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The Hunt for Online Spell Checking

NOTE: The latest version of Firefox now comes with built-in spell check.


Faced with a repaired but not fully stocked laptop, I needed some of my writing spell checked. Instead of panicking, or digging through storage boxes of my computer disks for my word processing program, I realized that I was connected to the Internet where all things are possible. So I checked out what was available in online spell checking services.

While there are plenty of downloadable spell checkers that will run off your computer from within or without your browser, I was looking for independently functioning online spell checkers I could use on the fly, from any computer, at any time.

The Solution Cafe offers a Public Spell Checker based upon JSpell. Paste in your test and click “Check Spelling”. Just like your familiar word processor, it prompts you for spelling corrections, giving you options. When you are done, unfortunately it changes your focus to your next tab or window in Firefox, so I had to click back on that tab to find my corrected text. Still, it’s familiar and very easy to use. It also spell checks American English, British English, French, and Spanish.

Spell Check Net looked like it was going to be an awesome spell checker. Paste in the text and click “Spell Check Text” and it displays your text with all the unfound or misspelled words highlighted in a pull down form for you to pick the correct word(s). When done click “Apply Changes” and it should generate your newly fixed text. However, in Firefox, it doesn’t. So that was a waste. I won’t switch back to Internet Explorer just to spell check my text.

Grammar Station is a fairly unique offering for spell checking, grammar testing, and even guides and lessons on improving your language skills. The focus is on English, though it also checks Japanese and Chinese using the JSpell software to power the site, but it is excellent for non-native English speakers and writers as well as English speakers who want more from their online spell checkers. Sadly, you must sign in and be registered in order to take advantage of its powerful features.

About.com’s Personal Web Column recommends a variety of online and web spell check services, some online, some for download, some free spell checkers and some fee spell checkers.

And then there is the reverse dictionary you should also know about. The One Look Reverse Dictionary allows you to enter terms which describe the word you are looking for and then generates a list of suggestions. This could be your answer to “What is that thing called?”

I found a lot of online spell checkers don’t work with Firefox. As a more web standard browser, and growing in popularity, especially by serious online users, you would think that such service suppliers would care to make their spell checker work across all browsers. Many also use popup windows and open spell checking results in another window. This is old style web and also needs to be fixed.

There are other free online spell check services worth checking out.

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network

Member of the 9Rules Blogging Network

5 Comments

  1. HMS
    Posted January 6, 2007 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I use firefox, and spellcheck.net has always worked fine for me. Still, I’m going to try Spellbound. Thanks!

  2. Posted January 6, 2007 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    I thought I’d updated this post, but it was another one on the same subject. So my apologies. Spell check comes with the latest version of Firefox, so Spellbound is now defunct.

  3. Posted May 22, 2007 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Hmm, maybe I should check this out myself, spelling is not my forte. Cheers for letting us know about this.

  4. bungeshea
    Posted September 17, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always used the After the Deadline online demo, Polish my Writing. After the Deadline is by the company who created WordPress.com, Automattic.

    • Posted September 18, 2012 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      The built-in spell checker, which is now available on most web browsers due to demands such as my own by web users, is usually enough for the typical blogger without adding another Plugin to their site. I highly recommend After the Deadline for those needing such assistance. It’s very helpful. It’s a brilliant WordPress Plugin. Thanks.


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  1. [...] After several years of searching the web for decent online spell checking services, bashing my head against idiotic methods and javascript nightmares, I finally found Spellbound. And it indeed holds me spell bound with its power and simplicity. [...]

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