Managing the user spelling dictionary

In OS X there is a systemwide dictionary for spell checking text entry fields in programs, provided the developer has implemented this in their code and not used their own spelling solutions. This feature can generally be accessed through the "Edit" menu, and when activated will underline any misspelled words immediately with a red dashed line.… Read more

Handy spell checker

TinySpell is a free tool that checks spelling in any program. Accessing the program is as simple as right-clicking on its icon in your computer's Quick Launch tray. It displays a tiny window, making it easy to use alongside other programs. TinySpell will alert you if you misspell a word, or you can type a word directly in its window to check your spelling.

Most computer programs have spell check built-in, but in some programs the spell check is cumbersome to use or not easily accessed. TinySpell can bridge that gap. We thought it was quite handy to have … Read more

Waiter fired for twittering about celebs

It is not easy to feed the egos of Hollywood celebrities. It is not even easy to merely feed their intestines.

This seems to be the conclusion one reaches from the story of Jon-Barrett Ingels, waiter to the stars. Well, now former waiter to the stars.

You see, Ingels was merely an extra in the vast set that is Beverly Hills. He would be still or sparkling, depending on his audience. And occasionally, he would turn his Twitter account into a diary of how hard it was to make his daily bread.

According to the delightful Los Angeles Times blog … Read more

Typing word helper

Typing Assistant provides the ability to autocomplete words and save time. With a minimum of frills and an impressively large dictionary, this program will shave minutes off writing.

This program's interface reminded us of the word-completing software present in text messaging, but still required a visit to the Help file's simple instructions for the basics. While its functionality proved to be initially distracting, we quickly grew to anticipate it. Once we wrote a few letters (for example, "Arr") a small screen popped up, providing a list of possible solutions (this example ranged from Arrack, Arrange, Array, … Read more

Word processing tool

Write Source provides users with a word processor for .txt documents that successfully imitates Word. In addition, the program offers an added feature that will help users search for words.

We felt instantly comfortable with this program's interface since it smoothly mimics Microsoft Word all the way down to its layout. The Help file's instructions were necessary to master some of the more complicated features, but basic writing was a snap. Our previous experience with word processors that save as .txt files had been disappointing since they always seemed to fall short of Word with their clumsy layouts … Read more

Reading worksheet generator

Teachers can test their reading and writing students' skills with Edit Prep. The program creates worksheets that students can proofread for correct punctuation and grammar usage, or read for contextual clues to test their reading comprehension skills.

We tried each of Edit Prep's three sections: Proofreading, Comprehension, and CLOZE Worksheet, which deals with finding contextual clues in passages of text. The program has a selection of sample text from well-known works of literature from which you can generate worksheets, or users can import passages from sources outside the program. We think teachers will enjoy this option, because they can … Read more

Bare-bones diary

MB Pagan Diary is a program that lets users keep track of their pagan practices. Although it works as described, its unattractive interface and lack of features left us unimpressed.

As is the case with all Mystic Board programs, the opening screen is a clutter of ads for Mystic Board. The program's main interface lets users choose between sections for spells, incense, recipes, and rituals. Each section looks the same, with a space that contains a list of entries, which are not dated. (Yes, a diary without dated entries. Amazing.) When users add an entry they get access to … Read more

Child's spelling tool

Ray's Spelling and Word Games provides a simple program that will help youngsters learn how to spell. With three different games and simple commands that will be quickly mastered, users will love this collection of games.

The program's interface is full of cartoonish images, bright colors, and large, simple words that children should be able to master. If not, their parents will easily be able to assist, making the Help file somewhat unnecessary. The program consists of Spelling Challenges, Word Jumbles, and a hangman-like Find the Word. The spelling challenge provides tutorials that prepare the user for hearing … Read more

Quick script maker

SceneWriter Pro offers budding screenwriters a way to organize their great ideas in an industry-recognized format. With easy controls and surprisingly professional results, this is a great tool for creative minds.

While the program's interface is not exactly intuitive, it has several things working in its favor. First, a little experimentation quickly unveils how its main screen and four smaller satellite screens (along with several command icons) operate. As users explore, the program pops up a screen with a helpful tip for that specific function. Finally, the program's Help file will eliminate any other operational questions. The program … Read more

Spelling coach

Build your skills for spelling with this interesting tutorial program. While its commands are confusing at times, the results are hard to beat. Users will be able to find help by utilizing this program.

The program has a sleek look, which gives a professional impression. However, users will be wise to look over the massive Help file for directions on how to create their own word lists, since there is no direction on how to navigate the various boxes and command buttons to do so. Users must start by creating one of these lists, so they can focus on words … Read more