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Proper spelling is more than a courtesy; it’s also a sign of intelligence and good education.

These days, you don’t actually need to know how to spell to make a good impression. If you’re smart enough, you’ll just use one of the many free spell-check tools, some of which can also correct your grammar. And by paying a little attention to the corrections these tools make, you can also improve your native spelling skills Stop For A Grammar Check: 4 Areas Where You Can Improve Your Spelling & Grammar Stop For A Grammar Check: 4 Areas Where You Can Improve Your Spelling & Grammar Being a freelance writer or journalist isn't easy, particularly if you write in a language that isn't your mother tongue. Yet, many foreign speakers are tempted to write in English because it promises a greater... Read More on the go.

The Situation In Chrome

Chrome comes with a native spell-checker, which should be enabled by default. The dictionary is typically set to the language of your operating system, but you can add and switch between multiple languages. This spell checker also offers an advanced version that uses the Google search spell-checking technology. This, however, involves routing your text through Google’s servers. So let’s see all the options in detail.

Enable Chrome’s Native Spell-Checker

To enable or disable spell-checking, click the Chrome menu button in the top right on the browser toolbar. Select Settings and at the bottom click Show advanced settings. Scroll down to Languages and click the Language and input settings… button.

Chrome Languages

Notice that you can also enable or disable page translations.

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At the bottom of the Languages settings menu, you can check a box to Enable spell checking. Next to that option is a link to your Custom spelling dictionary, which lets you add words to the default dictionary used by Chrome. This is where you can add names and things you frequently use and know how to spell better than Google does.

Chrome Languages Settings

Add Additional Languages To The Chrome Spell-Checker

If you often type in another language than the default language of your operating system or Chrome, you can add different languages (dictionaries) to Chrome, such as English (United Kingdom) or Spanish. Click the Add button in the bottom left of the Languages settings window, choose the language from the drop-down menu and click Done.

Add Language To Chrome

Using The Spell-Checker In Chrome

So now you have enabled the spell-checker and added the languages you use. The question is, how does Chrome know when to spell-check and which language to use?

By default, Chrome spell-checks words in all text fields, however, you can easily and temporarily turn it off or make sure it’s turned on. At the same time, you can also change the language (dictionary) Chrome is using. Right-click into a text field and choose Spell-checker options from the menu. In the options menu, make sure the Check the spelling of text fields is checked and choose the appropriate language.

Spell Check Text Field In Chrome

In the example above I typed some German words, which were promptly marked as badly spelled as Chrome was using the English dictionary. After I set Chrome to German and clicked the line of text, the red underlining disappeared.

Note that Chrome (unlike Firefox) doesn’t automatically spell-check long texts you open. It will spell check everything as you type though, if spell check is enabled. To process a long text, for example when opening a post in WordPress, you have to click each paragraph to initiate Chrome’s spell-check for that paragraph.

Finding The Right Spelling

When you see a word that is marked as misspelled and can’t think of the right spelling for the life of you, right-click the word and see what Chrome suggests. In most cases, this will resolve the issue. In the example below, however, I purposely misspelled laugh as lauhg; a simple typo. Unfortunately, Chrome’s suggestions are pretty much useless.

Chrome Spell Suggestions

This is where Google’s advanced search features can be helpful.

Ask Google For Suggestions

Via the spell-checker options menu shown above, you can also Ask Google for suggestions, which will enable the spell-check technology used for Google search.

Google Search Did You Mean

The suggestions for the example above suddenly look like this:

Google Suggestions

Quickly Add Words To Your Custom Dictionary

As mentioned above, you have a custom dictionary that you can fill with words you frequently use and know how to spell better than Chrome or Google does. Rather than going through the settings menu, you can right-click on the word and select the Add to dictionary option from the top of the menu.

Add To Dictionary In Chrome

It’s a little disconcerting that Chrome’s only suggestion for how to “properly” spell MakeUseOf is Masseuse and Google has nothing to add to that. You would think they would know better!

Note that your custom dictionary is always enabled, regardless of which language you select.

Alternative Spell Checkers For Chrome

If you need a great spell-checker for Gmail, try exAutoCorrect for GMail. It’s better than Chrome’s in that it can automatically correct your bad spelling as you type and even fixes things like capitalizing words following a period. The tool recognizes around 700 common typos.

Auto Correct Spelling In Gmail

Be sure to read our review on this auto correct addon for Chrome Use exAutoCorrect To Make Spell Checking in Gmail Faster & Easier [Chrome] Use exAutoCorrect To Make Spell Checking in Gmail Faster & Easier [Chrome] One of the great things about typing into a word processor like Microsoft Word or Apple Pages is that they automatically fix common spelling mistakes. While most web browsers have come a long way with... Read More .

Finally, there is Ginger, a spell and grammar checker Get Improved Spelling & Grammar Corrections With Ginger [Chrome & Firefox] Get Improved Spelling & Grammar Corrections With Ginger [Chrome & Firefox] Whether you like to admit it or not, we all make heavy use of our computer's spell checker. They save us from all sorts of typos and downright horrible spelling. Thankfully, more powerful software such... Read More for Chrome and Firefox, which I want to mention because it also checks your grammar. In terms of its interface and integration, however, the native Chrome spell-checker has the advantage.

How Do you Spell-Check and Proofread?

The best spell & grammar checker will always be a human, aided by technology. Technology often isn’t smart enough to understand the context and thus may offer funny words. By asking Google for suggestions, however, you will get close to perfect corrections.

How do you ensure proper spelling and grammar? Do let us know in the comments which tools or techniques you use!

  1. FileEagle.com Chris
    March 27, 2016 at 1:24 am

    I start using Grammarly (Chrome extension) to check grammar errors.

  2. Doug Larsen
    February 24, 2016 at 4:20 am

    I see no "enable spell checking" to turn this on. My old laptop with Windoze 7 was no problem. The new laptop with Windoze 10 must be to blame. It won't spell check consistently. For instance, my first use of "Windoze" went unmarked. The second one has the squiggle red line under it. The third use goes unmarked. Go figure. Go Microsoften (ah! it caught that one though)...

    • Tina Sieber
      February 26, 2016 at 10:29 am

      This article is more than two years old and Chrome is ever evolving. Here is how it works now...

      Either follow the instructions above and click the Language and input settings… button --or-- right-click into a text field in Chrome and select Language settings....

      In the Languages window that will open, add the language for which you need spell checking and select Use this language for spell checking.

      Unfortunately, Chrome can only spell check one language at a time.

  3. SteveSi
    May 12, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    My CSM does not provide spell checking.
    is there a way I can enable spell checking on web pages to check the spelling on those pages?
    i.e. in the browser, I go to http://www.somewhere.com and then enable spelllchecking on the page?

  4. James B
    March 11, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    I would like that Chrome would automatically detect the language I am writing in. I use 4 languages on a daily basis and it is annoying to have to switch between dictionaries to get the correct word check . I am writing every day in English, German, Spanish and Russian. Is it possible to make this automatically?

  5. Ian
    February 10, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    There is no option to enable spell checking in the languages section of chrome as you describe.

    • Tina Sieber
      February 10, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      Ian, the article was written in September 2013 and Chrome has changed quite a bit since then. The option is still there, though.

      Go into advanced settings as described above, scroll down to Languages and click the "Language and input settings..." button. At the bottom of the window that comes up, check "Enable spell checking". Does that work?

    • Connor R
      February 10, 2015 at 5:31 pm

      Ian, I am in the same boat and bet you are on a Mac. If so, then you must also change your settings in the OS, in System Preferences, like this link says, but I am not sure what to change. If you have any insight, I'd appreciate it (see the little light-bulb note): https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/95604?hl=en

    • Tina Sieber
      February 11, 2015 at 8:54 am

      Thanks so much for pointing that out, Connor! Didn't consider the settings could be different based on the OS.

  6. Francisco
    September 26, 2013 at 2:06 am

    Is there any add-on that changes to the language that you are typing, like MS Word does? I write both in English and Spanish, don't use one more than the other, and it would be great if Chrome could auto-detect what language I am typing at any given moment.

    • Charly
      March 2, 2014 at 9:55 pm

      Same here, well, my english is not even 50% as good as my spanish but i do use english a lot when sending some e-mails or posting stuff on facebook, twitter or in youtube.

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