We had an exam requirement for many years for computer based exams to disable the spell check, thesaurus and grammar check facility and to remove the ability to re-enable it.
MS in their infinite wisdom created ADMX/ADM templates that give admins the ability to disable some of the proofing tools in a GPO. However this does not disable the ability to re-enable these options from the GUI. Also in the Word 2010 ADMX templates, MS have REMOVED the option to disable Spell Check!
I found a couple of articles which were very helpful and pretty much gave me the answer i needed. The articles were for Word 2007 so i have ported them to Word 2010.
If you need the 2013/2016 versions then please use the following article.
We found the solution to this issue was something relatively straight forward.
Microsoft have published on TechNet, a list of user interface items that can be disabled using control ID's and virtual key codes. Link is below.
We are going to use these codes and some other GPO options for Word 2010 to disable the key shortcuts, menu items and the options menu so the users cannot re-enable them.
This guide assumes that you have already downloaded and installed the Office 2010 ADMX templates, available here.
- To start with create a new GPO, call it Proofing Tools Disabled.
- The first thing that you need to do is decide how you want to link this GPO to the users. There are two options, link to the user accounts in an OU or link to a group of computers in an OU.
- If you are linking the GPO to a computers OU you need to enable the following group policy option, if not skip this step.
COMPUTER CONFIGURATION > Policies > Administrative Templates > System > Group Policy
- User Group Policy Loopback processing mode = ENABLED - Merge
USER CONFIGURATION > Policies > Administrative Templates > System > Microsoft Word 2010 > Word Options > Proofing
- Check Grammar with Spelling = Disabled
- Do Not Enable additional actions in the right-click menu = Enabled
- Autocorrect / Capitalize first letter of sentance = Disabled
- Autocorrect / Capitalize names of days = Disabled
- Autocorrect / Correct TWo INitial CApitals =Disabled
- Autocorrect / Correct accidental usage of cAPS LOCK key = Disabled
- Autocorrect / Correct keyboard setting = Disabled
- Autocorrect / Replace text as you type =Disabled
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Proofing Tools\1.0\Office
Value Name = WordSpellingOptions
Value type = REG_DWORD
Value data = 0 (0=disabled, 5=enabled)
USER CONFIGURATION > Policies > Administrative Templates > System > Microsoft Word 2010 > Disable Items in User Interface > Custom
In Disable Shortcut Keys add the list below: