Live Spell Checker

As usual I’m using the word “Live” but go ahead to name it ajax, xmlhttprequest or dhtml, or …, and spellcheck, spell-check, spell_check, spellchecker, Spell Checker or… whatever.

Download the latest here.

Just copy into your plugin folder, activate and run it!
Edit config.php if needed ;)


0.6 – 10 July 2005

  1. Integration of Chris Meller’s Google Spellcheck webservice (
  2. Upgrade to the latest Garrison Locke spellcheck 2.2 (
  3. Fix the resized textarea
  4. Addition of config.php
  5. Spot the difference here

0.5 – 5 July 2005

  1. More fixes to pspell
  2. Now Integrates Emil’s DHTML(&Rich Text) Spellchecker. Now words are spell checked while you type! Just like in office, dreamweaver, nvo…. For demonstration purposes, (to know how it works), try on this site.
  3. His server side scripts are ported to php

0.4-11 June 2005 –

  1. Added spell checking for comments

0.3-11 June 2005

  1. Adapts m0n5t3r’s WP plugin of Broken’s AJAX Spell Checker
  2. Updated its to Broken’s v1.7
  3. Fixs integrations and other small bugs

Right from the 1st post in my blog I thought spellcheck was fairly important.

When I was (re)introduced to AJAX on the net, live spell check was 1 of my (not so orginal) idea again.

Finally a dose of dynamic spell checkers i discovered on the net in my latest post and also the motivation to improve the plugin.

Known problems

  1. You would need either pspell or aspell on your server
    Engine uses google as default, otherwise pspell or aspell needed
  2. Wont work with autosave or wysiwygs enabled
  3. TextArea gets resize during spell checks
    Layout alittle soiled in Tiger admin
  4. Surely there is more efficient methods for this spell checker
    Really, this plugin is a combination of scripts, we’ll see how good it goes
  5. Using”Check spelling” method strips off more and nextpage tags

Resolving them

  1. Disable AutoSave in the plugins
  2. As for WYSIWYG plugin, I currently use ChenPress, with some of my code to toggle it on when needed, so this spell checker works with it.
  3. Another solution for WYSIWYGs is to use plugins for them. Example there should be speller plugins for TinyMCE, Xihua, FCKeditor, so on.. The few, eg. old HTMLarea might be compatible with this plugin

Future improvements:

  1. Check/Correct as you type – Going in Emil’s Spell Checker’s direction could be great
  2. Suggest/prompt words while you are typing – Save typing like Eclipse autocomplete or Google suggest
  3. Ability to integrate with those WYSIWYG editors or checking spelling using any selection of a page just by highlighting with your mouse

Demo: Sorry I forget to add eariler. Just try any post and spellcheck is integrated in the comments field.

// Let me embed one using execphp here.

100 thoughts on “Live Spell Checker

  1. I installed this but it doesn’t work.

    1. On the comment text box, the words “check spelling…” show up, but are not hyperlinked.

    2. When writing a post, they never find anything wrong with spelling even when there are errors.

    3. Now as I test it on your site, it thinks every word of my post is spelled wrong.

  2. Ruby, it is so because I’m testing out because I using new codings and adding new features now (something about google.. ). I think its working now. Stay tunned for the next release.

    As for your server, could it be that aspell is not installed?

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  4. Hey I just tried activating this plugin and it gave me a bunch of warnings about pspell not being found. Should that be happening? I thought it would fall back to google spell if I didn’t have gspell?

  5. Rob, could you give me the exact error you are getting? If pspell is not found, the pspell script will be included. By default google spell would be called in the modified pspell script.

  6. I received this error when I tried to install …

    Warning: main(spell_checker/spell_checker.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/vegan2/public_html/blog/wp-content/plugins/ajax-spell-checker.php on line 48

    Fatal error: main(): Failed opening required ‘spell_checker/spell_checker.php’ (include_path=’.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php’) in /home/vegan2/public_html/blog/wp-content/plugins/ajax-spell-checker.php on line 48

  7. Hi there! I just wanted to let you know, I have implemented your great plugin on one of the blogs we host. You can see it in action on the comments here works fantastic. Thats the good, naturally i have bad also. On one of the other blogs we host, it does not work. It works fine in Admin, but not on comments. I have tried a different template but to no avail. The miss spelt words are underlined, but when you click on them the little box does not come up. Maybe you have a thought? Anyway, regardless of if it works on that blog or not, it is a good plugin and you blokes do such a good job. I wish I could do that sort of stuff.

  8. Very strange…

    Check spelling doesn’t work on my site, it does on yours.
    Spell Check Typing Mode works on my site (well, sort of – it says I’m typing everything wrong…) but it doesn’t work when I try it here…

    I’m using IE 6 on Win98 (I’m at work, my home puter is enlightened with Firefox ;) )… is it this old puter’s fault or something else?

  9. Hi
    Thanx for this fine plugin,
    Unfortunately I get this errors:

    rror setting certificate verify locations: CAfile: /hsphere/shared/share/curl/curl-ca-bundle.crt CApath: none error setting certificate verify locations: CAfile: /hsphere/shared/share/curl/curl-ca-bundle.crt CApath: none error setting certificate verify locations: CAfile: /hsphere/shared/share/curl/curl-ca-bundle.crt CApath: none

    Any solution?
    Thanks in advance

  10. For some bizarre reason, I upload the spellchecker folder to my plug-ins folder but then, nothing happens. I see no plug-in to activate. What could possibly be wrong?

  11. Have you considered keeping the font the same between the textarea and the spell-checking interface? This might make the switches between these two interfaces less jarring.

  12. We’ve installed the spell checker but keep getting JavaScript errors when using it in IE 6.

    I tried your demo here and I get the same results.

    Does this work for IE on Windows?

  13. This sounds like very good idéa for someone deprived of an American mothers tongue. Oh, were is the Typing Mode spell checker?
    It didn’t show up, but the Check and Preview works fine.

  14. Cool plugin! I’ve tried (and abandoned) the aspell-based plugin, and this AJAX plugin rocks! I just tested it on a new site I’m setting up, and ran into a few minor problems:

    1) I spell-checked a Page (note capital “P”) with <h3> tags. The spell check went fine, but when I resumed editing, the h3 tags were gone.

    2) Spacing was deleted before an <a> tag, so the text ran into the linklike this.

    3) Spacing was added before a dash. I had written something–like–this and it was changed to something –like –this.

    Petty stuff, I know! I’m happy with the plugin “as is”. But if these problems were corrected, I’d be ecstatic!

  15. I was just talking with my colleague about the need for a better spellchecking in WordPress. I suggested he build his own that uses the Google/Gmail engine. Instead I typed it into google and found your awesome solution!

  16. very nice plug-in!
    I was just complaining the other day how I need a decent spell checker for wordpress… and my colleague suggested there is probably a way to use ajax and google’s spell checking capabilities and tie them into wordpress…

    lucky for us, it’s already been done by you and i’m quite satisfied with this plugin (although, it do find it does mangle up some html table tags when it tries to spell check a post)


    Derek Nobuyuki Wallace

  17. I just installed your plugin and the “Check Spelling” and “Check spelling while you type” show up but are not clickable. They appear as just text not links. Any Ideas? Thanks.

  18. Well I get this error after installing this plugin
    Fatal error: Cannot access empty property in D:\WebSites\BrantBlog\wp-content\plugins\spell_checker\pspell_comp.php on line 123

    This is right after I activate it. I have to delete the plugin to get the site to work again.

    It is installed on PHP 5 newest release (stable). Am using both IE 6 and Firefox 1.7
    **I like the idea, please help me implement it

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  20. @Brant

    hey brant,

    i think you are uses this plugin in your local system. put it on live server and than install this plugin.

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