Most modern word processors and DTP packages have built-in spellcheckers, so why consider an external one such as Spell Catcher 8? One reason, is it ensures a UK English dictionary. Also, uniform spelling is guaranteed from one application to another, and you only have to maintain one extra dictionary.
With support for multiple language dictionaries, additional legal and medical terms, and an HTML word list, Spell Catcher 8 offers everything a spellchecker could need. SC8 is now a simple app that presents itself via a menu bar tick, and memory requirements are less than 2MB.
There are two modes. The first, Interactive Checking, filters each word as you finish typing it. It can pick up standard typos, capitalization errors, punctuation errors and double words. Take the time to avail yourself of SC8’s Learned Words facility, where you control the possible suffixes for each word added, and the process smooths out. This also allows you to enjoy the advantages of the Shorthand feature, where your common phrases are typed by their initials.
Aside from the basic modes, SC8 can also handle full proof-reading through a number of selectable modules. Change straight quotes into curly ones, capitalize sentences, convert double dashes into em or en versions, or strip double spaces all in one run-through. There is even an anti-crash Ghost Writer facility, where all text is saved as you type it.
In terms of replacing text, SC8 uses one of three methods. Using the clipboard, it can paste with formatting into word processors. Where formatting info is not included in the clipboard, it can automate an application’s find-and-replace facility. Unfortunately, both of these methods fail with QuarkXPress 4 where text has to be pasted back without formatting. The only fix is to check a document before formatting text.
Spell Catcher 8 has almost every conceivable spellchecking facility and is highly customizable.
Downsides? The problem with QuarkXPress 4 is awkward. Even so, it’s a decent utility for the price, and there’s a demo on this month’s CD.