May 14, 2004

Spell Catcher X 10.1.2

For quite some time, most major word processing application shave included their own spell checking facility, it's just one of those huge convenience features that most folks have come to expect. If you're a long time computer user, I'm sure that you, like me, remember the old days before some modern conveniences as spell checking, page formatting, fonts, or even lower case characters. But I digress...

It didn't take too long after folks got comfortable with spell checking to discover that this convenience was needed in other applications too, email (bulletin boards in the early days), databases, virtually any application that might require text input could probably benefit from a spell checker. Thus was born on the Macintosh an application named Thunder, a power spell checker that would work with most any application on your system. In fact, I'm typing this entry via Safari, my web browser of choice. Who would have though that a web browser needed a spell checker? These folks have been ahead of the game for years...

The latest version of this application is called Spell Catcher X, the latest version is 10.1.2. Rewritten from the ground up in version 10.0 for Mac OS X, a steady stream of updates has continued to add features and improve the user experience, culminating in this latest release.

In addition to spell checking, it also includes an extensive dictionary and thesaurus. Included dictionaries even include medical, legal, scientific and technical terms, as well as dictionaries for German, French, Italian, British English, Canadian French, Spanish, Swedish, Swiss German.

Spell Catcher is able to catch a variety of errors both spelling and punctuation as you're typing, or by checking a selection of text. Additional words can be added to your own custom dictionary, and you can even build short cuts, abbreviations that can expand out to several lines for commonly used phrases, email signatures, or whatever else you can think to use them for.

New in version 10.1.2 is speech recognition, adding the ability to make corrections, change languages, ignore or learn words, create shorthands and more all without typing a thing. Also new is the Instantaneous Correction feature available under MacOS 10.3 or later. This allows virtually instant corrections to text without the use of backspacing over an entry and 'retyping' it that was used previously for corrections. The backspacing thing was actually kind of cool (especially when you were using a shortcut that expanded out to several lines of text), but seeing things instantly transform is even cooler.

For years, I've relied on Spell Catcher in almost all of my writing. No matter how good a writer you are, it's nice to have Spell Catcher looking over your shoulder to catch typos and other errors, and have it ready and waiting to look up the spelling of seldom used words, or offer alternatives through its thesaurus for those over used words.

A free trial of the software is available through Rainmaker's web site, you can also purchase the software online for only $39.95, volume licensing is also available.

Posted by Jim at May 14, 2004 5:32 PM | TrackBack