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On Spell-checking in Mac OS X

January 21, 2016

I think the longest-standing annoyance I had with the Mac OS line of operating systems was spell-checking. As I’m a fairly good speller, even in English, most of the underlined stuff on my screen were just bugs in their software. I write in three different languages - Polish, Spanish, and English, sometimes even mixing them. That is a usecase that Apple never seemed to have figured out.

Long story short, one of the first things I did when configuring a new machine was disabling it. Well, in the early days I think it was easy to do, but it got a lot more complicated with next versions of Mac OS. Recently, I considered it impossible and came to terms with those vicious red snakes appearing in random places on the screen.

But the story doesn’t end here. Now we have El Capitan and I found a solution that seems to be working for me! Here’s how I do it in three easy steps:

  1. Go to System Preferences >> Keyboard >> Text.
  2. In the Spelling dropdown choose “Set up…” and unselect all the languages. (This is the step that previously wasn’t possible, you always had to leave one selected.)
  3. In the Spelling dropdown set the “Automatic by Language” option.

From now on, you should be fairly free of Apple’s failing attempts at spelling suggestions. Enjoy!

Written by Wojciech Ogrodowczyk who takes photos, climbs mountains, and runs Brains & Beards to help companies deliver better mobile applications faster.

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