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Spellcheck Assistant

Word

This tool is included in TransTools Professional Edition.

Category: MiscellaneousBack to Special section

Spellchecking is one of the key powerful functionalities of Microsoft Word that is particularly useful to a translator, proofreader or editor. However, with all this power in your hands, many things are difficult to accomplish quickly. Spellcheck Assistant extends the built-in spellchecking functionality of Microsoft Word with a number of useful features:

  • Have a quick look at all the spelling errors in a document.
  • Quickly determine which text is marked as a spelling error because it is assigned a wrong language, in order to assign the correct language to the text.
  • Quickly change the language of specific parts of the document or the whole document.
  • Copy specific spelling errors to one or several custom spelling dictionaries.
  • Record spelling errors in order to copy these words to a list of non-translatables for your CAT tool, list of words that should be ignored by the spellchecker in another program (e.g., a CAT tool), glossary / terminology base, etc.
  • Easily correct spelling errors in the document.

Screenshot: Spellcheck Assistant dialogue

Spellchecking Assistant consists of three key sections:

  1. Create and process list of spelling errors.
  2. Change text language.
  3. Change custom dictionaries and recheck document.

1. Creating and processing the list of spelling errors

To create a list of spelling errors, select Entire Document or Selection from the Scope list and click Create and process list of spelling errors button under Spellchecking Tools tab. In a few seconds, you will see the list of all found spelling errors (i.e., the words underlined with the squiggly red line) under the Spelling Error List tab.

Screenshot: Spelling error list

The list of spelling errors contains the following information:

  • Spelling error.
  • Number of occurrences of this spelling error in the entire document or selection.
  • Correction: originally, this column indicates the automatic correction suggested by Microsoft Word, but you can change it if you need to correct this error or copy it to a replacement list.
  • Language assigned to this word: this usually indicates which keyboard language was used when the word was typed, but this language may be assigned using Set Proofing Language command under Review tab, or by using Change Text Language command of Spellcheck Assistant. The language of the word is used by Microsoft Word's spellchecker to determine whether it is a spelling error or not, by using integrated spelling dictionaries and appropriate custom dictionaries.
  • Actions to perform: operations you would like to perform on each spelling error.

You can use this list in two different ways:

  1. Look through the errors to find whether the text was assigned the right language as shown in the Language column.
    • Quite often a word is considered a spelling error because it is marked with a wrong language. For example, a Spanish word could be typed using the English keyboard layout and therefore considered an English word rather than Spanish.
    • Sometimes, Spellcheck Assistant will find very few or no spelling errors. This can indicate that the author of the document specified that the text should not be spellchecked.

    If you find either of these problems, assign the right language to text using Change Text Language command under Spellchecking Tools of Spellcheck Assistant and then create the list of spelling errors again.
  2. Assign different actions to each spelling error and then perform these actions.

    You can perform any of the following operations:
    • Add the spelling error to one of your custom dictionaries. This action saves the word in the chosen custom dictionary. In the future, this word will no longer be flagged as an error unless you change the custom dictionaries.
    • Highlight the word inside the document. If you choose this action for a word, Spellcheck Assistant will apply color highlighting (according to the color specified under the Settings tab) to all occurrences of the error inside the document.
    • Correct document. If you choose this action for a word, Spellcheck Assistant will correct all occurrences of the error with the text indicated in the Correction column. Initially, the correction comes from Microsoft Word, but you can change this text by selecting the error from the list and changing the Correction field.
    • Copy to Non-Translatable List. If your CAT tool offers non-translatables support, you can quickly copy some of the words (e.g., place names, titles, etc.) to your Non-Translatable List. To do this, choose this action for a word. When you press [Perform all actions] button, Spellcheck Assistant will create a list of all words that were assigned this action and you will be able to add them to your CAT tool quickly.
    • Copy to Spellcheck Ignore List. Most CAT tool offers integrated spellchecking support, but they do not use the same custom dictionaries as Microsoft Office. If you choose this action for a word, the word will be placed in a special list. You can then copy and paste them into your CAT tool's Spellcheck Ignore List.
    • Copy to Terminology List. If you choose this action for a word, Spellcheck Assistant will put this word into a terminology list. You can specify the translation of the word before this list is created by typing the translation in the Translation field.
    • Copy to Replacement List. Sometimes people consistently write words in a specific way. For example, in German umlauts can be written in two different ways, e.g., "Übersetzung" or "Uebersetzung". If you choose this action for a word, Spellcheck Assistant will put this word into a replacement list, along with the Correction text. This way you can use external tools, e.g., Multiple Replace, to perform automatic correction of documents.

To assign actions to a spelling error, select the error from the list, check the appropriate boxes under the Actions list and fill the appropriate Correction and Translation fields if necessary.

It is also possible to assign actions to several words simultaneously. To do this, select several words from the list using Ctrl or Shift keys with the left mouse button, and then check the appropriate boxes. Some of the boxes may have a checked grey box which means that this action is different for different words. Do not forget to press Apply Changes button to make the changes permanent (this action is necessary only if several words are selected in the list, to prevent inadvertent changes).

When you have checked the entire list and assigned actions to specific spelling errors, press Perform all actions button. When the operation is complete, you will see a dialogue which will tell you whether everything is successful, and display the lists you chose to generate (if appropriate). To copy the lists to another program, select the text and press Ctrl+C key combination to copy the text to the clipboard.

How to assign actions to additional words or phrases

The spellchecker in Microsoft Word can only work with individual words. If you want to perform actions for a specific phrase, you can do so by clicking Add or Duplicate Selected buttons and then typing / changing the text and pressing OK. This will add the new text to the list of spelling errors so you can assign actions to it.

How to find an error inside the document

To find each occurrence of the error in the document, you can select the occurrence from the Occurrences list and the error will be selected inside the document.


2. Changing text language

To change the language of the entire document or selected text, select the appropriate option from the Where list, uncheck some of the boxes if you don't want to change the language in certain parts of the document, choose the language from the Language list, and click Change text language button.

If you don't want to perform spellchecking in certain parts of the document, select that text, choose Selection from the Where list, choose Do not proof spelling and click Change text language button.


3. Changing custom dictionaries and recheck document

If you use several custom dictionaries when spellchecking your documents, Spellcheck Assistant makes it a bit easier to change them. Click Change custom dictionaries and recheck document button and follow the prompts.


Configuration

To configure the behavior of Spellcheck Assistant, switch to Settings tab and select the appropriate settings. Some settings only take effect after you close and re-open Spellcheck Assistant dialogue.

Screenshot: Spellcheck Assistant settings

Developed by Stanislav Okhvat, 2007–2016

Microsoft Word®, Excel®, PowerPoint® and Visio® are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.
Autocad© is copyright of Autodesk, Inc.
SDL Trados® (including SDL Trados Studio, Trados Workbench, TagEditor and Microsoft Word Addin) is a registered trademark of SDL plc.
memoQ is copyright of Kilgray Translation Technologies.
Wordfast© is copyright of Yves Champollion.

Software disclaimer