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Author David Blatner provides in-depth training on InDesign CS5, the print and interactive page layout application from Adobe, in InDesign CS5 Essential Training. The course shows how to create new documents with strong and flexible master pages, precisely position text and graphics, prepare documents for print, and export designs as interactive PDF or Flash SWF files. Exercise files are included with the course.
Nobody spells everything right all the time. I mean, hey! That's what Spell Checking features are for. And fortunately there is a pretty good one built right into InDesign. I have this brochure open here, but before I send it off to print I'd better check the spelling, and see if it's all right. I'll click Edit, I'll go down to the Spelling sub-menu and I'll choose Check Spelling. The shortcut is Cmd+I or Ctrl+I on Windows. Up comes the Check Spelling dialog box and it immediately kicks into gear and finds the first thing that's misspelled.
It say's the word Monterey is misspelled. Now if you don't know where on your page it's on, sometimes it's not exactly immediately obvious. It is highlighted but sometimes you don't see it, especially if it's on top of an image like it is right now, fortunately the Check Spelling dialog box is kind of like a panel. I can move it around. It just floats on top of things and I could even use my View menu to zoom in and out on things. So I'll choose zoom in and I can see that it zooms in on the word Monterey that's highlighted on the page. You can also use the keyboard shortcuts like Cmd++ or Ctrl++ on Windows.
Now Monterey, it says that it's misspelled. I happened to know that it's not misspelled. This is the way Monterey is spelled in California as opposed to Monterrey, Mexico which is how it's spelled here in this list of suggested corrections. So if I was talking about Mexico I would simply click on the suggested correction and then click Change. But in this case I'm not going to do that, I'm going to say Ignore All. Now I actually have two options here, I could choose Ignore All or Skip. Skip just jumps past this one instance of the word Monterey, but the next time Monterey shows up in this document it would flag it as being incorrect.
Or I could choose Ignore All, which will jump past all instances of the word Monterey throughout this document. That's what I'm going to do. I'll click Ignore All, which just says this is not a problem for me. Actually there is a third option too and that is, I could click Add, if I do that it will add it to my User Dictionary and so that this word will not be flagged as misspelled in any of my documents that I am spellchecking from now on. So actually I'll do that for this word Salinas. Salinas is another city in California, I know it's going to show up a lot, I'll click Add and it's added to the dictionary.
It will no longer be marked as misspelled in any of my documents. Here's another one Sur. That's from Big Sur I'm just going to Skip past that one. I'll skip past a few of these. Here's another one. It can check for repeated words. Always look in the upper left corner here of the dialog box and you can see what its finding is it a misspelled word or in this case a repeated word. It saw that the word if showed up two times, and it's saying we suggest that you change it to just that one word if. So I'll click on Suggested Corrections to tell it yes please, do make that change.
And then I will say Change it and it makes that change on my document and jumps to the next problem. What did it find? It found the word, mucho. Mucho is not English. That's why it is saying it's misspelled. It's Spanish. So what do I do? I could say go ahead and add it to my dictionary, or Ignore All. But in this case I am going to do something completely different, I am going to tell InDesign that this is Spanish. How do I do that? Well, I select it on the document page here. It's already selected for me there, and I'll go to the Control panel and over here in the Control panel I see a pop-up menu for Language.
And right now, it says English: USA. Now if you don't see that pop-up menu make sure that your Control panel is in Character Mode. That's a little A button up here instead of Paragraph Formatting down here. So make sure it's on the A. Anyway here I have a Language pop-up menu and it's currently set to English, I'm going to change this to Spanish, you can see all the different dictionaries that are built into InDesign and I'm going to tell it, this word is Spanish. And now, next time I'd spell- check it, it will come up as correct.
In fact, why don't I just try that, I'll click off of here to tell it that I'm done and then I'll start up again. And you see that it jumped right past mucho, and because it says mucho is a word and it's spelled correctly in Spanish. It knows that it's Spanish now so it's handy. Now what did it find? It found an un-capitalized sentence. This is the first word in the sentence. It was un-capitalized. It's suggesting that we change it to a capitalized word. Sure, I'll do that. Click Change and it then goes to find the next one and it found unspoileed is not a word, so let's go ahead and fix that, good! This is looking good.
Now this is interesting. It found a URL in here and that is spelled correctly but it doesn't know that it's spelled correctly because it can't tell that this is an Internet address. So I'm going to tell it to stop checking the spelling on this. How do I tell it to stop checking the spelling? Well, I can't tell it that it's English or Estonian or Finnish or Spanish or whatever. Instead I am going to change the language to No Language, up here in this pop-up menu the very first item is No Language.
And if I change the setting to No Language, then InDesign will no longer flag this as incorrect. Once again I'll click off here, I'll start up Spell Checking again and it skips right past it to the next thing. It found Sur, okay fine, ignore all of those, ignore those and as soon as I see this little checkmark here, now I know I'm done. It's spell-checked the entire document. So I'll click Done and I'm pretty much ready to go, but before I do that I want to point out one other Check Spelling feature that you should know about. It's really cool.
I am going to go back to the Spelling sub-menu under the Edit menu and turn on Dynamic Spelling. I like Dynamic Spelling because it does the same sort of thing as the Check Spelling dialog box, but it does it on the document page itself. For example, in here let me zoom in on this text, I just clicked on this word, I am going to zoom in to 400% with Cmd+4 or Ctrl+4 on Windows, and I will misspell something on purpose, you see what it just did. It put this little squiggly red line under the word that was misspelled. It says this is not a word, what do you want to do about it? So I could manually come in here and type the E if I know where to do it.
The little squiggle goes away or let me remove it again. I can right-click with a two-button mouse or Ctrl+Click with a one-button mouse right on that word and look what it says. It says hey, here are all the words that this might be. Go ahead and pick one and I can pick United right out of that list. Isn't that great? I love Dynamic Spelling. It works just terrifically. It works in all kinds of ways too, like if I remove this H, if I put a lowercase h instead of an uppercase H in there. It gives me a green highlight. And that green highlight means that it's an un-capitalized word at the beginning of a sentence, and once again I can right-click on it and choose the capitalized version and it gets better.
So that's great, but one more thing before I go to print is I am going to zoom back to Fit in Window with Cmd+0 or Ctrl+0 on Windows and I'm going to look at this and say am I sure everything is right? Because just because Check Spelling says that it's all right does not mean that it's truly all right. It's always a good idea to proof it yourself. Use the human brain to proof it, or even better, send it somebody else who will proof it for you. Because they are going to read through this and they are going to say bite off more than you cam chew.
That's wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. Well, the word cam is a real word so InDesign's Check Spelling said well, I guess that's what he meant to type there, but it's not. So always be sure to check it carefully with a human brain before you print. That's the most important thing of all.
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