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How to activate a true auto correct using the SC dictionary


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#1 JeanClaude

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 08:57 PM

How do I activate the auto correct function so that Spell Catcher automatically inserts its #1 correction suggestion? I don't want to have to recreate a dictionary by having to enter into the Shorthand function. Thanks.

#2 Evan Gross

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 10:23 PM

How do I activate the auto correct function so that Spell Catcher automatically inserts its #1 correction suggestion? I don't want to have to recreate a dictionary by having to enter into the Shorthand function. Thanks.

There is no (publicly available) feature in Spell Catcher X. There are very good reasons for this, but if you want to give it a try, there is a hidden preference you can set via the Terminal. Quit the Spell Catcher application, log out and in again, then issue this command in the Terminal:

defaults write com.rainmaker.SpellCatcher automaticallyCorrectInteractiveErrors -bool TRUE

Anyway, you'll see why it's potentially "dangerous". If you're not watching closely, or listening for the "Automatic" alert sound, if the first suggestion is not the "right" one, it can easily go unnoticed. The problem now is that a correctly spelled word has been inserted into your document, but if it's not the one you want, another spell check won't flag that word.

#3 JeanClaude

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 03:02 PM

There is no (publicly available) feature in Spell Catcher X. There are very good reasons for this, but if you want to give it a try, there is a hidden preference you can set via the Terminal. Quit the Spell Catcher application, log out and in again, then issue this command in the Terminal:

defaults write com.rainmaker.SpellCatcher automaticallyCorrectInteractiveErrors -bool TRUE

Anyway, you'll see why it's potentially "dangerous". If you're not watching closely, or listening for the "Automatic" alert sound, if the first suggestion is not the "right" one, it can easily go unnoticed. The problem now is that a correctly spelled word has been inserted into your document, but if it's not the one you want, another spell check won't flag that word.



#4 Evan Gross

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 03:05 PM

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#5 JeanClaude

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 08:13 AM

Thanks, Evan. I'll let you know if I try it. I've had two autocorrect functions work well elsewhere in my life: MS Word, and whatever software edits the text messages on my iPhone. Why isn't there something like that for laptops?

#6 Evan Gross

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 10:57 PM

Thanks, Evan. I'll let you know if I try it. I've had two autocorrect functions work well elsewhere in my life: MS Word, and whatever software edits the text messages on my iPhone. Why isn't there something like that for laptops?

Well, there certainly have been Mac applications and utilities that do this. In fact, on Snow Leopard, in many apps that support the system-wide spell checker, there is a "Correct Spelling Automatically" feature available. See TextEdit on Snow Leopard, Edit > Spelling and Grammar > Correct Spelling Automatically. But it suffers from the same problem I described - no feedback, no (easy way) to recover when the "wrong" correction is made.

Word and the iOS display some (albeit very different) sort of feedback to the user to clearly indicate when a word is automatically corrected. Word animates a blue underline (which can be missed if you're not watching). The iOS displays the automatic correction, and makes it easy to fix as well.

Some 3rd party Mac utilities (like TypeIt4Me) have this feature, but like Spell Catcher, the only feedback is some sort of audio. TypeIt4Me does expose the feature in its user interface. Spell Catcher doesn't, because (in my opinion) that's not adequate - the ability to easily recover when the wrong automatic correction is chosen is necessary as well (i.e. more persistent visual feedback).

Now, this feature is much better on Lion with the Mac OS X system-wide spelling checker. At least when using it in conjunction one of the built-in spelling languages. No 3rd party ones that I know of, including Spell Catcher X when used with the Spelling Panel, support this feature at this time. On Lion, the automatic correction is underlined in blue. When done while typing, a popup similar to the one shown by the iOS is also shown. Right-clicking a (blue underlined) word shows a menu with alternate corrections. The implementation isn't perfect, but really quite acceptable.

Until I can figure out some way to implement this sort of user interface in Spell Catcher (perhaps with the same sort of techniques used by Spell Catcher’s DirectCorrect feature) I'm not comfortable exposing the current functionality.

But feel free to offer your feedback after giving it a try.