Can I remove a word from Office’s speller dictionary?

The other day, I was discussing a number of suggestions to improve Office’s spell-checker. A customer was suggesting we should allow users to delete individual items from Word’s spell-checker lexicon. This feature is already available, in fact: if you want to specify a preferred spelling for a word and to exclude a given spelling from…


Suggested improvements to Microsoft Word’s spell-checker

A few days ago, James wrote about the articles the Seattle Times published about our Natural Language Group and the Office spell-checkers. One of these articles was encouraging the Seattle Times readers to suggest improvements (What words would you add to the Microsoft spell-checker?).  It is very interesting to read what our users consider pain…


Natural Language Group in the (Local) News

Last week our group was visited by reporters from the Seattle Times, who took some photographs and talked to folks on the team about the challenges of developing software features that keep up with the world’s rapidly changing languages.  This morning, the front page of the Business & Technology section discusses those challenges, and a sidebar gives a pretty nice…


Spellchecking ain’t easy

A customer wrote to us recently with the observation that our English spellchecker doesn’t recognize the word ain’t, a fact which struck this customer as a tad, well, old-fashioned.  Pedantic, perhaps.  The words “uptight” and “shortsighted” might have been used.  Yikes!  I’ve been accused of a lot of things, but…   First, let’s admit that…


German Spelling Reform (Die Spezialfälle der deutschen Rechtschreibreform)

Die neue deutsche Rechtschreibung bringt komplexe Bereiche mit sich in denen sich die Schreibweise entweder vom Kontext abhängig oder basierend auf die Betonung ändert. Wir haben Artikel für Sie erstellt, die es Ihnen erlauben über die Rechtschreibprüfung in Microsoft Office 2007 hinaus die korrekte Schreibweise anhand von konkreten Beispielen zu erkennen. Hier finden Sie die…


Errant entry “denitrified” in Word 97

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


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…


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…