I Poked Around My Mac’s Keyboard Settings. What I Found Changed Everything I Knew About Life

I hate the hyperbolic link bait titles that are all the rage. Don’t you? Anyway, I am starting a new series on neat tech tips that are useful for research. This one is already preinstalled on Macs.

In my desired line of work, I have to write in both Spanish and English. For example, research papers to Latin American Antiquity and other journals require both English and Spanish abstracts. I found out during my dissertation writing process that my computer can spellcheck multiple languages at once. The setting is hidden in different places depending on the OS version. In the current Mavericks:

  1. Open System Preferences
  2. Click on Keyboard (yeah, not Language & Region)
  3. Click the Text tab: Languages Step 1
  4. Click the menu labeled “Spelling:”
  5. Choose the last option: “Set Up…”: Languages Step 2
  6. A sheet appears! Read the instructions on this sheet. Basically, check the languages you want checked automatically: Languages Step 3
  7. Click Done
  8. Make sure that the Spelling: menu says “Automatic by Language”

From now on, any typed text in an application that uses Apple’s text functions (e.g., TextEdit, Pages) will spell check the languages you selected. Sorry, this does not work in Microsoft Word, which is why most drafts of my dissertation were written Pages.

{Correct and incorrect words are accurately processed in two languages. }

{Correct and incorrect words are accurately processed in two languages. }

I hope you find this useful, even if it did not change everything you knew about life.

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