What's New in Spell Catcher X version 10.2.1
Spell Catcher X version 10.2.1 contains a number of new features and enhancements. This document gives you an overview. Spell Catcher X version 10.2 introduced a much larger number of new features, choose What Was New in 10.2? from the Help menu in the Spell Catcher application to see what was added in that version. Choose Spell Catcher Help from the Help menu in the Spell Catcher application for more information and details on using these and other Spell Catcher features.
Spotlight Support on Tiger
Spell Catcher X 10.2.1 includes a Spotlight Plug-in for Learned Words, Shorthand Glossary, and Omitted Words documents. This means that you can use Spotlight on Tiger to instantly search for information contained in and about your Spell Catcher reference documents.
This means you can not only use Spotlight to search the contents of your references, but search for other things like language, number of words or shorthands, and more.
This additional metadata (Languages, Number of Words) is shown in the More Info pane in Spotlight search results and in the Finder’s Get Info window.
Opening a document from the Spotlight search results window will display the found word or shorthand (or first/best match, if possible).
The Find in References command is still what you use to search for words in all types of Spell Catcher References. Spell Catcher’s Spotlight support makes the contents of your own (editable) Learned Words, Shorthand Glossary and Omitted Words documents available - it’s not meant to replace Spell Catcher’s Look Up and Find in Reference commands. If you have ideas about what other information about your Spell Catcher documents should be made available via Spotlight, send us your feedback!
New Spelling Panel-Related Language Preference
It’s now possible to specify a specific Spell Catcher language to use as the equivalent for “English (Spell Catcher)” in the Mac OS X Spelling Panel. This is useful in those applications that are unable to use a Spell Catcher language you need directly.
Choosing a Spell Catcher language (other than “No language”) will cause “English (Spell Catcher)” to appear in the Dictionary pop-up menu in the spelling panel. Choosing “English (Spell Catcher)” in the spelling panel will make that Spell Catcher language available.
Shorthand Expansion Improvements
Shorthand Glossary expansions can now contain cursor movement (arrow) keys, backspace, delete (forward) and other characters that aren’t generally considered textual in nature. There is a new “Key” pop-up menu in Shorthand Glossary document windows (above the expansion text area) to easily choose one of these characters to insert into an expansion. These appear as “tags” in the expansion text, for example <left><up><bs> etc. These tags may also contain a repeat count - so <left4> is the equivalent to <left><left><left><left>.
This makes it possible to define a shorthand such as this:
ptag → <p></p><left4>
When you type the abbreviation “ptag”, the result is <p></p> with the insertion point positioned between the opening and closing HTML <p> tags, ready for you to type the paragraph text itself!
New General Preference
A preference has been added to set the font for the interactive suggestions and completions pop-up lists.
New, Less Expensive “Basic” License
The new licensing scheme we’re using allows us to do things that were previously not possible or somewhat difficult. We’ve had numerous requests over the years for a lower-priced version of the product (at the expense of some of the more advanced features), and now we’re able to do this. So for USD 29.95, a license that excludes Ghostwriter, Modify Selection, Completion from the input method, and works only with U.S. English references can be purchased. An upgrade from a “Basic” license to our standard “no restrictions” license can be purchased at any time. Refresh your newly-upgraded basic license, and any restrictions are removed. The software itself does not need to be upgraded or re-installed in any way.
- Whenever the input method component is installed for the first time (i.e. no existing component had to be updated), the required Restart or Log Out can be deferred by clicking a new “Later” button. Note that this doesn’t mean interactive features are available right away! Note that on some systems, it’s possible that the newly-installed component will actually appear in System Preferences/International. You may even be able to turn it on, and it may even appear in the input menu. But it’s not going to work properly until you Restart or Log Out.
- Changes to the order and way that spelling references are checked. Now “overriding” a word that exists in a Main Spellings or Additional Spellings reference with its “ending dot” or “no ending dot” variation works as expected with respect to end-of-sentence determination. This is most noticeable with the Interactive, Automatic preference to “Capitalize the first word of a sentence.”
- Work-around for bugs in Apple’s Mail 2.0 application on Tiger related to the way it handles spaces sent to it by an input method. Mail handles spaces typed on a keyboard differently from spaces given to it from an input method, causing various strange behaviors. The side-effect is that expansions containing many spaces will be made slower in Mail than other apps.
Much improved handling of the Ignore button in the OS X Spelling Panel (or contextual menu item). Note that the way Spell Catcher implements Ignore is somewhat different from the way Apple’s built-in spelling service “expects” things to be done.
Ignore with a Spell Catcher language chosen behaves very much like the Spell Catcher “Ignore All” command – the Ignored word is added to the Ignore All (Spelling preferences, Ignore All tab) list for the current language. One caveat - it’s actually not possible to definitively know what language is chosen in the Spelling Panel when the Ignore button is clicked, as it is not supplied to a spelling service along with the word to be ignored. Spell Catcher does its best to keep track of the Spelling Panel’s most-recently used language, but if you use the contextual menu it’s possible that word you clicked on is associated with a different language than the one the word before it (in time, not position) was spell checked in.
On the other hand, I think Spell Catcher’s behavior is preferable to the default, where Ignored words are associated with the document itself (which can contain paragraphs in multiple languages), not the language of the Ignored word.
- Import and export of Shorthand Glossary documents to XML property list format. It’s even possible to customize the names of the dictionary keys used for the values stored in the XML file. Send an e-mail to our feedback address if you need to know the details.
- Now possible to license the software simply by clicking a Spell Catcher X-specific URL. This is even easier than copy and paste or drag and drop - a couple of clicks (no typing ever!) is all that’s required.
- Updated the built-in list of default Dictionary Servers (shown in the menu in the Host: field).
- The Dictionary Server at dict.org (Spell Catcher’s “default”) now has a slew of new databases. One of these is actually not a database, but a marker of sorts. Spell Catcher X 10.2.1 now deals with (well, ignores) this special non-database. Some of the other new databases are actually “virtual databases,” meaning they are essentially wrappers for look ups into some set of regular databases. Because there is no way for Spell Catcher to know which databases are searched by a virtual database, it can’t indicate whether results were obtained for a look up in one of these - you won’t see it as a blue, clickable item in the References drawer.
Improvements (mostly simplifications) to the License Manager window and its various dialogs and sheets:
- You can now create a backup “Licensing Instructions” document simply by dragging a valid, active license from the list to the Finder (i.e. a shortcut for choosing Save As… from the File menu).
- Fixed some issues related to licensee names and companies that contained certain accented or Unicode characters.
- You can now easily “re-request” your license key by selecting a license in the list (even if not for the current installation) and clicking “Refresh License…”. This is very handy if you need to re-license the software because your installation id has changed (a motherboard repair), or on another of your own machines because you copied or restored your Application Support/Spell Catcher folder to it (so all you see is a “not for this installation” license).
- Any customer that has purchased any of the add-on languages (Canadian English, Dutch, Portuguese or Brazilian Portuguese) has had their license updated to reflect this. If you refresh your license, you will see these appear below the license list when you select the license in the License Manager window. The main benefit is that if you are licensed for one of these languages, you can now use the “Get Updates and Languages” command to download the latest version. In the future, we will be enforcing the requirement that your license includes a specific extra-cost language for Spell Catcher to actually use it.
- Error alert sounds are now played through the same sound output device used for system alerts and sound effects.
Uses new APIs available in Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) to do some of the things we have to do the “hard way” on earlier versions of Mac OS X. This will generally result in better performance in these areas when Spell Catcher is running on Tiger:
- Cocoa on Tiger supports (much better than Panther) drawing text in various UI elements (tables, lists, outlines, static and editable text) with truncation (and squishing). Spell Catcher X 10.2.1 uses this instead of yours truly’s BetterTruncatingStringsInTableView when running on 10.4.
- In the various reference document editing windows, the word (or abbreviation) column is displayed with truncation (if necessary), but can be edited properly.
- Tiger has proper support for tooltips (help tags) for table cells and outline items, which Spell Catcher X 10.2.1 now uses. The existing implementation (a very tricky thing, and a bit processor-intensive for tables and outlines with a lot of rows) is still used on 10.2.x and 10.3.x.
- Worked-around a bug in 10.4 where HTML received from our server when some sort of licensing error occurs when directly downloading a license key. The HTML fails to get converted into RTF for display purposes. The symptom was a minute-long period where nothing at all seemed to be happening, followed by a spurious error about our server possibly being down (which wasn’t at all the problem).
- Fixed: Ignore from the Spelling Panel will no longer add words to the default U.S. English Learned Words document.
- Fixed: Problems opening Reference documents stored on an unmounted server volume. This means that you may be prompted for a username/password when Spell Catcher attempts to mount the volume - probably not what you want during startup time. Best advice: save the passwords for any such volumes in the Keychain, and allow Spell Catcher access to them.
Fixes from the 10.2 (Build 4B1) Input Method component have been rolled in:
- Fixed a problem when typing non-completing characters after a dead key press. The most evident problems occurred after typing something like (U.S. Keyboard) option-e, delete or option-i, return. Most non-control character unexpected dead key completions were fine. All expected dead key sequences were fine as well.
- Fixed a problem where mouse down events would not always be seen, therefore interactive checking wasn’t getting reset at all the appropriate times. This was evident in Tex-Edit Plus, perhaps other applications as well.
- If you have the preference to suppress tab, return and enter when an error is signalled, it wasn’t obvious how to “break loose” of this. Escape worked, as did clicking the mouse. Now, if you type the suppressed character twice in a row, the error will be ignored and that character will not get suppressed. In other words, now typing two tabs in a row or two returns in a row when the first gets suppressed will ignore the error and perform the action associated with that control key (tab to the next field, perform the default button’s action).
- Numerous other minor changes and fixes.
- Built with Xcode 2.0.