The spell checker is one of the great software inventions, saving face (and other bits of anatomy) for countless writers. Conceived as part of another software milestone, the word processor, spelling, and grammar checkers are found anywhere people have access to keyboards and entry fields, but especially in e-mail clients, chat apps, and similar software. Ginger is a free spelling and grammar checker based on concepts like full-sentence context and text-to-pronunciation. This free Web-based tool can help writers improve their skills and produce clear, error-free text, but it's particularly effective for learning English as a second language and helping individuals with dyslexia and similar learning issues improve their writing and communication skills. Ginger is fully compatible with Microsoft Office tools such as Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint, as well as Firefox and other browsers.
Ginger installs locally on your PC, but it also uses Web-based tools, and it requires an active Internet connection to work. Setting up Ginger is easy. When it's running, Ginger places a small button bar centered at the top of the screen; clicking it opens an expanding spell checker panel, or you can press F2 to have Ginger check any open document. Ginger's interface is split horizontally between the text being checked and the same text with recommended changes (if any) highlighted; clicking Approve accepts the changes, or you can simply click away to close the window. The Settings menu accesses features such as our Personal Dictionary; we could also set Ginger as our default spell checker in Word and other apps and access a Web-based Help file, user community, and other resources.
Ginger is easy to configure and use, but first-time users may want to run the program's tutorials. Ginger is capable of creating lessons and quizzes based on your errors -- unlike other spell checkers, which are happy to let you go on making the same mistakes over and over again. Ginger also incorporates specific, unique technology designed to help people with dyslexia, including tools that focus on unusual and phonetic spelling. Ginger's personalized tutor feature analyzes repeated errors, including whole-context errors, and suggests corrections. A premium version is available.