Apr 17, 2008
Medhelp evidently has no plans just now for a spell check feature, but for right now you can have your cake and eat it too! How about a spell checker that works HERE -and EVERYWHERE on the 'net?
Step right up, friends, while I climb up on this wagon tail gate so I may address all of you in the gathered crowd and you can witness this miracle of modern science before your VERY EYES! Friends, I’m going to give you not one, not two, but THREE ways to check your spelling and because you’ve taken your precious time to come here today, each and every one is FREE with a bottle of my patented rattlesnake oil and restorative.
You ask me, “How better?!” And I’ll tell you: Web site spell checkers are on the web site computer, probably thousands of miles away from your PC, and so must run back and forth, back and forth from your PC to the dictionary on the web computer to check each and every word. This is like trying to explain to someone how to draw the Mona Lisa over a cell phone camera! Takes a long time and is often unreliable. But my friends, suppose the dictionary was right in YOUR computer? THEN it would work instantly. Well, that’s what we are going to do.
I hold here in my hand the latest copy of the Merriam Webster New Collegiate Dictionary -over 125,000 words and behind me here my lovely assistant is pointing to the other standard lexicons known and respected by language authorities everywhere! Yes,we are going to compress all of these into a few electrons and and put them in YOUR computer, so you can check your spelling not just on Medhelp -but everywhere you enter text on the web. Step right up folks, and select the version you want -or take all three!
OK, enough of that.
If you already have the latest version of Mozilla Firefox, then you already have spell check -you need go no further. If you have Firefox and just don’t know how to USE the spell check, follow the How It Works instructions for Firefox, below:
1. THE FIREFOX BROWSER WAY:
Go to www.mozilla.com
Click the download button
Install in the usual manner, configure for the home page you want, etc.
Next time you want to go on the internet, use Firefox.
How it works: Spell check is “always on” with Firefox, scanning each word as you type it in. No need to click a button to start it up. Errors are marked with a red underline. Right-click the bad word and choose from a list of alternatives. The latest Firefox version DOES support adding new words (like "PM") to the dictionary.
Benefits: Free, fast and easy.
Possible Issues: Learning how a new browser works (its pretty easy).
2. THE GOOGLE WAY:
Go to www.toolbar.google.com
For Internet Explorer (IE) version 6 or later running under Windows 2000, Vista, or XP, click the “Install Google Toolbar” button. (If you don’t know what version of IE you are using, go to IE, click Help, then select About to see the version number. Unless your are using a very old PC, chances are you are already using version 6 or higher.)
There is a separate link for the Firefox version.
How it Works: I don’t know -never tried it.
Benefits: free and easy
Possible Issues: Spell check is just ONE of many features on the Google toolbar. You may not want the others and most, as you might imagine, are Google-oriented. It may also replace or conflict with other customized browser toolbars you already have. I don’t want it because I like a “lean” machine.
3. THE ieSpell WAY (best way in most cases):
This works with Internet Explorer, the browser most people use.
Go to www.iespell.com
Read over the feature list if you want.
In the left margin, click Download. A new page appears.
In the middle of the page, click “download now!” for the Cnet “mirror.” If that one’s busy, try the next one down, etc. NOTE: Click the “download now!” link toward the left -not the link toward the right, for the server itself.
Download and install in the usual manner.
After installation, next time you fire up your browser, you should see an ieSpell button on the browser tool bar. Click it to start spell check.
If you do NOT see it, then click Tools (on the menu bar) and select ieSpell there to start it. (*)
You may also start it by right-clicking your mouse while you are in a text entry box, then selecting ieSpell from the drop-down box. This is the fastest way.
(*)You may put the button on the toolbar by customizing the browser tool bar. Normally, a right click on the tool bar lets you customize it.
How it Works:
When triggered, ieSpell zooms through your text, stopping at each misspelled word and offering alternatives. It will also let you add a word to the dictionary -such as PM- or ignore a word.
You may customize the operation of the spell checker by clicking Tools on the menu bar, then selecting ieSpell Options. Very self-explanatory.
Benefits: TIGHTLY integrated with Internet Explorer, very fast, best dictionaries, most options, free, easy to install and use. I use it and it works just fine.
Possible Issues: Specific to Microsoft Internet Explorer. I don’t know if it works with older versions of the browser -the developer's website mentions no restrictions, and the product first came out in spring of 2002.
FOR ALL METHODS: The spell check works on YOUR PC -not on the web site’s file server- and therefore it is very fast and available wherever you are on the ‘net -not just here on Medhelp.