Dual language spell checking in Chrome and Mac OS

Mac OS has a built-in spell checker. So does Google Chrome. This has caused confusion for me recently but the problem is now solved.

For example, at the end of an email, we often write “Med venlig hilsen” in Danish which means something like “With kind regards”. Chrome underlines “venlig” with a red line, indicating a miss-spelled word, even when I have chosen Danish as the language in Chrome. When right-clicking the word, Chrome then suggests “venlig” (i.e. exactly the same word) as an alternative. Puzzling.

It turns out that the underline is actually due to Mac OS’ spell checker and not Google Chrome’s. And the language of the spell checker in Mac OS is set to “Automatic by language”. Obviously, it does not do a good job at detecting Danish but switching the order, in which the languages are detected, solves the problem.

If anyone else ever encounter this problem, here is how to fix it. In Mac OS X, go to System preferences – Language and text – Text and press the dropdown menu for “spelling”. In this menu, press setup and then drag and drop Danish (or what ever other language) to the top, before English.

The interesting thing is that English is still being correctly recognized by Mac OS so I am not getting any red lines for this blog post, although Danish now has precedence over English in the language detection. And I can finally avoid all those red lines when writing my mother tongue.

Med venlig hilsen

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