|★ APPLICATIONS ★ BUREAUTIQUE ★ SPELLING CHECKER|8000PLUS) ★|
|Spelling Checker||Applications Bureautique|
Suggest to serious writers that they use a spelling checker and you will get short shrift. Now give them a word processor, and ask again in a month's time. Using a spell checker is not an admission of illiteracy, it's a necessity for anybody who uses keyboards - fingers do weird things with keys when asked to type simple words like ‘nad' and 'hte‘.
Computer One have released a new version of their spelling checker program. It will work with files from most kinds of wordprocessor: LocoScript , WordStar and ordinary ASCII (like Tasword). and claims a dictionary size of 64,000 words.
The full story
Spelling Checker is a CP/M program, and even when checking LocoScript files you will have to leave LocoScript, start CP/M up. run the program and then restart LocoScript. Tedious, but unavoidable for now.
The file to be checked is sorted and compared against the dictionary. As each possible misspelling is found, the word is put on the screen and you then have three main choices: to alter it, to leave it as it is, or to add it to the dictionary so it won't be flagged as wrong in future.
One pleasant surprise is that the checker does not just spot the incorrect words, it allows you to actually modify the file and correct the error at the same time. At each mistake, it puts on the screen the word and its immediate context, and asks you for the correction, if any.
There are a few frills of the type that have become traditional now for spelling checkers. A “crossword solver" allows you to search for words that fit a certain template, and you can also generate all meaningful anagrams of given letters. Of course, you won't get proper names out of it, or real Call-My-Bluffisms like the name for a 17th century cucumber-skinning machine.
Dictionaries and documentation
The 64,000 words that Spelling Checker knows of are stored in about 20 different files, which makes searching rather slow as it opens and closes each file. If you have an 8512, you can speed it up by copying all the files over to the M drive where file handling is faster. Unfortunately, the dictionary is too big for an unexpanded 8256's M drive.
The range of words seems good, but it is strangely bad on compound words - hyphenated words are usually shown as errors, and contractions like can't and you'll are also not recognised.
The documentation is very good on the simple aspects of using the spell checker, but the sheer range of possibilities to search, update and maintain the dictionary makes it a little daunting later on.
Overall, a good professional program, and a worthy challenger to Prospell.