As a web writer, correct spellings are essential to my work. As it is something that I have to be a perfectionist about, I take a lot of care with my proofreading with an installed dictionary. I also “˜live’ a lot within the Firefox browser and that too necessitates a good spell checker.
Thankfully, Firefox has a good one built right in. The worth of a spell checker can be realized when one is composing a professional email within a compose box or filling up a web form or writing in a blog. An error can spell bad results.
So, here’s a tour of spell checking with the Firefox dictionary.
Correct The Culprit
By default, Firefox catches all misspelt words since the spell checker is enabled. If it is not, then all the user needs to do is to check and enable “˜Check Spelling’ in the context menu. The wrongfully spelt out word gets marked out by a red dotted line. Right click on the word and you will get in the context menu a few correct options to choose from. Select the right one and your mistake stands corrected.
Add A Dictionary
In some cases, spell checking might not work. The antidote then lies in a byte-sized download. Firefox makes available to the user a number of dictionaries varying across languages. These dictionaries can be accessed via a download from the “˜Add Dictionaries’ context menu entry. The steps to follow are…
- Right click on any word or in a blank text field.
- In the context menu, go down to “˜Languages’ – “˜Add Dictionaries’
The browser directs you to the “˜Dictionaries & Language Packs’. There are nearly 71 available for download. You can download and use more than one dictionary. For instance, I use the English (US) and the English (UK) ones interchangeably because of the minute nuances in usage.
As a last confirmatory step, go to “˜Tools’ (on the Firefox toolbar)…choose “˜Options’…click on “˜Advanced’…and under the “˜General’ tab make sure that “˜Check my spelling as I type’ is checked.
Edit & Enhance The Dictionary
Just below the list of correct words in the context menu is the “˜Add to Dictionary’ entry. This allows individual addition of new words into the database of the dictionary. But sometimes because of our own click-happiness a lot of wrong words also find a place in the dictionary.
To correct the error of our ways, we have to drill down into our application folders where the Firefox profile folders are stored.
For Windows XP, it is – C:\Documents and Settings\[User Name]\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\xxxxxxxx.default\
For Windows Vista, it is – %AppData%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\xxx.default
Note : For viewing the “˜Application Data’ folder, you might need to enable “˜Show Hidden Files And Folders’ through the “˜Folder Options (View)’ tab under “˜Tools’ on the menu toolbar.
- Single out the file named “˜persdict.dat’. Open it with Notepad to see all the added words.
- Delete the words which are not required.
- Another added benefit of “˜hacking’ this file is that you can add en masse a lot of words. For instance, technical jargons, acronyms, trade names etc.
- As the “˜persdict.dat’ file is perfectly editable, any replicable word list can be copy-pasted into the “˜dat’ file. For instance, the “˜custom.dic’ file created while adding custom dictionary words in MS Word can be accessed through the “˜C:\Documents and Settings\[User Name]\Application Data\Microsoft\Proof’ path and the word list copied into the Firefox file.
- As you hop across computers, take the “˜persdict.dat’ file with you as it can also be copied into the same location in another computer thus giving you a personal portable spell checker to work with.
Thanks to Firefox, now spell checking is just a right click for the alphabetically challenged. Also remember to read my other article on TinySpell which may be a better solution for you.
So, how do you find the spell checker? Does it help you with your typos? Let us know your views in the comments.