Escape from typing


Escape from typing
Mac Tip #262/27-Sept-2006

I’m good at spelling but hopeless at typing. If you’ve ever received an email from me or have been reading these tips for a while you’re bound to have noticed some weird typo or other somewhere along the way.

A narrowed list.

A narrowed list.

Did you know that in Mac OS X you can sometimes press the Escape key to finish typing a word for you? I’m not sure if it’s only 10.4, or it also applies to earlier versions.

First, you need to be using a Cocoa application such as Safari, Text Edit, Mail or the like. Older applications just won’t show this helpful behaviour.

So, perhaps you want to send an email out about the Speleologist Convention next month. That’s sure to be a typing trap.

Open Mail.app and click in the Subject line or the main body of the email. Now type the letters Spe, then press the Escape key. It’s at the top left corner of the keyboard, marked with the letters ‘esc’.

A narrowed list.

A narrowed list.

When you press the Escape key a list of possible words appears, as you can see in Screenshot 1. There are rather a lot of them. You can scroll down the list with your mouse or use the arrow keys. When you reach the correct word, press the Return key or Spacebar to enter it and continue typing.

Of course, you can narrow down the list of possibilities by typing more letters yourself. Once I’d typed ‘spel’, and again pressed the Escape key, Speleologist came up at the top of the list, along with its companions Speleologist’s, Speleologists and Speleologists’. See screenshot 2.

Try the Escape key trick in your favourite applications where you do a lot of typing. It could be helpful.

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