Only Word Check uses the preferred Australian English spelling. Other sites use American or British English. Check your spelling using Australian English spelling.

FREE Word Check
Australian Dictionary

Now with spelling suggestions and links to definitions.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Did you know Outlook web apps uses the spellchecker in your browser?

I get notified of spelling related articles on the internet. I found this article interesting as I wasn't aware that Microsoft's Outlook web apps use the browser's spellchecker. I'd never thought about it really. Older browsers didn't have spellchecking and online services typically used their own spellcheckers. Even as I type this I can see the check spelling option of Blogger, but my testing does indicate the browser is performing the spellcheck as you type function.

(NOTE: Being a little pedantic, but the article contains an error. They've been very good to be careful with their wording, but at the start of the second paragraph missed "Spell checking" which should be "Spellchecking". It's an easy error to make as that is one created by their spellchecker.)

Back on topic. That now means spellchecking is only as good as the dictionary you have installed and the standard dictionary contains many issues and errors. I've identified over two and half thousand with Microsoft products. Those using Google Chrome and Firefox will have even more because they use my obsolete open source work.

The best spellchecking experience for Australians is available using my add-in files for Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer and Apple Mac OSX (which covers native applications such as Safari, Apple mail and other applications, but weird as it may sound, is used by Microsoft Outlook). The Mac OSX native dictionary is still a work in progress but even at this stage is very good.

If you're interested in the best spellchecking experience you can find more information at

Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, July 13, 2015

When using software and online services keep in mind there's quite a lot of American spelling.

Every day as I use my computer and online services I see American spelling. I open the MacBook Air and see words such as color, maximize and center. Open up Microsoft Windows and I'll see words such as favorites and maximize.

Recently the following message popped up in Google using the spelling "spelled" instead of "spelt".

The problem I find is many of these incorrect spelling variations start to be considered the norm, or confuse people. The spelling "spell check" is often considered to be correct by many since the spellchecker changes the spelling from "spellcheck" to "spell check". Since the word processor makes the change it must be right, right? The answer is no, it is wrong.

The tools we use every day to assist us with our writing are full of American spelling variations and errors. It's important to keep this in mind so the tools don't negatively impact your writing. The preferred Australian English spelling tools I create improve the tools for the content you create, but we're not able to improve the user interface at this stage. Australia represents around 1-3% of the global market which isn't a large slice, so we need to keep in mind where we're positioned on the global stage.

As I find software or techniques to provide a better experience for Australians, I'll share that information via this blog.

Kelvin Eldridge

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Microsoft Office 2016 now available on Mac OSX so I decided to test the use of the preferred Australian English spelling.

I recently read that Microsoft Office 2016 for the Mac is now available for download if you're an Office 365 user. I decided to download and test Office 2016, specifically with respect to  the preferred Australian English spelling.

The download and installed worked well. I first confirmed Microsoft Office applications such as Word/Excel still use Microsoft's own dictionary. Outlook still uses your selected Apple dictionary. I find this truly weird, but it indicates Microsoft's developer teams may be separate for Outlook and the rest of Office. I was wondering if this would change but it hasn't. At least that's now known.

As I was using Microsoft Office 2016 I notice a number of American spellings in the menus. First I thought perhaps I hadn't set up something correctly. Reading further indicates the Microsoft Office user interface takes the language from the OSX operating system. I then checked the Language & Region setting. It was set to English so I thought that was the problem. I could see for example in Desktop & Screen Saver the spelling "Solid colors". I then decided to add English (Australia) and remove any other language so as to be very specific. That didn't help.

Unfortunately at this stage I don't seem to be able to find a way to remove the American spelling from the user interface for the Apple MacBook Air and thus Microsoft Office. I'm starting to get a feeling this may end up being one of those, they simply don't care enough about the Australian market. Happy for us to buy their products, but not enough to put in the extra yards to make it specific to the market. I hope I'm wrong.

Perhaps I'm wrong and there's something I'm overlooking. When time permits I'll drop into the local Apple Genius bar and see what they say.

Personally I don't think this good enough for either Apple or Microsoft. In the past I've tried to escalate language issues within Microsoft for years to no avail, so I don't really feel like expending that type of energy again for Apple.

It really irks me to think of the millions of Australians using Apple products who are constantly being shown American spelling. It's hard enough to spell correctly without being shown the incorrect spelling for words making us doubt ourselves.

Microsoft Office 2016 is available now for Office 365 users. From what I've read, for those who wish to purchase Microsoft Office product rather than subscribe, the release date is most likely around the Spring/September timeframe.

For those who have purchased my dictionary files, the files will continue to work as they did for Office 2013 and Mac OSX.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling for Microsoft Office.