Q & A

Q & A

Q:  On my Mac, I have searched in vain for a way to turn off the gmail spell-checking program because it ruins messages in foreign languages by changing many words unnecessarily. Is there a way to stop spell-check?

The Gmail website itself does not have an automatic spell-checker built into its software, so it may be your Web browser or operating system that is quietly doing the job. If you are collecting your Gmail messages by downloading them to the Mac OS X Mail program, spell-check settings there could be the culprit.

If you are using Gmail on the Web, check your browser’s settings first. In Apple’s Safari browser, go to the Edit menu to “Spelling and Grammar” and on the submenu there, see if the “Correct Spelling Automatically” option is selected. If it is, turn it off, along with any other spell-check features you do not wish to use.

Other Mac-friendly browsers, like Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, also have spell-check capability, but if words are getting changed automatically as you type your message text, it may be Mac OS X itself doing the deed. To see, go to the Apple menu and choose System Preferences, or click the System Preferences icon in the Mac’s Dock.

In the System Preferences box, click the “Languages & Text” icon. Next, click the Text tab and then turn off the checkbox next to “Correct spelling automatically.” This same box also has a menu for picking a specific language for the spell-checker to use, and may be worth trying if you write most messages in another language.