What's New in Spell Catcher X version 10.2.2
Spell Catcher X version 10.2.2 is built as a Universal application and component, and will run natively on both PowerPC and Intel Macintosh computers.
Spell Catcher X 10.2.2 also introduces a handful of new features, along with other enhancements and bug fixes. This document gives you an overview. Spell Catcher X versions 10.2 and 10.2.1 introduced a much larger number of new features. Choose What Was New in 10.2.1? and What Was New in 10.2? from the Help menu in the Spell Catcher application to see what was added in those versions. 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.
Spell Catcher X version 10.2.2 or later is required for use on Intel Macs.
System Requirements Have Changed!
Spell Catcher X 10.2.2 requires Mac OS X 10.3.9, or Mac OS X 10.4.3 or later. Those using Mac OS X 10.2 through 10.3.8 should continue to use Spell Catcher X 10.2.1.
Spell Catcher X 10.2.2 is a Universal Macintosh application and input method component. Input method (and other) components must be built as Universal for use on an Intel-based Macintosh.
New Interactive Preference
A preference has been added to the Interactive pane, Typing tab: Ignore typing when the application is automatically completing. This is useful when you don’t want Spell Catcher “interfering” when, for example, Mail is automatically completing email addresses when composing a message.
Note that there is no definitive way to tell when an application is performing its own automatic completion. This feature requires that the application is able to return to an input method whether there is text selected in a document (as opposed to just an insertion point), and that the application, during automatic completion, selects the portion of text that is the proposed completion.
New Alert Sounds
Alert sounds can now be played for Automatic Changes (nothing is played for double space prevention) and for when the Caps Lock key is engaged (useful for those times when accidentally hit).
More Predictable “Quitting”
When Quitting the Spell Catcher X application while the input method is in use, interactive features and other commands available with the input method are disabled by default. This makes sure that the input method does not re-launch the application (it may be re-launched by the Mac OS itself for other reasons, like the Spelling Panel or commands from the Services menu). All commands in the input menu are removed, leaving an “Open Spell Catcher” item, and the usual “Set Keyboard” submenu. This, along with other changes mentioned below, makes upgrading the product quite a bit easier.
Simplified Update Procedure
The input method can now be updated “live” - while it’s active, while it’s in use. This means that you can now update your Spell Catcher installation without having to choose a keyboard first. Combined with the above new “Quit” behavior, updating is (very nearly) as simple as with any other application. Just Quit the Spell Catcher application, copy the new version of the app over the old, and launch it. If the version you are updating from is 10.2.2b1 or newer, you will not be asked to choose a keyboard if Spell Catcher’s input method is active! It’s still strongly recommended that you restart after updating the component, but no longer strictly necessary.
- Note: In those applications that were open at the time the component is updated, Spell Catcher’s input method will be disabled.
Spell Catcher X has some powerful tools available for developers to help implement and test certain aspects of their application’s text input (TSM or NSTextInput) support. These tools must be manually enabled by using the
defaults command in the Terminal. See the For Developers for more information.
- Enhanced: Compatibility with Dashboard Widgets, specifically when sending text with spaces to the widget (interactive corrections and expansions), and ensuring that the Suggest Spelling window and pop-up windows appear above the widget’s own window.
- Enhanced: Improved performance of the input method, specifically in those apps or when typing any character that might trigger a notification that Spell Catcher should enable/update its input menu items. In older Carbon applications, this can happen quite frequently. In newer applications (any variety), this is less of an issue but it still showed up as a hotspot in Shark profiles.
- Enhanced: Numerous other performance improvements in the input method, some due to removal of ancient Jaguar-specific code.
- Enhanced: Spell Catcher application launch time performance improved, in some instances dramatically.
Enhanced: Better conversion of text sent by a DICT server for use in the Look Up window. It’s likely that the result’s you’ve seen in the Look Up window sometimes don’t seem “quite right.” The proper encoding wasn’t being used when converting the text from a DICT server to a Unicode string.
- We now use the Text Encoding Converter, which can handle the older Unicode standard used by these servers. While still not perfect, we can now relatively safely say that if you see a strange character, the problem is with the database on the server, and not with Spell Catcher X (or possibly due to the font you’ve chosen for the Look Up results). Now, especially when looking up results from one of the DICT servers that use non-Roman script language databases, and from the various Wiki database some of them host, you’ll correctly see Japanese, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, etc. text in the Look Up results.
- Enhanced: When assigning keyboard shortcuts in Spell Catcher Preferences, Shortcuts pane, conflicts with shortcuts defined in System Preferences, Keyboard & Mouse pane, Keyboard Shortcuts tab are detected.
Enhanced: Spell Catcher’s input method is able to determine and use the currently-selected text (for commands like Check Word “word”, Find “word” in References, and Look Up “word”) in Applications that don’t support TSM Document Access, but do support the (older, somewhat more available)
kEventTextInputGetSelectedTextevent. Many Carbon apps that don’t support doc access do support this (MS Office 2004, for example).
- Enhanced: Check Word, Look Up, and Find in References, when used from the input menu when there is a selection (in an application that supports access to the selected text), are much more tolerant of selections that include leading or trailing whitespace characters. For example, Word seems to insist on selecting whitespace following a word when you double-click it (I can’t find a Word preference to change this behavior - but it’s possible there is one).
- Enhanced: The Open International button in Spell Catcher Preferences, Interactive pane, automatically selects the Input Menu tab. Likewise, the Open International button in Spell Catcher Preferences, Language pane, selects the Language tab.
- Enhanced: Additional buttons in the error sheet shown when a problem occurs with a direct download key request.
- Enhanced: Button cells (checkboxes, radio buttons, etc.) in table and outline columns (for example, the “Use?” column in Spell Catcher Preferences, References pane) now change size appropriately based on the font being used for that table. There are three sizes available on Mac OS X 10.3 and later: mini, small and regular. You can see this by changing the font size (Spell Catcher Preferences, General) for reference lists while (say) the Look Up window is open and the References drawer is visible.
- Enhanced: An Install button appears in the About box when Spell Catcher’s input method component isn’t installed. This installs the input method component to your home Library/Components folder. And yes, you still need to restart before you can use the newly-installed component.
- Enhanced: Any description for a Dictionary Server that’s in the default list will now be displayed below the Host and Port fields. These descriptions come with the XML file that we download from the internet, and are not generally editable.
- Enhanced: Better error messages for the various network-related errors that can occur when dealing with Dictionary Servers and the internet in general.
- Changed: On Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger), a Restart is necessary when installing the input method component for the first time. On previous versions of Mac OS X, logging out and in again was usually good enough. So now, on Tiger, the default action after installing the input method is to Restart.
- Changed: Word Count and Statistics Modify Selection modules now convert the text to pre-composed Unicode (NFKC) before performing calculations.
- Changed: Updated the built-in list of default Dictionary Servers (shown in the menu in the Host: field).
- Changed: No more warning about services availability when turning on/off Modify Selection Macros in the Edit Macros window. This warning applied only to Jaguar, Services menus are updated on-the-fly on Panther and later.
- Changed: The Check Word window now uses the Shift key as the modifier (Shift-click the “Refresh” button) to force generation of suggestions, even for words considered to be correctly spelled. Previously, the Option key was used in this window, which wasn’t consistent with the same feature in the Suggest Spelling and Check Selection windows.
- Changed: Matching Address Book cards (completion) will now be found by name or company, regardless of the “This is a Company” setting. Previously, Company cards could only be matched on company name (not first, last or nickname), and Person cards only on first, last and nickname (not company name).
- Updated: Speech recognition has been updated to include new commands and more closely resemble what’s in the input menu.
- Updated: Additions, changes, and general clean-up of Spell Catcher’s Help Book.
- Fixed: Spell Catcher Preferences, General pane, Don’t become the active application checkbox not properly synchronized with the actual saved setting.
- Fixed: Exception raised when using a case-changing Modify Selection module on text that contains characters that change length when their case changes. Examples include ligatures such as ﬁ, ﬂ, ﬀ, and ﬄ when converted to uppercase, and “ß” in German (uppercase is “SS”).
- Fixed: Memory “congestion” that could occasionally happen when cancelling a Look Up (which also includes performing a new one before the current one is complete) when attempts to contact a Dictionary Server failed in certain specific ways. I refer to this as “congestion” rather than leakage, as closing the Look Up window would always free these extraneous, allocated-but-not-really-doing-anything objects.
- Fixed: “Forced” use of an Online Dictionary Server even when none are actually “Used”. Specifically, this would happen when performing a Look Up via the input menu or the Look Up button in the Suggest Spelling or Check Word windows, and the current language was U.S. English.
Fixes from the 10.2.1 (Build 5B1) Input Method component have been rolled in:
- Fixed a crash that can occur if you start typing immediately after choosing Spell Catcher from the input menu if the Spell Catcher application is not already open at that time (i.e. the input method needs to launch the Spell Catcher app, and you start typing before the app finishes launching).
- Fixed: A few assorted typos and wrong-way smart quotes in strings and dialogs.
- Fixed: Numerous little obscure bugs and annoyances.
- Substantial amount of code clean-up, removing no-longer-needed Jaguar-specific stuff, especially in the Spell Catcher application and input method (not so much in the Spell Server or Spell Catcher Services app, but nothing went untouched).
- Built with the Xcode 2.2.1 and gcc4.
For the Moderately Adventurous Ghostwriter User
There is a new
SCGhostwriterDateFormat user default key (a string) to change the date format used to name Ghostwriter's "daily" folders. Currently, there is no user interface for this, so you have to use the defaults command in the Terminal, or edit the
com.rainmaker.SpellCatcher.plist file). The value is a string, and should be a date format specifier compatible with
For example, to have Ghostwriter create folders named like “yyyy-mm-dd”:
defaults write com.rainmaker.SpellCatcher SCGhostwriterDateFormat -string "%Y-%m-%d"
To revert to the default format (the “full” date format specified in International System Preferences):
defaults write com.rainmaker.SpellCatcher SCGhostwriterDateFormat -string ""
You should Quit the Spell Catcher application before making this change, and either restart or log out and in again afterwards to have it take effect.