1. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Spelling Filter

    Discussion in 'Support & Feedback' started by Gannon, Feb 13, 2009.

    As a writing forum, would it be appropriate to investigate the addition of a spelling filter? In the same way that most email accounts can have a spelling filter attached, could that be a feature we have here when posting?

    Clearly they would be some expense to Daniel, but I thought it might be a useful tool for us all, for those that have difficulty with spelling, and for those that have difficulty typing!

    The filter would probably have to be set as US English which would alienate certain users but I see the benefits outweighing the negatives. Any call for a filter encouraging laziness I think would be unfounded. We all make mistakes and this could be a level playing field.

    Vetting of posts already occurs with the profanity filter so I imagine (although I am no expert) that a spelling filter would just be an addition to this technology, i.e. running all words past a database of acceptable terms and questioning those that do not match. It may make posting a slightly more lengthy process, but it would help the user identify errors and correct them in future, as well as helping the reader / reviewer wade through a text that could ordinarily contain distracting typos.
     
  2. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I actually like this idea, Gannon. Definitely something to look into. As a side note, I think firefox has an inbuilt spellchecker. Does anyone know how to turn it on?
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There is a check spelling option per user on the site, but it requires you obtain a third party spell checker. I think that is actually a wiser way to go, given the diversity on the forum. With the user selecting the spell chacker, he or she can select one that knows the particular dialect of English for that member's locale.

    Also, with a user-selected spell checker, the member can add words created for his or her project, at the member's own risk of course.

    The profanity filter is a pretty limited tech. It's a very simple regular expression filter, not really extensible for general spell checking. Even a modest vocabulary would result in extremely slow performance, and the driver doesn't allow the user to say yea or nay on individual hits.

    As a side note, most people already copy and paste their stories for review from Word documents, which has more than adequate spell checking. And yet those spelling errors persist. Even when people do pay attention to the "red squiggles", it doesn't help them write too instead of to, or their instead of there.
     
  4. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sorry, to be clear Cog, you are suggesting that the users run all posts through a programme such as Word so as to correct the majority of typos and errors, if there is a concern over spelling?

    And to be clear, you are not saying there is a bolt-on we can add to our user profiles to scan all posts? That would be ideal, providing it didn't slow the run time of the site. I suspect however this is not an option.

    If not, where is this third party checker, and how do we assign it? Thanks
     
  5. garmar69
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    garmar69 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I use Firefox, like Banzai mentioned. I love the spell check feature.

    Go to tools, options, then advanced and check the box marked check my spelling as I type.

    Also, I haven't had my internet browser crash even once. It used to happen on a regular basis with IE.

    It isn't going to catch words Cogito mentioned of course, but it is handy.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I know I found it once,but I'm not sure where it is anymore. Maybe it was removed in one of the software updates. I know at one point there was an option to enable spellchecking for edit windows, but if you enabled it, it gave you instructions to download a the needed software.

    I decided not to bother with it, so I can't tell you if it was any good. But it was only applicable when creating or editing a post, not for scanning of existing posts.

    Ah - there it is! There is spell check button on the Advanced Edit, near the upper right. when I click on it, it offers to install ieSpell, a plugin for Internet Explorer. I guess it is invoking a standard(?) plugin interface for a browser-integrated spell checker. It may or may not work for other spelling checkers or other browsers. The referenced site is http://www.iespell.com/.
     

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