spell checking in Firefox

I currently spell check my blog entries by copying and pasting the text of the entry onto spellcheck.net, but I’ve found an easier way with Firefox. It’s called the SpellBound extension and it allows you to spell check any text area by right-clicking in it and selecting the ‘Check Spelling’ option.

I tried installing it on my Linux machine and I kept getting the error, “TypeError: dictList[0] has no properties” when I tried to check spelling. I finally figured out what was wrong – you have to run Firefox as root when you install the dictionary. Once I did that, it worked great.

It seems obvious now, but when it was happening I was stumped, and all I found on Google were people with the same problem and no solution. At least I wasn’t the only one.

The other symptom if you ignored the dialog and continued was that the ‘Language’ drop down only had the option to ‘Download More.’ That should have given it away, because it’s saying that there are no languages (or dictionaries) installed, but I didn’t pick up on it right away.

In my own defense, I wouldn’t have run into this issue if the installation process had given an error when it failed to install the extension as a normal user. It said the installation was successful and continued, so that’s a flaw in the installation.

Now that it’s working, I find it much easier than copying the text to another web site. It’s not as slick as Konqueror, which marks misspelled words in red as you type, but it’s good enough for now.

(I checked the spelling of this blog entry twice using both methods just to be sure I didn’t have any errors. It would be woefully ironic to have a spelling error in an entry about spell checking tools.)


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  1. i encountered this same error after installing SpellBound 0.7.3 on firefox 1.0.7 on windows xp home sp2.

    i resolved the problem by uninstalling and reinstalling SpellBound.

    apparently an installer glitch.

    — david

    Comment by David M. Besonen on June 28, 2006 @ 11:31 am

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