Ready, Set, Spell! 7 Great Resources to Spell Check in Spanish
Uh oh. Did you use that word correctly? Is the accent in the right place? Is your grammar correct?
It’s a pickle every Spanish learner faces.
Luckily, there are plenty of resources that Spanish learners can lean on. Translation apps are a convenient way to translate blocks of text quickly. Dictionary apps and Spanish-language dictionaries can help you ensure you’ve used words correctly. A good grammar checker can help you clean up unfortunate grammar accidents.
But when it comes to cleaning up a block of Spanish text to ensure it is free of spelling and grammar errors, nothing can touch a good spell checker.
Why Use Spanish Spell Check
There are plenty of reasons to use a Spanish spell check over the course of your language studies:
- Use Spanish spell check to make sure your Spanish is on point. It will help you detect errors like typos and gender errors that you might miss when you proofread.
- Use a Spanish-language spell checker to make sure your Spanish is regionally appropriate. Many spell checkers have region or country settings to help you sound like a local.
- Use Spanish spell check to learn more about the language. Look at the errors you’ve made and read about the corrections.
In addition to using spell check, you can improve your Spanish in these three areas by making sure you learn spelling, accent and conjugation rules thoroughly the first time around. The better you learn in the beginning, the easier your studies will be later on!
How to Use Spanish Spell Check
Proofread in addition to using spell check. While spell check will detect some glaring errors, it isn’t always perfect. Any text needs the human touch to ensure accuracy. And let’s face facts: with your mad skills, you can certainly do better than a machine alone. But remember: spell check is your partner—not your boss.
Review any changes spell check suggests before accepting them. Use what you already know about Spanish to make sure that the suggestions really do improve your Spanish writing.
Pick the right spell check for the job. Some word processing programs have Spanish spell check built right in. If not, you may want to lean on online spell checkers. You might even try running your text through several spell checkers to see what feedback each offers.
Use spell check as study material. When there are corrections to your writing, go over them. This is particularly useful with spell checkers that have a grammar component since you’ll get both spelling and grammar lessons. As you use Spanish spell check more and more, note what errors you make most frequently. Then, study and practice these areas to improve your skill. For instance, if spell check consistently shows that you struggle with one type of conjugation, you can refer back to rules and charts on that conjugation to turn this weakness into a strength.
7 Great Resources to Spell Check in Spanish
1. Microsoft Word
Microsoft Word is known as a leading word processor, but it has more to offer than just formatting texts.
Yes, Microsoft Word offers a Spanish-language spell checker that doubles as a grammar checker. Not only that, you can also select your country of choice from a huge array of Spanish-speaking countries, so this is a helpful way to ensure your grammar and spelling are regionally appropriate. (Note: You may need to download additional content for some regions.)
While the exact method for changing language settings varies by what edition of Word you are using, you can generally just access the “Tools” menu. From there, click “Language” and then “Set Language.” Choose which type of Spanish you want and you’re set to spell check in Spanish!
If you’re drafting an email in Spanish, Gmail is a great option. It offers a built in Spanish spell checker if you know where to look for it (hint: it’s easier than you’d think). This way, you can spell check your Spanish-language emails within the interface rather than having to cut and paste in some other spell checker.
To change the language setting, use the down arrow in the bottom right-hand corner of the window where you’re composing the message. Click “Check Spelling.” If you have your language setting on English, it’ll automatically check it as an English-language document first. Don’t cringe at all the red lines. Look to the bottom right side again. Next to the “Recheck” button, there’s another down arrow. Click it and select “español.”
This is best for detecting typos since it doesn’t really check grammar. For more in-depth review, you might want to consider an additional spell checker that also checks grammar.
If there are still a ridiculous number or little red lines, you may also need to change your settings in Google Chrome which we’ll discuss below.
3. Google Docs
Google Docs is a popular, free alternative word processor. Thankfully, it also offers Spanish spell check.
To access it, you can change your language settings. In the main Google Docs screen, click the menu in the blue bar (it has three lines). Then, click “Settings.” Click “English.” From here, click the “Language” bar. You can then change your main language to Spanish or simply add it as an additional language. Once you click “Español” (Spanish), you’ll also get to choose the country so that the spell check will be regionally appropriate. Now, the Spanish language is part of your account. When you use spell check, it will recognize both Spanish and English words.
However, spell check in Google Docs is not perfect. It won’t recognize grammar errors like gender agreement, so always keep an eye out or consider using multiple spell checkers.
4. Google Chrome
If you use Spanish to fill in a lot of online forms, message boards, social media or job applications, changing the language setting in Google Chrome is a great way to ensure that spell check catches any little typos. Like Google Docs, it’ll miss some major issues, but it can certainly point out your typos.
To change the language settings, click the top right box with three lines. Then, click “Settings.” Click “Show advanced settings.” Under the “Languages” heading, click “Language and input settings.” From here, you can add “Spanish” and/or any regional variations (including Argentina, Latin America, Mexico, US and Spain) of the language to your list of languages. This way, things you’re filling in in Chrome will recognize both Spanish and English words, so you won’t see those annoying red lines unless something really needs your attention.
If it doesn’t take right away, don’t fret! Right click on the text, then scroll down and highlight “Spellcheck.” Then, you can change the spell checker to review just Spanish, just English or both.
SpanishChecker.com is a great online grammar and spelling checker that will provide you with a more comprehensive service than most built in spell checkers.
Simply copy and paste your text into the spell checker. Be sure to look to the bottom of the screen for the helpful check boxes to indicate whether “yo” (I) is feminine in this instance and/or whether you’re a native speaker.
Not only will the spell/grammar checker indicate issues like gender agreement, spelling and punctuation, it’ll also explain why these are issues, so this is great to improve your overall learning.
Plus, the most pressing issues are indicated in red. Possible problems appear in yellow. This way, you can see what is definitely wrong and what warrants more thought.
LanguageTool is another good online option for your Spanish spell checking and grammar checking needs. Simply pick “Spanish” from the drop-down menu, enter your text and enjoy.
It can detect plenty of spelling and grammar errors (though it’s a bit weak on gender agreement). Like SpanishChecker.com, errors are indicated in red while possible issues appear in yellow.
One fun feature is that the explanations of the issues are also in Spanish. This is a great way to get you thinking in Spanish. Not only is your grammar and spelling improved, you’re learning while doing it!
Speller is a free open source app that you can download through iTunes.
It allows you to check word spelling, but not grammar, so be sure to keep an eye out for that yourself. It checks both English and Spanish spellings and provides spelling suggestions for words it doesn’t recognize to help point you in the right direction.
So with the help of these great spell checkers, you can clean up your writing and improve your Spanish skills. Soon, you’ll be screaming, “Spell check, please!”
And One More Thing…
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