Well, over on the U.S. side of the Atlantic it isn’t such a big problem but over here in Europe all to often the Mac OS X spelling dictionary language is set to U.S. English by default.
The British & Irish guys just don’t like spelling colour without the ‘u’ and ‘socialise’ with a ‘z’.
On top of that, any one of us in Europe or the U.S. speak multiple different languages and would like to chose the spelling dictionary language on the fly.
This article goes about explaining the two most common ways of changing the system-wide Mac OS X spelling dictionary language.
The first method looks at when you’re using the spellcheck inside an application such as TextEdit or Pages. The second method is a more permanent system wide change and takes place in the System Preferences.
I’m doing this on a MacBook running Mac OS X 10.6.4 Snow Leopard.
Read on for the details.
Changing the Spellcheck Dictionary Language From Inside The Application
To make this change from within a specific application such as Pages or TextEdit do the following:
- In your application, click Edit > Spelling & Grammar > Show Spelling & Grammar or press CMD+: on the keyboard.
- When the Spelling & Grammar window appears, select your language from the drop down menu at the bottom and then click the red X to close the window again.
This change will only last as long as you keep TextEdit open. After you re-open the application, the spelling dictionary language will reset back to the system default. Let’s talk about changing the system default spelling dictionary language now.
Note: This is often called something else in other applications, e.g., in Pages it’s called simply ‘Spelling…‘
Changing the Mac OS X System Default Spellcheck Dictionary Language
Changing the system default spelling dictionary language is just as easy. Follow these few easy steps:
- Open System Preferences; one way is to click the System Preferences icon on your Dock. If you can’t see this go ahead and open Applications > Utilities > System Preferences
- In the Personal Preferences row (top row), click Language & Text.
- Now click the Text tab at the top
- On the right side, you should now see a field called Spelling. Select your preferred language from here.