Auto-Correct Spellcheck Grief

I think most Mac people use some form of Spellcheck on their Macs. I have used the Spellcheck built into the macOS as well as third party versions for years. Spellcheck can be very handy, but it can also be very annoying at times. Sometimes it just gets in the way of productivity. Here are some of the things you can do to make Spellcheck work for you.

Auto-Correct Spellcheck

The Spellcheck feature is built into the macOS. To complicate things, some Apps like Pages have their own Spellcheck settings:

Pages Spellcheck

However, most of my main workflow Apps use the System Spellcheck. They may allow you to disable using Spellcheck altogether like this setting in the Postbox email App:

Postbox Spellcheck

If you leave it “Enabled” then the App is using the macOS Spellcheck feature.

Auto-Correct Spellcheck is regulated in the Keyboard Preference Pane under the Text tab:

Keyboard Preferences

If the macOS Auto-Correct Spellcheck system bugs you, then you can disable it right here. I leave it turned on, but this is how I deal with it.

Most of the time the Auto-Correct Spellcheck feature is helpful. I do a fair amount of writing for the Macessence blog. The Auto-Correct feature comes in pretty handy. However, one example of where it gets in the way is when I enter special words, mainly names of software companies in my articles. Here is an example from my blogging App:

Blogging Spellcheck

“Threescapers” is the name of a software company. You can see the spelling error underline. Now, there are two ways to deal with this in most Apps. You start by right-clicking on the word which drops down this menu:

Spellcheck Menu

As far as I am concerned there are two choices here. If you only are going to use this word once or twice then you can choose “Ignore Spelling”. However, if you plan to use the word in your writing from time to time then you should choose “Learn Spelling”. “Ignore Spelling” will ignore spellcheck on that word for the duration of the document you are writing. A new document will start the spellcheck on that word all over again. If I am using a word that I know I will be using from time to time, I just tell the App to “Learn Spelling” and be done with it.

Here is how the Postbox App handles a software company name:

Postbox Spelling

It uses the term “Add to Dictionary” in place of “Learn Spelling”, but it does the same thing. Different Apps may phrase these selections differently, but they will perform the same function.


I hope thinking through the Auto-Correct Spellcheck feature is helpful to you. There are different ways to approach this including just turning the darn thing off. You just need to figure out a method that fits your workflow.