Spell Checking for Web Forms

Something that I recently found a need for was adding spell checking to web input forms. With a WordPress installation on another server, I found a spell checker plugin. I wouldn’t say that this plugin was easy to install (the instructions don’t necessarily resolve all the issues with where components are expected to be), but I persevered and it is now working on that site. I plan to implement it for this WordPress installation once I transfer this domain to the new server machine.

The basic idea is that the “aspell” program is used on the server side to provide the spell checking and suggested alternatives for misspelled words. A Javascript function permits the user to have his or her input into text and textarea elements of forms checked.

It turns out that the plugin is based upon a general-purpose spell checker for web forms, SpellerPages. When installing this for general use, you can simply drop the “speller” directory of files into your site’s document root and then utilize it for any page on your site. Each page you add spell checking to will need to have a Javascript function added to it, as well as a button on the form to be checked. The Javascript function has to be modified to reflect the form and field names of interest in each case. But these modifications should take only a few minutes per page.

Earlier today, I implemented this for the Panda’s Thumb web site, allowing users to spell check their comments in the “preview” of comments.

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Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.

One thought on “Spell Checking for Web Forms

  • 2005/09/25 at 11:42 am
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    I wouldn’t say that this plugin was easy to install (the instructions don’t necessarily resolve all the issues with where components are expected to be), but I persevered and it is now working on that site.

    My apologies. The ZIP file was really only meant to be used with the WordPress Plugin Manager. Therefore, there are, as you noticed, no instructions on how to place everything. Now that the WPPM is really not used any more I should update those instructions.

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