MicroSpell Release Notes
the latest version of MicroSpell.
Look here for a summary of the changes between successive releases
of the speller.
Changes From v9.0 Beta 5x to v9.1
The changes are listed here in chronological order:
Fixed a bug that occasionally resulted in a word other
than the first suspect being highlighted in the main window when the Spell Check
dialog was first opened. (The correct word was shown in the Spell Check dialog.)
The dialog that the speller displays when you attempt to exit
with unchecked files now includes the file names (up to 5).
Changes From v9.1 to v9.1a
Fixed a bug which caused the Inbox to remain permanently maximized
if you said OK to the speller's offer to rearrange the windows when
the Inbox was maximized.
Layout commands 1 and 2 no longer adjust the main window width
(unless restoring from a maximized state). Also, they will now
resize the main window's height if it is occupying more than one-half
of the available screen height.
When you finish checking a document file, the speller now closes
it (even if there are no more files to be checked) so it will not
remain in the edit window. This does not apply if you stop the
spell check by clicking the Spell Check dialog Close button or the
Inbox window close icon.
If you drag a suspect word from the Spell Check dialog to a
user dictionary, MicroSpell now clears the guess list and
sets the first line to "-Suspect OK-"; as before, it also
recolors the suspect using the known word color.
Added a new icon to the MicroSpell program group that makes
it easier to run the Web Lookup command for the word on the
Clipboard when MicroSpell is not running.
Simply click this icon and MicroSpell will start up and show
it's Web Lookup dialog with the word from the Clipboard
automatically inserted into the search box. The installation
program now offers you the option of putting this icon
on the Start Menu. The Epsilon support adds a
command for looking up the word under or before the cursor.
Modified the suspect coloring feature so that most
suspects that are considered "probable misspellings"
are colored using the "unknown word" color instead of
any other possible rendering. This makes certain
errors more noticeable and simplifies the coloring.
Changed the Open Previous Unchecked Doc File command
to open the previous file regardless of whether or not it
has been checked. Renamed the command to be Open Previous
Doc File. This makes it easier to "back up" to a
previously checked document. The Open Next Unchecked
Doc File command has not been modified, except that it,
like the "Open Previous" command now wraps past the end of
the document list, if necessary.
Added a "Menu" button to the Document List dialog.
Corrected a problem with "muspell.el" that prevented the
"Complete word" command from working in Emacs.
Fixed some broken links in the documentation.
Changed (slightly) how scrolling by page works in the Inbox
and Outbox when only one line is selected. When you scroll
down, the selection jumps to the last line that was (fully)
visible on the previous page, which will normally be the
first line on the new page. This provides a little more
visual continuity. Also, when you reach the end of the
list, the selection shows where to continue scanning visually, since
the last page usually contains at least some items
form the previous page.
Changes From v9.1a to v9.1b
Added an "Automatically Apply Last Layout Command" option
to the Window menu. When this option
is enabled, MicroSpell automatically issues the layout command you gave most recently whenever
the Inbox opens. This maintains a neat appearance when the size
of the main window changes.
Fixed "bookmark" bug that prevented speller from automatically
scrolling to first bookmark set during a spell check.
The size and position of the main window are now saved whenever you exit from the
Inbox or the Spell Check dialog. The settings are saved independently for both and
restored next time you open the corresponding spell check window. The settings are
also save when you close MicroSpell and associated with the currently active (Inbox or
Spell Check dialog) mode.
Modified the "Add" function on the Document List dialog to use the standard Windows
File Open dialog instead of the Add Files dialog.
Added a "Quick Start" dialog which enables you to easily perform some common tasks.
While you can do all of these things (sometimes more directly) in other ways, you
might prefer this dialog, especially if you are a new or infrequent user.
Changes From v9.1b to v9.1c
The Document List dialog now appears automatically after you finish checking a
group of (two or more) files. This provides word count statistics and confirms
that the operation completed successfully. There is a new checkbox to disable this
behavior if you prefer not to see this dialog.
The standard file open dialogs are now resizable.
Modified the strategy used to avoid flickering when the Spell Check dialog
is open and the syntax coloring is enabled in the main window. The speller
now uses two different strategies, depending on whether the Spell Check
dialog overlaps the main window or not. If your screen is large enough
to give you a choice, you might want to try both possibilities to see
which you prefer.
Removed the "Outbox/Inbox Alternate" toolbar button and replaced it with
a "Check linked HTML files" button. The former command is still
available on the main window "View" menu.
Fixed a bug that caused the speller to attempt to use Location and
Document-Specific Dictionaries even when the document resided on a read-only
medium such as a CD-ROM.
Added an internal web browser to the Web Lookup dialog. This will appear if
you have Internet Explorer 4.0 or higher installed on your system.
Otherwise, your default browser will be used as before. When the internal
browser is available, MicroSpell always invokes the Web Lookup dialog
no matter how you request a web lookup. MicroSpell's Web Lookup shortcut
now places an entry on the taskbar while it is running so you can find
it more easily if it disappears behind other windows.
By default, MicroSpell now automatically propagates the contents of the
LSD when you are checking a group of files (such as a web site)
and they are spread over two or more (sub)directories. This keeps
you from having to re-accept (and save) a word
that is known from an earlier "Save" to an LSD in a different subdirectory.
You can disable this behavior on the "User Dictionaries" tab of the
"General Preferences" dialog.
When you check a file using MicroSpell's Emacs or Epsilon support,
the speller does not attempt to check linked or "included" files,
i.e., it checks just the file requested. This avoids the potential
problem (in Emacs, at least) of changing a file on the disk without
updating the same file in memory.
Changes From v9.1c to v9.1d
When you create a new dictionary, the "View/Edit" dialog is now launched
automatically. Use the "Browse for File" button to add a list of
words to the new dictionary.
MicroSpell now saves three different sizes (and positions) for the
main window: one for when a spell check is not in progress, one
for when the Inbox is open, and one for when the Spell Check
dialog is open. The saved data are updated when windows are
Fixed a bug associated with automatically showing the Document List dialog after closing
the Spell Check dialog. If you experienced any crashes under these conditions,
this was likely the cause. This problem only affected the previous version,
Added an option to the Web Lookup dialog that enables you to look up
a whole list of words at once. MicroSpell's internal browser caches
the results which you can view rapidly using the "Forward" and "Back"
Modified the hotkey spell checking function to create and use
script files with names specific to the application which created
the window whose text you are checking. This means that you can
now have different copy and paste scripts for different programs
even if they use the same window class. If a copy scrip with
a new "extended" file name does not exist, the speller uses
the old one. Currently, this new naming convention is not
available if MicroSpell is running under Windows NT; in this
case, the old scheme is used. We've used this extension to
provide hotkey spell check scripts for Netscape (web page
edit boxes) and Opera e-mail subject and text fields.
When a hotkey spell check finds no misspellings, MicroSpell
briefly shows the main window along with the self-closing
"No Misspellings" dialog. This provides visual feedback
on exactly what was checked and makes the behavior of the
main window consistent with respect to keyboard focus which is important for a few
of the hotkey copy/paste scripts.
Changes From v9.1c to v9.1e
The "Open Previous File" and "Open Next Unchecked File" arrow buttons
on the main speller window toolbar are now active during spell checking
whenever there is a "next" or "previous" file available to be opened.
The "next" button ends the current spell check immediately, gives
you an opportunity to save any changes you have already made, then
opens the next unchecked file. The "previous" button works similarly
except that it does not initiate a spell check when the previous file
is opened, even if the "Auto Spell Check on File Open is Enabled" and
the file has not yet been checked. (This prevents the speller from
quickly checking and closing files that have no suspects.)
Changed the text that appears in the title bar when the current
document has been changed form "(modified)" to "(unsaved changes)"
which is more accurate.
You can now select multiple lookup destinations in the Web Lookup
list box. The internal browser will visit each of the selected
sites and cache the results. You can view the results using the
"back" and "forward" arrows. You can only visit multiple sites
if the internal browser is available; if the speller has to
launch your default browser, it will visit only the first
Tweaked the algorithm the speller uses to color recognized
word fragments to reduce the number of irrelevant colorings.
Fixed a bug that caused an "Accept All" command to be issued
for a suspect that you dragged from the Inbox and dropped
on a user dictionary, even if the "Remove" checkbox was
enabled. The suspect is now accepted only if the "Remove"
checkbox is not checked.
When adding user dictionaries to pop-up menus, the speller
now first adds the open ones followed by the ones that
are closed, up to the limit of 10. This enables you to
be sure the one you want is present by simply opening
it. (Note, this will only affect you if you have
so many user dictionaries that some were not being
listed on the pop-up menus before.)
Fixed a bug that caused the "Dictionary Advice" dialog
to be shown again if you chose the "Do It for Me"
option when the "Dictionaries" dialog was not open.
The speller now handles accented characters in HTML mode.
Changes From v9.1e to v9.1f
When you accept a noncontiguous group of suspects, the
speller shows the locations of the first and last lines
removed from the Inbox using the selection highlight
(for the first) and a heavier grid line (for the last).
Added an optional mouseover selection margin to the Inbox and
Outbox. This appears as a colored area to the left of the icon.
Rolling the mouse cursor into this region toggles the selection
state of the corresponding line, i.e. deselects the line if
it was selected, and vice versa. You can enable/disable this
option for both Inbox and Outbox using "Show | Inbox/Outbox Mouseover
Selection Bar" on the Inbox right mouse button pop-up menu.
The "Learn Remaining Words" dialog is now off by default.
Most of its functionality has been duplicated on two new
Inbox buttons: "+Accept" and "+DSD" (or "+LSD" when appropriate).
These buttons are colored and function just like the "Done"
button, except that they save the remaining Inbox suspects
first, i.e. they work exactly like the analogous buttons
on the "Learn Remaining Words" dialog. If you prefer to
continue using the dialog, you can enable it using the
Inbox right mouse button pop-up menu "Show" command.
Fixed a problem with Epsilon support under certain versions of Windows NT.
If you experienced problems launching the speller from inside Epsilon
under NT, install the updated version of "spell.e" included in this
distribution. (Search for "Epsilon" in the on-line help for details.)
A new "Contains 'Uncommon' Words" property can now be associated
with compressed (main) and user dictionaries.
Suspects matching entries in these dictionaries will not be
silently accepted; instead, they are listed in the Outbox with the "newly recognized" icon (green
light with letter "N" inside). Also, these words will generally appear lower on the guess list.
This helps address the conflicting requirements of having a large dictionary to minimize the number
of false alarms while at the same time having a more limited dictionary to catch typos that
accidentally match obscure words. For informal writing, you can mostly ignore this distinction; when
you want to be more careful, you can simply review the "uncommon" words in the Outbox, which will be
grouped at or near then end. In other words, you don't have to remember to set any options or change
any modes to take advantage of this feature.
It is now even easier to apply MicroSpell's grouping commands. When the Inbox is sorted in
any way except by category icon (in other words, when the grey square icons are used), clicking
on a grey square icon next to a suspect will select and group that and all similar
suspects. If a particular suspect can be grouped several ways (e.g. upper case, short word, etc.),
clicking the same icon repeatedly will show them. The word whose icon you clicked will be moved
to the top of the list; this makes it easy to find if you need to click it repeatedly.
The title bar now shows the grouping criterion.
MicroSpell can now create an auto-correction pair automatically
whenever you give a Replace All command; to activate this, click the new
Make Auto-Correction entries following "Replace All" commands
option on the Options | General Preferences | Spell Checking dialog. This enables the speller
to learn the errors you tend to make and correct them automatically, if you wish. When this option
is enabled, you can make changes without creating auto-corrections by using the "Replace One"
command, or simply remove the auto-corrections after they have been created in the Auto-cor.AC
user dictionary (see the following item).
Even if you use the speller often, it will probably take a month or more before you notice
This option is available only in registered versions of the speller.
You can now remove entries from auto-correction dictionaries via drag-and-drop or cut-and-paste.
You need not set the Remove checkbox for this operation because Remove is the only option
available when you drag or paste Clipboard text into an auto-correction dictionary.
This is an easy
way to remove an occasional automatically created auto-correction if you forget or choose not
to use the "Replace One" command (see previous item). There is also an Outbox pop-up menu
item that does the same thing (see below).
When you collapse a multiline selection in the Inbox by clicking anywhere or pressing ".", the speller now
displays a small dialog which gives you an
opportunity to reselect the lines that were deselected. You can do this even after making corrections
or accepting suspects; this is very handy when you are grouping suspects. For example, you can fix a few errors, then
quickly regroup to accept all of the remaining suspects.
For greater consistency with standard list box behavior, the Inbox and Outbox now clear their selections when
they lose focus and restore them when they regain focus.
When you edit a user dictionary and save the results (via the View/Edit dialog), the disk file
is updated immediately. Previously, the disk version was not updated until you closed the speller.
If you are running two instances of MicroSpell with the same user dictionary open in each one,
they will attempt to ensure that both instances are using the same list of words even if you
modify it in only one of them. They check for changes before and after a spell check, before
opening and after closing the View/Edit or Lookup/Replace dialog, and automatically read in
or write out the changes, as appropriate. If, despite these checks, you mange to change
a user dictionary (differently) both on disk and in memory, the words in memory will overwrite those in the disk file
when you exit from the speller (as in previous versions).
A new installer option enables you to place a MicroSpell icon (a red check mark) in the taskbar system tray
so the speller remains readily available but without an intrusive taskbar button. You can
display the speller anytime by clicking the tray icon. If you double-click the tray icon, the
speller will check the contents of the Clipboard if it contains text. If you press <Alt> while
double-clicking, the speller will perform a web lookup of the word on the Clipboard
using the default lookup destination. You can also right-click on the tray icon to see a menu of commands.
Most of these duplicate the functions just described, but let you decide, for example, whether the speller will
do a normal spell check or display the Lookup dialog. Before this menu is displayed, the word
on the Clipboard (if any) is spell checked and a menu option inserted that either verifies that the
spelling is OK or leads to a submenu of suggested alternatives.
The "Shut Down Speller" command will
close the speller and remove
the icon from the system tray (this is the only way to temporarily remove the tray icon).
While you are running the speller from the system tray, the normal
speller close commands (e.g. the "x" in the upper right corer of the main window) hide the speller
window(s), but do not remove the icon from the system tray. The speller remains available for
hotkey spell checking and other functions. The tray icon feature is controlled by a MicroSpell
shortcut in the StartUp folder: you can remove it to permanently remove the tray icon or add a new shortcut to
enable it if you did not have the installer add one. If you create a new shortcut, be
sure to add the "-b" option separated from the speller name (ms32.exe) by a space.
A new "Do Once" checkbox on the Dictionaries dialog lets you set one or more of the options that
remove, split, or convert words to lower case so that they take effect only for the
word(s) you are currently dragging-and-dropping or pasting and then automatically switch off.
A new Outbox popup menu item ("Remove Selected Auto-Correction") enables you to easily
remove an entry from the auto-correction dictionary. You'll find this useful if
you unintentionally make an auto-correction as a side-effect of a Replace All command.
This option is disabled unless you have selected a single Outbox line and there
is an auto-correction entry in the current default auto-correction dictionary
for that word.
For greater consistency, the same coloring scheme that is used to color suspects in the Inbox and Spell Check dialog
is now used in the Replacement Box of the Lookup/Replace dialog.
Changes From v9.1f to v9.1g
Modified the (optional) auto-accept function for web related suspects to match suspects containing
one or more backslash characters (e.g. "foo\bar") and two or more forward slashes (e.g. "foo/bar/bas").
Fixed a bug which could cause a crash when the tray icon was right-clicked while the Clipboard contained
certain long text strings.
Added a dialog to report Auto-Corrections and "uncommon" suspects that have been accepted. This dialog displays information that is already available via the Outbox, however users of the
Spell Check dialog do not normally see the Outbox so this dialog shows potentially important information.
If you normally use the Inbox for spell checking, you might still want to see this dialog to force your
attention to the fact that MicroSpell performed auto-corrections and/or accepted "uncommon" words.
If you are checking important documents, it's a good idea to always scan the "uncommon" words because
occasionally a typo will convert the word you intended to write into a correctly spelled, but inappropriate,
word. You can control whether or not this dialog appears via the "Options | General Preferences | Spell
Checking" dialog or by using the new "Fussiness" control (see below).
Added a button to the statistics dialog that the speller displays after you finish correcting a document
using the Spell Check dialog. The "Show Outbox for Review/Undo" button works exactly like the "Show List"
button on the Spell Check dialog, but it gives you the option to "back up" after you have finished
the spell check. This is especially useful if the only suspects were auto-accepted and you did not
have an opportunity to give any Spell Check dialog commands. In earlier versions,
your only option at this point was to either save the document or not. Now you can view the Outbox and
undo one or more of your earlier actions, or simply review how all of the suspects were handled.
This capability gives users of the Spell Check dialog the same degree of control that users of the Inbox/Outbox
combination already enjoy.
The Dictionaries dialog now displays a status message that changes as you move the cursor during a
drag-and-drop operation. The message tells what will happen if you drop the Clipboard contents
as that point. Similarly, the "Paste" item on the pop-up menu has additional text that tells what
will happen if you paste where you clicked.
The Status Message Log function has been improved by color-coding certain types of operations. For
example, "Replace" commands (which modify the document) are shown in red; user dictionary additions
are shown in green. A "View Doc. List" button displays the Document List dialog which has a list of
all the documents you've checked plus those waiting to be checked. Clicking the newly added "Details"
button for a document you have checked will display the Status Message Log window and scroll to the
details for that document. The Log window is now a modeless dialog so you can leave it open if you
want. There is no longer a 32K size limit on the log.
Added a "fussiness" dialog with a slider control that makes it easier to modify spell checking
options. The slider settings range from "Strict" to "Lax" and let you easily adjust the balance
between the amount of effort required (more suspects) and the possibility of a misspelling or
inappropriate word slipping by (fewer suspects). Virtually all of the settings controlled by
the slider can also be controlled from other dialogs, but not as easily or conveniently. There
are also three presets so you can quickly change the pickiness to match the task. One of the presets
can be automatically (and temporarily) applied during hotkey spell checking. The dialog,
which you can launch by clicking the toolbar button next to the red spell check button, contains
a help box with additional information.
Fixed an obscure bug that caused abnormal spelling tooltip and user dictionary behavior if you edited the main dictionary
and used the spell check function without closing and restarting the speller.
When you create a copy script for hotkey spell checking, you can now have the speller save the current
setting of the option that controls whether rich text is accepted (if available) from the Clipboard.
This saved setting will temporarily override the current setting whenever you run the script. This means
that you can have the speller automatically refuse rich text when you are checking a browser screen. This
might be necessary to get hotkey spell checking to work properly with certain versions of Internet Explorer,
and it generally improves things by reducing the visual clutter no matter which browser you are using.
On the other hand, if you are losing formatting information during hotkey spell checking, you can ensure
that rich text is not refused in that situation.
Fixed a bug that caused a crash or other unusual behavior when the keyboard shortcut <F4> was
used to close the Inbox under certain conditions.
Fixed a bug in the code used to import Ispell words lists that caused invalid cross products to be created
when a prefix flag without a '*' attribute was encountered.
While checking a document, you can now switch to the main window and edit the text without explicitly
cancelling the spell check. If you modify the text, the document will be rechecked automatically
when you return to the Inbox/Outbox or Spell Check dialog. This enables you to easily make changes (such
as removing a space that accidentally divides a word) that you cannot do by editing or replacing the
current suspect. If the document is quite long and requires numerous such edits, it would be more efficient
to use the Inbox to set a bookmark on each suspect that must be edited, then do them all during one long
edit session to avoid rechecking the document many times. You can use the shortcut Alt+/ to set a breakpoint
on the currently selected word, and Alt+J to advance ("jump") through the bookmarks.
Made many small changes, such as clarifying tool tip text and fixing some minor bugs.
Changes From v9.1g to v9.1h
For earlier changes, see Release History.
While checking a web site by following links, MicroSpell will now attempt to open (and check)
a file named "index.html" or "index.htm" if the link does not contain a file name.
Modified the installation program to install for either the current user or for all users.
If you are adding a MicroSpell tray icon, the program now checks for a running version and will
not add a duplicate.
Added a Web Lookup option to request that MicroSpell use an external browser instead
of the built-in one when Web Lookup is launched in certain ways (e.g. by using the
<Ctrl+W> hotkey). This can be useful to work around a bug that sometimes causes the
browser control to hang on certain sites (see the FAQ
for more information).
Removed the "Quick Start" dialog button from the toolbar and disabled it by default.
(If you were accustomed to using it, you can still launch it by pressing <F1> in the
main speller window.)
Fixed a few obscure bugs and made several minor changes.