I love English. I know no language better than my native tongue. But as someone who thinks in a logical fashion I personally know of at least 4 languages where I can probably spell with better results (German, Turkish, Italian, Spanish) than in the eddies and riptides which comprise English spelling. Personally I blame the Norman invaders and the creator of the first commercially successful English dictionary, but that is a rant for another time.
If you couple my inability to spell with the fact that I never took a typing class you could easily conclude that it is unwise to release me upon the blog reading public… and that is no doubt true. But blog I do. Fortunately the Mac has a few tricks up its sleeve to help someone just like me.
- Check Spelling While Typing – I can turn on a feature right here in my browser (Safari) to spell check as I go. Right click (or command click in a text area to bring up a menu. From the Spelling and Grammar menu select “Check Spelling While Typing”. Now as I type, words will be spell checked.
- TextExpander – This wonderful tool can allow me to create aliases for frequently typed phrases like the name of my most popular podcast so that I can type “atp” and get “Amateur Traveler”.
- TextExpander – TypeItForMe can also correct my simple typos as I go. If I type “tihs” I get “this”. It also has the ability to replace misspelled words.
- Speech – I am bad editor. My brain tends to correct typos and grammar errors when I read. But I am a much better audio editor. You can have the Mac speak any section of text. From the Application menu (such as “Safari” from within the browser) select “Services” then “Speech” then “Start Speaking Text” to have your Mac read back to you the selected text.
- Google – When in doubt remember that the google spelling dictionary is one of the better ones. If you can spell the word close to the correct spelling, Google might be able to get you the rest of the way.
To see these techniques in action, watch the attached video.