Errant entry “denitrified” in Word 97

Yes, our spellchecker was responsible for the errant “denitrified”. But not since Word 97.   — James Lyle (Test Lead)  


Word breakers and morphological analysis

When we think of the Natural Language Group at Microsoft, most users associate our technology with the Spelling and Grammar checkers in Word; however, because the nature of spelling and grammar checking requires the ability to tokenize and analyze input text, our team also has tokenizers which we refer to as “word breakers.” That is,…


Astronomical union consults MS spellchecker on pluton?

Nature is reporting that Owen Gingerich, head of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) consulted the Microsoft Word and the WordPerfect spellcheckers to help gauge how common the term pluton is.  Pluton, of course, is the new term proposed by the IAU for celestial bodies which aren’t quite planets.  But it was also already a technical…


National Punctuation Day moved?

One year ago today was National Punctuation Day. Those pesky, perverse, and pernicious pieces of punctuation are a big part of what keeps us in business. Both the spellchecker (apostrophes, anyone?) and the grammar checker (how many spaces come after a period?) are there in part to help you punctuate properly. So naturally we here…


Paging Sargent Batchelor

Brand new in Office 2007: a red squiggle on the name Batchelor.  Uh oh.  I’d better explain. Everyone wants the Office spellchecker to recognize their name, and in fact we work very hard to make sure that our spellcheckers recognize not only frequently used first and last names, but also a great many names that…


Updates in Office 2007 speller

Just finished updating the English lexicons for the Office 2007 speller. Here are some highlights: 1. “Teixeira” is recognized, in response to an ESPN Nate Silver column forwarded to us: …T-E-I-X … as a baseball writer, I have a vested interest in seeing that Big Tex becomes famous enough that his last name is added to…


Microsoft Office 2003 now recognizes the Romansh language

[Note, this article is a translation from Thierry’s original post which was written in French.]   The Swiss press talked a lot about it this week. It is now possible for the 35,000 native speakers of the Romansh language to use an adapted version of Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint.  They even have a spell-checker…


‘Old’ vs. ‘New’ Spelling in French: A new Speller based on the French Spelling Reform

A few months ago, we released a brand-new French spell-checker for Office 2003 users (it was integrated into Service Pack 2 in September 2005). One of the main features of this new tool was that it now takes into account the French spelling reform, which is recommended by official bodies such as the Académie Française,…


How to turn on contextual spelling in 2007 Office Word

Contextual spelling is turned on by default if your machine has at least 1 GB of RAM; however, it can still work just fine in the background with less RAM. So, how do you turn it on if it’s not already on? First, click on the Office button in the upper left corner of the window from…


Launch of the Office Natural Language Team Blog

In an effort to connect with our customers, to provide teams outside of our own with more exposure to what we do, and to get feedback – we’ve decided to start this team blog.   What kind of features do we do? What sorts of information might you expect to be posted on this site? Well, our group is…