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Monday's Mac Gadget
by John F. Braun

Spell Checking In All Your Applications
January 17th, 2000

SpellTools 1.4 ($10 Shareware)
Craig Marciniak

The integrated spell checking feature in programs such as Microsoft Office and Eudora email is handy, but what if you are using an application that doesn't have spell checking? Sure, you could cut and paste your text into an application that does have spell checking, but this is a pain in the neck. If only there was a spell checker that could work with any application...

SpellTools provides a spell checker for any application with an included plug-in. Never fear, although it comes with plug-ins for several popular applications, you can create a plug-in by simply selecting the "Create Application Plug-In" menu from the Goodies menu. When SpellTools is running, and a supported application is in the foreground, the SpellTools palette will be visible. Clicking on the Check icon will check your document for spelling errors. It will offer suggestions from a 68,000 word dictionary, or you can add your own words.

SpellTools also has some other handy features. There is a text-to-speech feature where the contents of your document will be spoken if you have the proper extensions active. There is a stamping feature where you can apply commonly used pieces of text, such as the time or date, to your document. You can of course create your own stamp text. Finally, there are several text tools which can help clean up text that has extra garbage thrown in by email programs, provide a word count, do a find and replace, and more.

SpellTools was freeware, but has been updated and will be directly supported by the author. For $10, we think that this package is a great value.

Have any other Mac OS text gadgets you'd like us to look at? Let John know via email, or share it with the rest of us in the Mac Gadget Forum.

Useful Links

SpellTools Freeware

SpellTools Update

SpellTools Palette

The Spell Checker Dialog

Apply a Stamp to Your Document

Clean Up Your Text with These Tools

Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you with those cool things that we all just have to have on our Macs. Shareware, Freeware, Postcardware, Emailware, and even commercial apps, Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you find and use the best of these programs.

John is a software engineer who works in the corporate R&D group of a Fortune 500 company, focusing on all aspects of communications technology. He has several degrees that claim he knows what he's doing when it comes to computers. After watching co-workers reinstall Windows, search for device drivers, and experience other horrors during the day, he's glad that he comes home to a Mac (compatible) computer. Have any comments, suggestions, or favorite Gadgets? Drop John a line at

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