We could use more spellcheckers

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I have been very busy with work since I came back from Ghana so I have had  limited time to blog. But then again, that’s no excuse since I could post a line or two here and there with a hint of wisdom but …. So here I am back at it again. This time, it’s about spelling.  Here is the interesting part, the web is all about content. Anytime you open a browser to a site, you are slapped with many types of contents in different sizes. These include videos, sounds, pictures and lastly and most prominent of them all, text. In our daily work, we are either typing or reading. Both of which deals with text but ask me how many standalone spell checker tools one can employ and you will be amazed at how many there are. Very few I must say. I am still struck by the fact that visual studio does not ship with a spell checker out-of-the-box after 6 versions. Every thing from Windows form design to Web development involves publishing text content of some sort and yet, there isn’t a solid spell checker that comes with it. Instead, we have to resort to MS word , some other text editing tool (Openoffice etc) or plug-in etc. Frankly, every time I run into an interface design software that doesn’t have a spellchecker, I get dumbfounded. Is spell checking really the least most important feature or what. Then again, someone would say, what’s the big deal. If it bothers you so much, why not learn how to spell. Very true; I wont dispute the fact that we do need to know how to spell. After all, its one of the basic medium of communication since the invention of papyrus. But with the volume of content this generation produces daily, most people are bound to make spelling mistakes so why not help avoid it.  Matt Cutts (Head of Google web spam team) points out here as to how important spelling is on the web and how they can turn customers away. People don’t trust website with spelling mistakes. To that end, I know my ranting is not going to change the feature set of content publishing software’s like visual studio etc, so here are a couple of things you can do to keep your customers coming back.

1. Spell check your content in any good text editing tool like MS Office Word

2. Let a colleague or friend prove read your content for you. You can easily miss your mistakes even if you ready it more than you think you should. It came from you and you are bound to miss one or two.

3. If you can find a spellchecker plug-in to your content authoring software, plug it in and use the heck out of it.

4. For web developers, you can find online services that can scrawl your site for spelling mistakes. Beware of the service you choose; as Matt Cutts post suggests that you probably don’t want to use a service who’s own site has spelling mistakes.

I’m actually checking this post for wrong spelling using Windows live writer. Kudos to the windows live team for including a spell checker. With that said,  let me know what you think if you disagree with anything I have said or want to add to it.

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