If there is anything that is the most embarrassing as a writer, it’s making absent-minded grammatical errors. Most writing and productivity apps have a built-in spell check, but those don’t find the grammatical errors, those mistakes that we know are wrong, but that are just made in error. The SpellCheck Plus app helps catch those embarrassing errors.
I started looking for an app to find those errors this week when I published a very embarrassing mistake. I know the difference between there/their/they’re, but in my haste I typed the wrong one, and of course regular spellcheck doesn’t catch that mistake. I looked for an app that would find those mistakes, and this is the only one I could find for the iPad.
SpellCheck Plus has a hard time with an entire document, as when I tried that, it froze up on me. However, it works effectively one paragraph at a time. You can either type it in the app, or the more likely case, paste it in. It finds things it feels should be corrected, and also asks for verification on other things that could be wrong. When I pasted the above paragraph in, it questioned my use of “they’re”, as when following “their”, it makes it seem as if I’m mentioning a location. It also questioned “spellcheck” as one word.” As with all spellcheck apps, that happens to be one of those words that’s a matter of opinion.
Also like most spellcheck apps, it isn’t actually “reading” your text, but flagging combinations of words and punctuation that could be wrong. In the above paragraph, it questioned my use of the comma after the word “apps,” and had it just been “spellcheck apps that,” it wouldn’t need the comma, but that full sentence definitely needs one. However, I would rather have it question potential mistakes than let a huge one be published accidentally.
I run a website that publishes articles by other writers. Sometimes it’s a piece that isn’t written particularly well, and I have to make many corrections as far as rebuilding sentences and word choice. Spellcheck Plus isn’t going to find those errors, but it did catch some errors that might be slipping by me while I concentrate on rebuilding the text. In this case, the writer missed the word “be.” The app is 100% correct that it needs to be added in. The other words it caught in this instance were names that didn’t need to be changed.
One nice thing about this app is that it doesn’t automatically make those corrections for you. It forces you to make them yourself, forcing you to learn the correct grammar, spelling, or punctuation, thereby also making sure it’s a change you indeed want to make. Clicking on the “Correct” button brings up the text in question, and it mentions what the change should be down below, but you will have to physically make that change yourself.
Additionally, Spellcheck Plus doesn’t just work in the English language. It also works in French and Spanish, with different rules and applications for each. If you’re away from a device running iOS, you can use spellcheckplus.com instead.
I don’t know if I will continue to use this app to check work that I am editing that needs much of it rebuilt, but I will definitely be using it for those important articles of mine that I want to make sure are error-free before they are published.