Vibrating pen checks your spelling as you write

Spell-check can be pretty frustrating, but it's become an invaluable feature in word-processing programs. For jotting down notes with a pen, though, people just have to take their lumps. Or, rather, they did. The Lernstift smart pen, created by two German dads, hopes to improve spelling around the world by alerting scribes whenever they make an error.

While we've written about the Lernstift before, the project is now making a go on Kickstarter. Using a motion sensor that combines a gyroscope with an accelerometer (unlike the camera technology used in Livescribe pens), the Lernstift will be able to capture and monitor the user's handwriting, vibrating whenever a word is spelled incorrectly. The pen was conceived by co-creator Falk Wolsky's wife, who hit upon the idea after helping her son with his homework. … Read more

Sick of bad spelling in your browser? So is Chrome

When Chrome's engineers sat down to plan out feature updates, who would've thought that "spell-checker" would've been anywhere on that list?

Google Chrome 26 stable for Windows (download) and Linux (download) updates the browser's ability to automatically check for spelling and homonym mistakes with new dictionaries.

Chrome 26 for Mac (download) has received the other Chrome 26 updates, but the spell-checking feature will be made available later, Google said in a blog post. The company did not specify a timeline for the feature, and unfortunately, it will not correct inaccurate spelling already published elsewhere … Read more

Save it with Clipboard Help and Spell

Clipboard Help and Spell is a free tool that saves and stores your text Clipboard entries, letting you search, filter, and open just the right entry among many. It offers hot keys, text formatting, image capture, and more options than we could describe, even if that's all we did in the allotted space.

Clipboard Help and Spell has a main window that we could open from the program's system tray icon, but most of the time that tray icon is the program's primary interface. Clicking it calls up a handy menu of common operations like opening clips, … Read more

How to change spell check language in OS X

When you initially set up your Mac, you will be asked to select one of several supported languages as the default language to use. This will set the system-wide spell checker to the desired language, and also cue other applications such as Microsoft Office to set their languages accordingly at installation time, if supported.

The language setting will not only set the system's display language, but also set up the various spell checkers used in word-processing programs like TextEdit, Pages, and Safari. Though this is convenient, there may be times when in typing documents you will need to use … Read more

Pinch to play

Links from Wednesday's episode of Loaded:

The FCC approves Net neutrality rules

eBay launches Gifts Nearby to help you shop offline

Microsoft wants to enable the Kinect to recognize finger gestures

The new FourSquare iPhone app lets you comment on your friends' location choices

The state of Oregon will now allow spell check on state exams

And that's all folks! Loaded is on hiatus through the end of the year. We will see you at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas for new tech galore! Have happy and healthy holidays!

Spell check may be Internet Explorer's Achilles' heel

A reader named Lenny responded recently to a post from last August about browser spell checkers to ask whether Internet Explorer 8 finally has a built-in spell checker. Unfortunately, the only way to get spell check and suggested corrections in IE 8 is by relying on the spell check built into the site you're visiting or by installing a third-party extension.

But even then, Firefox and Chrome out-spell-check IE in a landslide.

The earlier post compared Firefox's built-in spell-check feature with the spelling checker in the free IE7Pro extension for Internet Explorer. It seems IE7Pro is no longer … Read more

Spell-check and other useful functions when typing in OS X

OS X has a few useful built-in correction and substitution functions that you can use when composing documents in various applications. One of these is the option to check spelling as you type, which has been around for a while, but more recently Apple has introduced system-wide character substitution and word suggestion options. While these options are available to applications, they will only work for those coded to take advantage of them. These include Apple's iWork and iLife programs, as well as TextEdit and Safari, but other third-party programs also support these services.… Read more

Slow typing in text fields? Check the spell checker!

Entering information in text fields should be smooth and fast, with no pauses or delays of any kind. Despite this, some background tasks if corrupt or otherwise malfunctioning may interfere with typing. One of the most common is OS X's spell checking behavior, but sometimes, the built-in options are not to blame.… 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

Top toolbar

If you're into toolbars, Internet Explorer, and Google, the Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer does more than give IE a mere shot of nitro. With a set of features both useful and self-promoting, Google Toolbar 6 feels like it adds eight cylinders to IE's engine, turning it into a powerhouse of personalized functionality for both IE 8 users and those who are stuck on earlier versions.

There's the dedicated Google search window, the effective pop-up blocker, the form autofiller, the translation utility, the spell checker, and the map tool that automatically links addresses in Web pages to … Read more