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February 27, 2013

Good Spelling Now a Little Easier Under New Chrome Beta

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

Bad spellers of the world untie, as the old joke goes, but untie – erm, “unite,” – they shall, under the newest Chrome Beta, which is bringing along some impressive new features.

But perhaps the most important new release here is the array of improvements to spell checking, for many an indispensable function, currently available from Chrome.

Most of the new Chrome Beta's features actually revolve around spell checking in some fashion. For instance, Chrome's default spell checker got some new augmentation with support for new languages including Korean, Albanian and Tamil.

For those users that sync their settings, the custom dictionary will now be shared across devices, so new devices won't need to be taught custom spellings information every time.

Those users who get a lot of use out of the "Ask Google (News - Alert) for suggestions" menu function will likewise be thrilled here, as Google's suggestions will get a lot more robust. The newest beta will offer support for homonyms, grammar issues, and even what's called "context-sensitive spell checking," though this seems to only be available in English for now.

Other languages, however, are subject to support later on.

The spell checking support even extends to Google Docs, which now has support even for proper nouns, so there's no need to worry about misspelling "Bieber Fever" ever again. These new spell checking capabilities will start making their way to other systems as well, like Windows and Linux, in the coming weeks, with Mac support likely to come following the updates to the other systems.

Yet it's not just about spell check; the app launcher will also be making the migration to the new Chrome Beta as well. For those who haven't used a Chromebook, the app launcher may not be familiar, but it's essentially just a small window that contains all the apps available for use in one place, allowing a user to quickly click on the one needed at any time, making bringing up a new app faster and easier.

There are also several new features, including the ability to use an HTML element to represent the main content of documents and applications – something of more use to developers than to regular users, but still may well incite new changes in their own right.

Proper spell checking is an important part of most anyone's daily Web regimen. It improves the validity of arguments and makes a user’s words overall more respectable. While admittedly, no one's likely to throw the baby out with the bathwater and scoff at a well-constructed syllogism just because someone misspelled a proper noun, the error does cast doubt on the argument and reduce its overall impact and validity.

Meanwhile, the inclusion of the app launcher is a help to those who don't necessarily need much spell checking help, and the features geared toward developers will likely prove valuable down the road.

Proper spell checking sharpens communication and makes both the arguments and their presenters more likely to be accepted and respected overall. Therefore, for those who use Chrome and value clarity in argument and sound presentation, getting your hands on the new Chrome Beta may be a very smart move, especially when the added utility of the app launcher and developer-specific features are included in the proposition.

Edited by Braden Becker
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