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How to Spell Check in InDesign

How to Spell Check in InDesign

Adobe’s InDesign software has become a staple of the publishing industry, and for good reason. It has powerful editing and layout tools that allow for the dynamic transformation of a text into a format that works with the medium it will be printed in. Understanding how to get the most out of your InDesign subscription is a matter of mastering its core commands, including the spell check tool. Like many other publishing and word processing platforms, InDesign gives you the opportunity to use dictionaries that support different languages and dialects, making it possible to dial in specific spelling checker tools for different rhetorical situations. Let’s walk through the steps to use the basic built-in spell check.

Running Your First Spell Check

1. If you are using a Windows PC, select Edit > Preferences > Spelling. For Mac users, the navigation is InDesign > Preferences > Spelling
2. You can check for a variety of common errors beyond simple spelling mistakes. Select the ones you want from the list. For basic spelling, use Misspelled Words. If you want to check for items like duplicated words or capitalization errors, select those options as well.
3. If you want to underline words that are not in the dictionary when you type, select Dynamic Spelling.
4. Last but not least, specify the underline color for suspected mistakes.

After setting up the options, you will get a spelling check of the document so far, and you’ll also be set up to receive spelling feedback as you type. It’s important to remember that this feature is entirely dependent on the accuracy of the dictionary you use as a resource. When you are troubleshooting how to spell check in InDesign, you’ll need to make sure your dictionary has correctly spelled versions of technical words, foreign additions to the dialect of the piece, or other deviations from the stock dictionary of common words included in the base software. Luckily, you can easily define custom dictionaries, add new words, and expand your dictionary’s coverage.

Getting the Most Out of InDesign’s Spell Check Feature

Your spell check dictionary is what you make of it. Adding new words will help but exploring additional dictionaries and downloading the files you need to round out your quality control will often be faster. When you need to add many technical terms or an entirely new dialect to reproduce local speech in an artistic work, you’ll get a lot farther faster by searching for new dictionary files from the InDesign community. Don’t forget to update your settings as needed when you update your dictionaries. Now you know how to spell check in InDesign.
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