

After all the spelling and grammar checking, spelling suggestions, grammar suggestions, automatically capitalize words and automatically correct spelling features are disabled, all Google Docs would have a clean look without error underline hints or pop-up correction hints.

Another difference is the Move to next misspelling or Move to previous misspelling feature in the Accessibility menu, which can be turned on in Tools > Accessibility settings. The feature allows students to locate the misspellings. Safe Doc ensures the feature is removed.

Safe Doc removes the "Move to next / previous misspelling" from the Accessibility feature in Google Docs
Safe Doc removes the "Move to next / previous misspelling" from the Accessibility feature in Google Docs

How to Set up with Safe Doc?

First of all, make sure you have deployed Safe Doc and read Safe Doc Configuration.

Then set the policy BlockDocsSpellCheck to true in the Safe Doc extension policy configuration. Add the policy if you don't have the policy.

"BlockDocsSpellCheck": {
   "Value": true  
}

Note: This policy may not be immediately effective. It disables these features at the background when the user is in idle on Docs. Therefore, please allow 1-2 days of student usages on Docs before you adopt it for exams.


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