Creating A Shorthand During Spell Checking
Instead of creating your shorthand entries manually, as described in the previous section, you may sometimes want to add entries in the process of checking your spelling. This way, you’ll be staring right at the words that you frequently misspell, giving you the perfect opportunity to create self-correcting glossary entries for them. (See Spell Checking for details on checking your spelling).
When Spell Catcher finds an error, you’ll see its list of suggestions. Here is how to create a shorthand entry.
Once you’re looking at the Suggest Spelling window shown in Figure 4-2, click to select the correct spelling in the list of suggestions. Actually, if the first suggestion in the list is the correct spelling, you may not even have to take this step.
If the corrected spelling doesn’t appear in the list of suggestions at all, type it into the “Use:” text field.
Click Shorthand. Optionally, first click the pop-up menu next to the Shorthand button to choose the document to which the shorthand should be added.
You return to your document, where the spelling error has been corrected. From now on, if you make the same error again, Spell Catcher will correct it without even notifying you.
Tip: In the Check Selection and Check Word windows, Option-clicking Shorthand will open the Glossary and automatically select the abbreviation you just added. Additionally, hovering over the Shorthand button in these windows will display a help tag containing the abbreviation, expansion, and Shorthand Glossary document to which the addition will be made.
Deleting Or Editing Your Shorthand Entries
Editing or deleting shorthand entries one at a time is easy:
From the Input menu, choose Preferences.
From the toolbar, click References (if the References list isn’t already displayed).
Select the Glossary you wish to edit from the References list. You may have to click the disclosure triangle for the language to make it visible.
Click the shorthand entry you want to edit or delete.
To delete the shorthand, click the [-] button. To edit it, modify the abbreviation or expansion as desired, and then choose File->Save.
Tip: To begin an in-place edit, double-click the abbreviation or expansion, or highlight it and press the Enter key.
How To Trigger Shorthand Expansions
The two ways to turn your abbreviations into their expanded forms correspond to the two ways Spell Catcher can check your spelling-either interactively, as you type, or all at once, after the fact.
Triggering Expansions As You Type
Open a program, such as TextEdit or your word processor, where you can type. Make sure that the Interactive Checking item in Spell Catcher’s Input menu is checked, indicating that Interactive Checking is turned on. (If you prefer to type with Interactive Checking turned off, see “Triggering Expansions While Spell Checking,” in the next section).
Try typing a sample sentence that includes one of the abbreviations you’ve set up. As soon as you type the abbreviation and then press the Space bar, Tab key, or another punctuation mark, Spell Catcher replaces the abbreviation with the expanded phrase.
(If the expansion doesn’t take place as scheduled, see “Customizing Shorthand Glossary Behavior” at the end of this chapter).
Tip: You may occasionally want to use one of your abbreviations in its original form, without expanding. For example, suppose your name is Brian Livingston Taylor, and you’ve set up a shorthand abbreviation BLT that expands to your full name. But now you’re writing an e-mail to the local deli, ordering a BLT sandwich. How do you stop Spell Catcher from making it look like you’re ordering a Brian Livingston Taylor sandwich?
Easy: just hold down the Shift key as you type the space (or, if your Interactive Typing Preferences specify ignoring the most recently typed word when followed by a Tab, or Return, type one of those characters) that follows the abbreviation. Spell Catcher doesn’t expand your abbreviation in that case. (Of course, you can also turn off the Interactive Checking command in the Input menu to disable shorthand expansions altogether).
Triggering Expansions While Spell Checking
When Interactive Checking is turned on in a certain program, Spell Catcher expands your abbreviations as you type them. But what if you prefer to type with Interactive Checking turned off? No problem-simply type the abbreviations as you prepare your document. Spell Catcher can expand them during Check Selection as well. Additionally, you can turn “Check spelling as you type” off (in Spell Catcher Preferences, Interactive pane, Spelling tab) and turn “Make Shorthand Glossary expansions as you type” on (in the Shorthands tab) to forego spell checking while you’re typing, but still have your shorthands expand.
See Check Selection for details on checking the spelling of a finished document.
If you notice that Spell Catcher isn’t expanding the abbreviations in a document you’re spell checking, it may be that this feature has been turned off. See “Customizing Shorthand Glossary Behavior” in the next section.
Other Ways to Create Shorthands
There are other ways to create new shorthands as well. To create a new shorthand with the currently-selected text as the expansion, choose the “New Shorthand for Selection” command that’s in the Input menu, in Spell Catcher’s Services menu, or the Spell Catcher application’s Dock menu.
It’s also possible to create a new shorthand from the Find in References window.
Customizing Shorthand Glossary Behavior
Spell Catcher’s Preferences offer several controls over the way shorthands expand.
Make Shorthand Glossary expansions as you type lets you specify whether or not Spell Catcher expands your abbreviations as you type. You might consider this the primary on/off switch for the shorthand feature. (Spell Catcher’s Preferences window, Interactive pane, Shorthands tab)
Automatically capitalize expansions made at the beginning of a sentence specifies capitalization behavior for shorthand expansions that begin a sentence. (Spell Catcher’s Preferences window, Interactive pane, Shorthands tab)
Expand abbreviations defined as word pairs specifies whether abbreviations that are word pairs should be expanded. (Spell Catcher’s Preferences window, Interactive pane, Shorthands tab)
Look for Shorthand Glossary expansions specifies whether to look for shorthands during Check Selection. (Spell Catcher’s Preferences window, Spelling pane, Check Selection tab)