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Is Spell Catcher X 10.3.2 Compatible with Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard)?

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(Updated January 13, 2010)


But do yourself a favor and update to Spell Catcher X 10.3.3. The information in this article remains relevant and possibly useful. Any Spell Catcher X 10.3.2 Known Issues mentioned below are non-issues in Spell Catcher X 10.3.3.

What You Need To Know

Input method components are only available within applications running in 32-bit mode

Most of Apple’s own applications that are included with Mac OS X 10.6 run in 64-bit mode by default. There may be a few third-party application that are 64-bit capable right now, certainly more will be as developers update their products. Input method components (and many other types of plug-ins) will not load in applications running in 64-bit mode. There are various reasons for this, depending on the type of plug-in and the Mac OS X features it uses. This is a limitation imposed by Apple in Snow Leopard’s move to more complete 64-bit technology adoption.

In Leopard, a new input method architecture was created, allowing creation of input methods that are applications. The move away from plug-ins (components are a type of plug-in) is generally a good thing - a buggy plug-in can crash the application it’s loaded into, so can decrease stability among other things. Input method applications work with applications regardless of the mode they are running in.

We are currently re-writing Spell Catcher’s input method as one of these new input method applications. This is a big job - note the word “re-write”. Input method components and input method applications are very different beasts.

But for now, if you want to use Spell Catcher’s input method with 64-bit capable applications, you need to set them to open in 32-bit mode. We have a separate FAQ outlining how to do this - it’s pretty simple, and a one-time-only procedure.

Application Services are hidden in the user interface by default

On Mac OS X 10.6, any services that applications provide will not appear in the Services menu by default. There are new preferences to allow full control of what you do and don’t want to appear there.

While not at all specific to Spell Catcher, we have a separate FAQ outlining how to do this. As always, the functionality provided by Spell Catcher’s services are available form the Input menu and Spell Catcher’s Dock menu.

Mac OS X system-wide spell checking integration

On Mac OS X 10.6, you can now customize the spell checking languages that are used by the system-wide speller. New is the inclusion of an “Automatic by language” option. It’s possible to specify which languages should be used in this mode, and the order they are used.

“International” is now “Language & Text” in System Preferences

Just in case you didn’t already know…

Per-document input sources are back!

First appearing in Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger), then subsequently disappearing in Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard), the input source option to use one input source everywhere, or a different one for each document has made a comeback. On Snow Leopard, the default is to use the same one. On Tiger, the default was to allow a different one for each document.

Our advice: experiment and use what’s best for you. Just be aware of its existence.


  • Numerous Leopard bugs related to input method discovery, installation and updating have been fixed in Snow Leopard. Installing or updating the input method should no longer require the Spell Catcher application to be restarted, and it should be available immediately after installation. The work-arounds described in our FAQs and Forums should no longer be necessary.

    We say “should” because we still need to do some more testing with the input method component. The above seems to work better with input method applications than components.

Known Issues

  • Snow Leopard’s “Language & Text” Preferences are (still) referred to as “International” in Spell Catcher’s user interface. This has been changed in the next update to display the appropriate terminology for the version of Mac OS X being used.

  • Using a Spell Catcher service within the Spell Catcher application itself (from the Spell Catcher > Services menu or Services contextual menu) will timeout and the service won’t be performed. This is fixed for the next update.

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