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.
- Firefox Spellbound spell check extension
- WordPress.com Bloggers Now Have Spell Check
- Awesome Lists of Firefox Must-Have Extensions Lists
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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network