macOS High Sierra

Correct misspelled words

Many macOS apps, such as TextEdit and Mail, can identify misspelled words as you type, and suggest corrections.

Note: VO represents the VoiceOver modifier.

Use automatic spelling correction

When VoiceOver announces a misspelled word, do one of the following:

  • To let the word be corrected automatically, keep typing.

    If the spell checker can’t correct the word, it underlines it in red. You can check the document to manually correct these misspellings.

  • To choose a suggested correction, press the Down Arrow key, then press the Left Arrow or Right Arrow key until you hear the suggestion you want to use. Then press Return.

    To exit the suggestions without choosing one, press the Escape key, Fn-Tab, or the Up Arrow key.

  • To revert to the original spelling of a word that was automatically corrected, navigate to the word, position the insertion point just after the word, press the Down Arrow key to move to the original spelling, then press the Space bar to select it.

If you don’t want spelling to be corrected automatically, choose Edit > Spelling and Grammar, then deselect the Correct Spelling Automatically command (if it’s available).

Correct spelling manually

If you chose not to use automatic spelling correction, or a document contains misspelled words for which the spell checker can’t suggest a correction, you can review and correct misspellings manually.

Tip: The rotor shows a list of all misspelled words in a document, so you can quickly jump to each word and correct it. To use the list of misspelled words, press VO-U to open the Rotor, then press the Left or Right arrow key until you hear Misspelled.

  1. Navigate to the first misspelled word, then press Command-;.

    • To hear the word spelled, press VO-W-W.

      If the word’s not actually misspelled, press Command-; until you hear a word that needs to be corrected.

    • To open a shortcut menu of suggestions, dictionaries, and more, press VO-Shift-M.

  2. Navigate to the spelling you want to use, then press VO-Space bar to select it.

    If you don’t hear an acceptable correction, press the Escape key or Fn-Tab, press VO-Shift-F4 to move the VoiceOver cursor to the misspelled word, then enter any changes you want to make.

To change how VoiceOver announces misspelled words, open VoiceOver Utility (press VO-F8 when VoiceOver is on), click Verbosity, then click Text.