Spell check details
Mac Tip #259/06-Sept-2006
Recent Tips have been delving into the mysteries of the spellcheck dictionary in ‘Cocoa’ applications within Mac OS X. Now we need to tidy up some details.
Let’s open TextEdit, which comes installed on all new Macs and is a ‘Cocoa’ application. Type or paste in some text and deliberately include a spelling mistake. When you move on to the next word the typo should be underlined with red dots. If it’s not then either your Mac doesn’t recognise it as a mistake or TextEdit isn’t checking the spelling as you type.
Hold down the Control key and click anywhere on the document to bring up the Contextual menu. Go down to the Spelling submenu and see if there’s a check mark beside Check Spelling as You Type. If there is not, then select that submenu item to activate the feature. A check mark will now appear beside it.
Now choose the Check Spelling item from the Contextual menu. All spelling errors should be marked with a red underline.
To correct or learn a word Control click on the word itself and choose a replacement, if one is offered, or to Ignore or Learn the spelling.
Another option you may need is to Forget a spelling, but you won’t see it on the menu. This option is relevant when you have asked the dictionary to Learn a word but now need to take that word out of the Dictionary again, for example, when you accidentally ‘Learn’ a mis-spelled word. You can’t remove words supplied with the Dictionary; only those you have added.
To forget a word, first copy it, then Control click on it and call up the Spelling > Spelling… item from the Contextual menu. Paste the word into the text box to the left of the Correct button. Then click the Forget button. The word is removed from the dictionary. The screenshot shows me asking the Dictionary to Forget the word Ngauranga.
Experiment by adding an unusual placename or two. In New Zealand we have thousands to choose from: Paraparaumu, Ngaruawahia, Ngauranga Gorge, Hataitai….