I have a confssesiuon to make.
Despite launching around 400 WordPress sites since the mid-Naughties, it was only recently that I discovered the spellcheck button.
Yes, I deliberately left the error in the first line so I could grab a screenshot of the spellchecker in progress.
This has not really been an issue in the past because I composed much of my blogging offline in Word and its spellchecker does a good job of helping me appear to be at least marginally literate!
But now that I compose a lot more within WordPress itself, the inbuilt spellchecker is a godsend.
However, there are two simple tips that will help you make the most of it.
To swing WordPress’ spellcheck into action, simply draft your page or post and then click the ABC button in the top row of the editing screen menu.
When it highlights a word with a red, squiggly underline, you left click it with your mouse to find replacement words.
This was a little counter-intuitive to me to begin with because we are trained to right click admin-type links and squiggles.
However, right clicking the WordPress spellcheck actually turns off the spellcheck and reverts to your browser’s spellcheck (if it has one).
Left clicking the highlighted word opens up a dropdown box, as pictured above, where you can left click a suitable replacement, if it has found some.
If you are tempted to click elsewhere during this process, you will just need to click the ABC button again to recommence the spellcheck.
Good ol’ American know how
The only disappointing element with WordPress’ spellcheck is that the default language, English, is actually American English and not ‘real’ English.
There are other languages to choose from but only one variant of English.
However, as most UK and Australian English speakers know, we just need to be mindful of the more ‘vulgar’ spellings our American cousins prefer and resist temptation to leave the ‘u’ out of ‘colour’ or replace an ‘s’ with a ‘z’ in words like ‘realise’.
And remember it is a spellchecker not a grammar checker, so you will need to pay attention to phrases and tenses, etc.
Of course, the beauty of blogging is that one of you lovely readers will ‘do the right thing’ and leave a comment correcting your errors anyway.
So please use the spellcheck function because little things like typos can undermine trust in your website and cost sales.