Firefox spell check: Help for Wisconsin’s poor spellers

by | Nov 11, 2009

Spell check in Firefox browser

Perhaps there is poor spelling everywhere, and I’m just more conscious of it in my fellow Wisconsinites.

Whatever the reason, it sometimes seems like you can’t read a single comment at the Journal Times or the Racine Post or JT Irregulars without smacking your brain into two or three clumsy errors which could have been caught by a simple spell-checker.

Here’s a tip: Get Firefox.

Not only is Firefox a superior, free browser with an superabundance of useful add-ons, but it has a built-in spell-checker which flags your suspected misspellings with a dotted red underline.

The spell-check feature works right inside the text area boxes where you normally compose comments — but you can also perform a simple hack which adds it to all one-line text fields as well.

Using Firefox, you merely hold the Control key and click inside any form’s text areas to activate spell-checking, see suggested spellings, or add correctly spelled words to your personal dictionary. (Should you ever need to edit that dictionary, search for a file named “persdict.dat” and use an ordinary text editor like Notepad or TextEdit.)

Just imagine how much more credible your Bigfoot sighting reports and civic cynicism will seem with correct spelling. Now, if only we had a handy grammar-checker to distinguish “your” from “you’re,” “who’s” from “whose,” and “it’s” from “its.”

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