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Some good things do come in small packages and TinySpell (a spell checker for Windows) is one of them. For those interested in the written word and its correct spelling, TinySpell is a must have. There are lots of spelling utilities out there like the well known WordWeb or even Office suite’s own spell checker, but they require our intervention to give the correct spelling. TinySpell does the same job on the fly for any Windows application.

So in effect it becomes useful for applications like Notepad which do not have an in-built spellchecker. TinySpell comes as a freeware and also as a paid app. Here we will of course take a look at the freeware version.

spell checker for windows

TinySpell sits in the system tray and waits for you to commit a spelling mistake. It watches over your data in two ways.

Checking on the fly

It keeps tabs on your typing and then alerts you to any spelling errors. When it detects a misspelled word, an alarm beeps and shows a spelling tip and the TinySpell icon in the system tray changes colour from white to yellow.

Checking the clipboard

TinySpell also monitors the clipboard for any spell checks on the text you copy there. Again, the program notifies the user with a beep and a yellow icon. If the icon remains white it means that there’s no spelling errors in the text copied to the clipboard.

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Correct your mistakes with a click

To correct the spelling mistakes click the TinySpell icon or press the assigned hot-key. A pop up gives a list of probable replacement words to select from the list. The selected word is inserted into your document, or is copied to the clipboard so you can paste it in your document.

tinyspell - windows spell check dictionary

The Dictionary

Of course, TinySpell is not the cure-all for poor English but it offers a lot of help with its 110,000 word rich American-English dictionary. Alas, the free version does not allow the adding of additional dictionaries; a facility provided in the paid TinySpell+ version. But as a consolation you can add (and remove) individual words to the dictionary in the way we do in Microsoft Word. There is also a tiny spelling window where you can search for the correct spelling of a misspelt word.

The End Opinion

For a 1.3 MB sized application, don’t expect an automated Webster clone and you won’t be disappointed. The program does live up to its name as a small utilitarian tool. It hogs very little of system resources and does indeed check for spelling errors in any application.

I tried it out within the text entry fields of web pages, Notepad, Paint and a few more and it does a fairly good job of alerting the user through beeps and visual cues. If the beeps jangle your nerves, they can be replaced easily with a more pleasing .wav sound file from the settings.


For the sake of criticism let’s say that the user needs to pause and correct the misspelt word immediately as there are no red underlines akin to MS Word. Accessibility would have got a boost with a right click context add-in.

All in all though, it’s worth every bit of its 561KB download.

TinySpell v1.7 is available from here and supports Windows 2000/XP/Vista.

Let us know what you think of it or perhaps you know of a better program?

  1. linuxman
    September 3, 2009 at 8:27 am

    Is there a similar app or linux? Also, as Linux is gaining market share, would it not be worth considering adding even a small blurb on a similar Linux app?

    Thanks in advance

    • Saikat
      September 5, 2009 at 1:08 am

      I am not very sure as I am an absolute zero with Linux. But isn't there something called Aspell? Here's the Wikipedia link.

      • linuxman
        September 6, 2009 at 9:13 pm

        Appreciate the reply and the assist. Aspell does exist for *nix machines, but was hoping you may have found something that worked even better than that.

        • Saikat
          September 8, 2009 at 12:52 am

          Will surely let you know if I come across something. You do the same...take care.

  2. Kevin
    August 10, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    An update!

    The bug I mentioned above, (the enter key), has been fixed, thanks to Joseph (TinySpell)! What fantastic support, after I questioned if it was a bug he quickly fixed it!

    A must have utility - go & buy the plus version!

    • Saikat
      August 10, 2009 at 10:51 pm

      The Web Info addition is also nice. Thanks for the update on the fix, Kevin.

  3. Kevin
    August 5, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    I'm using the plus (registered) version & it's definitely worth the small price. It does have several bugs & limitations which hopefully will be corrected with updates (e.g. it doesn't recognise a new line - enter - in Outlook Express & assumes the two words are one - most annoying).

    Once additional words are added (like names) it becomes very usable, it's a pity that the LEX file (lexicon) from Microsoft word can not be added, but I guess it's a copyright thing. If you have a text file with additional words (space separated) then these words can be added easily - a great feature!

  4. Brady
    January 6, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    Nice. I like it. I can't stand poor spelling.

  5. Alek Davis
    January 5, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    This should be handy for IM'ing in Communicator and the like apps. Thanks, I was looking for something like this for a long time.

  6. Pavan Kumar
    January 5, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Wow, working on notepad.. I should give it a try.. :-)

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