I’ve written a number of times on BrainFuel about WordPress and its spell check capabilities and I just wanted to follow up on that topic because I know it is a topic near and dear to your hearts. You can laugh now if you want.
Well, at least it is mine and I know someone is going to be looking for the same answers and this post is meant to help them along. If you think it’s useful feel free to pass the news along to your friends.
Firstly, WordPress 2.0 includes built in WYSIWYG editing capabilities (you can, thankfully, turn it off). What’s even cooler is somehow they managed to integrate something that works in IE and Firefox. That’s almost amazing.
WordPress 2.0 does not include spell check. That’s all fine and dandy until a client really, really wants it. Enter multiple Ajax spell checker plugins. Can you say “perfect timing?”
Mr. Photomatt started the idea with this post. Someone decided to take it and run with it and created the Ajax spell checker. It works great for me in Firefox however while the button shows up in IE it doesn’t actually notice spelling errors.
Now the recommendation is to use Live Spell Checker. At this point you really need to determine which one to use by trying them on your server. I’ve had great success getting the above spell check plugins to work on the Tornado server however when a customer provides their own hosting (as was the case recently) we found that nothing was working. The buttons appear, but the spell check plugins tell you there are no miss-spelled words even if there are.
So what’s happening now in the spell check world? Not a whole lot. The Ajax stuff and the ColdForged spell check plugin haven’t been updated in months. If you go to each site you’ll find dozens of posts where people ask if an upgrade is in the works. ColdForged spell checker works in WP 2.0 when the WYSIWYG editor is disabled and if you have Aspell installed and operating on your server.
The opportunity is ripe for a plugin to be developed that takes command of the English language and spells this situation out.