webs divine: design notes

Just like most web designers, we learn something new every day. Some of the insights are fairly simple, while others are more complicated. As we go along, WEBS DIVINE plans to share our tricks, hints and tips in Design Notes.

CANADIAN-ENGLISH (spell-check)

Microsoft Word is ideal for most text documents. However, the program has its touchy areas. A recent project of mine included spellchecking a large text document that had to be assembled in Microsoft Word format. Sounds simple, right? It might be under normal circumstances, but not when attempting to spell-check with Canadian-English.

According to All Experts, changing the default dictionary in MS Word is easy:

  • On the Microsoft Windows Start menu, point to Programs, point to Microsoft Office Tools, and then click Microsoft Office 2007 Language Settings. Click Enabled Languages tab.
  • In the Default version of Microsoft Office box, select the language you want and then click OK. A message appears describing the effects of the change. To continue, click Continue and lose customizations.

No matter how many times I set the default to Canadian-English, the command wouldn't function beyond checking the first initial word in a document. After that, I had to manually set the dictionary back to Canadian-English from US-English. The spellchecker stopped several times per page, which grew tiresome very fast considering the document contained more than two hundred pages.

I tried pasting the text into Word Perfect, but ran against the same obstacle. Beyond the first flagged word in a document, the Canadian-English dictionary stopped working again.

Finally, I resorted to the word processor in Microsoft Works. Who would have thought this little-used program would function like it's supposed to? I was able to spell-check with the Canadian-English dictionary in Microsoft Works very quickly, and then paste the content back into Microsoft Word. Some of the formatting was a bit off, but it was easily fixable.

It might be a roundabout way of accomplishing a Canadian-English spell-check, but it worked. Better yet, I didn't have to buy a new dictionary or online service in the process.

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