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After-The-Fact Checking: The Check Selection Command

Interactive checking isn’t the only way to go. You can also use Spell Catcher the way most people use spelling checkers-by running it after you’ve finished with your writing, thus giving it a once-over before you send your work out into the world.

To toggle Interactive Checking on and off, simply choose Interactive Checking from the Input menu. When on, the Interactive Checking item is checked.

Now highlight the text you’d like Spell Catcher to check. In most cases, you’ll want to select the entire document-which, in most programs, you can do by choosing Select All from the Edit menu, or by using the keyboard shortcut Command-A. (Of course, if you’d prefer Spell Catcher to check only a single sentence, paragraph, or even word, highlight only that much text.)

Now, from the Input menu, Spell Catcher’s Dock menu, or Spell Catcher’s Services menu, choose Check Selection. Spell Catcher goes to work. The Check Selection window appears, and the first error in the text is displayed. At the left of the window, Spell Catcher also shows you the selected text where the word appears, with highlighting to indicate the word itself in context.

Check Selection Window

Fixing Errors

At this point, you can take any of the same steps described in “Interactive Checking,” in the first part of this chapter:

When you’re finished checking, click Finish. Spell Catcher asks if you want to paste the corrected text (a behavior described in the next section) into your document; click Paste. You return to your newly corrected document.

How The “Check Selection” Command Works

You may find this discussion somewhat technical. But if you plan to use the Check Selection command (for after-the-fact spell checking), understanding Spell Catcher’s behavior can save you time and frustration.

Because Spell Catcher isn’t actually built into every Mac application, it uses a sneaky trick to check a selected batch of text-behind the scenes, the Check Selection command begins by copying the highlighted text to your invisible Macintosh Clipboard. The entire spell checking process actually takes place right there on the Clipboard, not in your document.

When you’ve corrected all the typos, click the Finish button and Spell Catcher will ask if you’d like to paste the corrections contents back into your document.

Checking A Single Word

Although most people use Spell Catcher’s interactive or after-the-fact checking modes, there may be a few times when you just want to check the spelling of a single word-to settle an argument while playing Scrabble, for example.

Spell Catcher has a command dedicated to this - the Check Word command. This command is available from the Input menu, Services menu, and Dock menu. Check Word works on the currently-selected word, the last word you’ve typed, or no word at all, depending on when and how you choose the command. Type the word you want to check into the “Use” blank, and then click Suggestions (the circular arrow). If your spelling is correct, Spell Catcher tells you so just below the Use text box; if the spelling isn’t correct, Spell Catcher shows its usual list of suggestions.

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