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Using Spell Check

Spell Check compares your text against a stored spelling dictionary of tens of thousands of words. If any of your words aren’t in the spelling dictionary, Spell Check tells you that the word is possibly misspelled. In addition to your misspellings and typos, Spell Check also alerts you to proper names and unusual words that might be spelled correctly, but that are not in the spelling dictionary.

Lotus Notes looks in two dictionaries for correctly spelled words. The main dictionary is extensive, covering most of the common words. Proper names, acronyms, and business jargon that are not included in the main dictionary are then looked for in your user dictionary. The user dictionary is one to which you can add words.

Spell Check reports duplicate words, such as the the, but it won’t look at single-character words such as a or I, or words that are longer than 64 letters. It also ignores text that doesn’t have any letters, such as the number 1,200,543.

Unlike other programs, for example some word processing programs, Spell Check does not operate as you type. You have to initiate it. When you want to check the spelling in your message, you must be in edit mode. Edit mode enables you to change the text in the document in which you are currently working. When you’re creating a new mail message, you’re automatically in edit mode.

To run Spell Check, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Edit, Check Spelling, or, if you have toolbars displayed, click the Check Spelling button. If Spell Check finds a questionable word, the Spell Check dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 3.7.

  2. Figure 3.7

    Figure 3.7 From the Spell Check dialog box, you can add new entries to your personal dictionary, correct spelling errors, and skip words.

  3. When Spell Check finds a word it doesn’t recognize, the word appears in the Replace box of the dialog box. You can then choose one of the following options:

    • Skip—Ignores the misspelling and goes on to the next word. Use this option when the word is spelled correctly.

    • Skip All—Tells Notes to ignore all the instances of this word in the message. This is useful when a correctly spelled proper name crops up several times in a memo.

    • Replace—Enables you to change an incorrect spelling to a correct one. If the correct spelling of the word shows up in the Suggest box, click the correct guess and then the Replace button. If Spell Check provides no suggestions and you know the correct spelling, click in the Not in dictionary field and make the correction by deleting or adding characters. Then, click Replace to make the change in your message.

    • Replace All—Tells Notes to replace all the instances of this word with the suggested word you choose.

    • Add to Dictionary—Adds the selected word to your user dictionary. After the word is added, Spell Check recognizes it as correctly spelled (so make sure you spell it correctly when you add it).

    • Edit Dictionary—Opens a new dialog box displaying the contents of your personal dictionary. This is very useful when you accidentally add an incorrectly spelled word to your personal dictionary and need to correct or delete that word.

  4. After correcting, adding, or replacing words that Lotus Notes Spell Check has questioned, click Close.

By default, Spell Check checks your entire mail message. If you want to Spell Check one word or a paragraph, select the word or text with your mouse, and then start the Spell Check using the previously outlined process.

Running Spell Check doesn’t guarantee a perfect mail message. If you accidentally type the word form when you wanted to type from, for example, Spell Check won’t catch it because form is a word that is in the dictionary. Also, Spell Check doesn’t catch incorrect punctuation or missing words.

As previously mentioned, you might mistakenly add a misspelled word to your personal dictionary. To edit your personal dictionary when not running spell check, do the following.

  1. Choose File, Preferences, User Preferences. In the User Preferences dialog box (see Figure 3.8), click the plus sign next to International and click on Spell Check. On the right side of the dialog box, click the Edit User Dictionary button.

  2. Figure 3.8

    Figure 3.8 The User Preferences dialog box is where you can make changes to many of the default settings for Lotus Notes 7.

  3. You can then make any of the following changes:

    • To delete the incorrectly spelled word, select it and click Delete.

    • To change a misspelled word, select it from the list, enter the correct spelling in the small text box at the bottom of the dialog box, and then click Update.

    • To add a word, enter it in the small text box and click Add.

  4. When you finish, click OK. Then, click OK to close the User Preferences dialog box.

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