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LeaseyBite 14, TinySpell

This page contains an approximate transcript of the audio content for the LeaseyBite. For further step by step examples of how to use the Leasey features discussed, please consult the Leasey documentation.

Thank you for your interest in Leasey!

You might not think so, but checking your spelling is one of the most difficult things you can do from a screen-reading standpoint. This really should not be the case. Because not all blind people read Braille, some of us are not always sure what the spelling of a word might be.

There is no consistency between the spell checking interfaces of many programs. For example, the spell checker in Microsoft Word is completely different to that in Mozilla Thunderbird. This in itself causes confusion for new computer users, because they have to adopt different procedures depending upon the program being used. Moreover at the time of publishing this LeaseyBite, the Microsoft Word spell checker is becoming far more difficult to work with. Gone are the days of Office 97 or 2000 where things actually worked well.

Finally, there's the scenario of checking the spelling of a word that you potentially wish to write in the future. You might want to write the word "catastrophe" in a blog post, but you don't know how to spell it.

We've tried to overcome this by employing the services of a small program called TinySpell. A version of this is free to download and some JAWS scripting and setup instructions which we provide ensure you can get the most from it.

To download and setup TinySpell, please refer to the Leasey documentation for version 3.3 and above. Naturally, my copy of TinySpell is all ready to go.

There are two ways we envisage this being used. The first is to have TinySpell check the spellings of words as you type them. When you press the Space Bar, TinySpell will alert you to incorrectly spelled text by playing a sound. This can be a sound of your choosing.

I'm still in Microsoft Word. I will misspell the word "test" as "t t e s t". Then press the Space Bar.
We heard the sound. We can check the alternative suggestions for it, and I'll show you how to do that in a moment.
This feature can be disabled if you wish.

The primary reason for us using this program however is to check the spelling of words, either when they have been typed or those which you would like to check in advance of writing a document. The best way of handling this situation is this.
Type the word as you think it should be spelled.
I'll type the word "Catastrofee".
Place the cursor on the word and select it with Control+Shift+Right Arrow.
Copy it to the Clipboard with Control+C. Selecting the word is important because in a moment, we're going to choose a word from a list of suggestions. That word will replace the original and so it needs to be selected in order that it can be overwritten.

Now, I'll press my keystroke to bring up my list of spelling suggestions. You can choose which keystroke you like, but I've chosen ALT+Control+F9.
JAWS reads the first suggestion and spells it. Usually, the first choice is the one you want, so you can go ahead and press Enter. If it's not, press Down Arrow repeatedly.

You will notice an item, "Add to Dictionary". So if TinySpell does not recognise a word you use frequently, you can add it to the dictionary so it will not be flagged as incorrect in the future.

In this case, we have the correct spelling, so we can press enter.

If you are in the situation where you are just checking the spelling of a word for future use, clearly you don't need to replace it in your document. You can just press Escape to exit the list as hopefully you'll now remember how to spell it.

Lets go back now to our situation where we have the sound enabled to alert us to an incorrectly spelled word. When you hear the sound, you do not need to go back, select the word, and copy it to the Clipboard. Just bring up your list of suggestions.
Provided it is the last word you typed, TinySpell assumes that is the text you would like to correct.

TinySpell works in almost every application where you might want to check spelling. So what we've learned is that you can use it as an immediate spell checker, but also to check the spelling of the occasional word which you just want to know how to spell.

It's a tiny program, but with Leasey's help, it becomes accessible and usable.

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