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#1 flammverit

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 11:10 AM

I'd like to have a way to omit the " HTML entity when checking the spelling of an XHTML 1.1 document. I have HTML like this:

...she carefully replied. "But it's also...

Spell Catcher is asking me for every " entity because every " is right next or before many words with no spaces so browser render it like

"But it's also..

How can I omit " ?

#2 Evan Gross

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 01:22 AM

I'd like to have a way to omit the " HTML entity when checking the spelling of an XHTML 1.1 document. I have HTML like this:

...she carefully replied. "But it's also...

Spell Catcher is asking me for every " entity because every " is right next or before many words with no spaces so browser render it like

"But it's also..

How can I omit " ?

Well, you can select the "Use?" checkbox for the HTML Terms Learned Words file (Spell Catcher Preferences, References pane, click the disclosure triangle to the left of US English if need be), however that's really only a partial solution in this particular case.

Entities that are surrounded only by white space and/or leading/trailing punctuation should no longer be flagged as errors. But when they are embedded, as in your example ""But", Spell Catcher will consider it an error.

There are reasons for this, and I haven't been able to find a combination of Spell Catcher preferences you can set to get around it. The basic issue is that Spell Catcher considers a semicolon to be a valid embedded punctuation character, the reasons being:
  • On many English language keyboards, the semicolon and apostrophe keys are next to each other. So it's easy to make a typo like don;t or it;s. Including the embedded semicolon in a word makes the following possible:

  • For this sort of typo, the correct suggestion is easily generated, and usually first in the list.
  • For those that commonly make a typo like this, a shorthand can be created to automatically correct it when typed (for example don;t -> don't).


Now, after doing some experimenting with the Mac OS X spell checker (using Apple's English languages), I can see that it considers semicolons to be word separators. This means that it will not consider (say) don;t an error at all. But it also means that once you learn the word quot, it won't mark ""But" as a misspelling, either.

So what's better, what's worse? There's no definitive answer - it really depends on the text you're checking and the individual's needs/requirements/preferences.

Anyway, making a far too long story shorter, it looks like the only solution as far as Spell Catcher is concerned would be (ugh) yet another preference to give the user (some) control over what's considered valid embedded punctuation. This is not an issue that's new to me - I've certainly run into it myself. So it is on my list of problems to solve, and I will do some more thinking about it. The ideal solution would be one that doesn't involve adding new preferences to the application…

Feel free to follow up with your thoughts and feedback.