Unlike its major competitors (Firefox and Chrome), Internet Explorer still does not have an integrated spell checker to automatically highlight spelling mistakes as you type. As people are typing more than ever in their web browser (on Facebook, Twitter, blogs and comments etc) this is a serious omission.
Fortunately, help is at hand for long suffering IE users in the form of Speckie.
Speckie is a spell checking solution for Internet Explorer (IE). It adds spell checking as you type into input text boxes and frames etc on webpages – such as Facebook or the comments section of this article ;-)
Speckie works with all versions from IE6 through to IE9 (32bit and 64bit) inclusive and runs on XP, Vista and W7 – 32bit and 64bit versions. (As far as we know it is the only decent IE spell checker with full support for the latest IE9 64bit).
Download the program from here then close IE and run the program to install it.
- After installing, open IE – you may be asked if you want to add Speckie as an add-on to IE – confirm Yes to add it (if you ignore this message or say No then Speckie won’t work).
- After you have confirmed to add Speckie, close IE and then reopen it – spell checking in IE should now be enabled.
Speckie’s default dictionary is English (United States) – you can change this and other settings by editing Speckie’s options – in IE, click ‘Tools’ in the menu bar then ‘Speckie Options’ to open the options window as shown below:
Most default options should be fine – the default tag style is a red wave (i.e. an incorrect spelling is underlined in a red wavy line).
- If you wish to add/change to another dictionary, click the ‘Get More Dictionaries’ button to open the Speckie dictionary website – follow the instructions there to add a dictionary (in our example above we have added the English UK dictionary but have not enabled it yet).
- After installing a new dictionary, tick it in the Speckie options box to enable it and untick the default US dictionary to disable it.
Note: changes in Speckie Options apply to new windows only i.e. you may need to close and then reopen IE for the new dictionary to take effect.
When incorrect spellings (or words not in Speckie’s dictionary) are tagged as wrong, if you highlight the word then right click it you can select a replacement from Speckie’s spelling suggestions or you can add the word to Speckie’s User (custom) dictionary so it doesn’t tag it in future.
You can edit the User dictionary in Speckie Options (click the Edit button) if you wish to remove a custom word you previously added.
Speckie is a great addition to all versions of IE and provides a good spell checker for Internet Explorer – functionality that Firefox/Chrome users take for granted.
The fact that it needs a third party to add a spell checker to IE is a poor reflection on Microsoft – we have no idea why they have never bothered to include such a basic but useful feature…