Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Spell-Check on the Fly

Mac OS X offers a really quick way to check the spelling of individual words in Pages, Numbers, Keynote, TextEdit, Mail, Stickies, and other text-based applications. In fact, you can check spelling on the fly without leaving the application you’re using. Here’s how.

When you misspell a word — or type one that doesn’t appear in the standard Apple dictionary, like the city of Tuscumbia, Alabama — Mac OS X highlights it with a dotted red line. To replace it with the correct spelling, right-click the word with your Mighty Mouse (or select it with your mouse and Control-click the word). A pop-up menu appears, offering a list of possible replacements. Click the correct spelling of the word to instantly update your document.

If you know a highlighted term — such as Tuscumbia — is spelled correctly, and you don’t want Mac OS X to highlight it in future occurrences, choose the Ignore Spelling option from the list. Mac OS X removes the highlighting below Tuscumbia wherever it appears, and won’t underline this word again if you use it subsequently in your current document.

If you want all text-based Mac OS X applications to know the correct spelling of Tuscumbia, you can customize the Mac OS X dictionary to include this correct spelling of the term. To do so, choose the Learn Spelling option. Mac OS X adds this spelling to its dictionary, and Tuscumbia appears in the pop-up list of correctly spelled terms, whether you’re using Pages, Keynote or any other text-based Mac OS X application that uses its spelling dictionary.


By the way, while this shortcut offers a quick way to check the spelling of a single word, you can always check the spelling of your entire document by pressing Command + Shift + ; (semicolon).

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