Quick Tip:
The Best Way to Use Your Spell-Checker

The spell-checker on your word processing software is a great tool. But if you’re not careful, it can slow you down and reduce your productivity.

Here’s how to ensure that doesn’t happen:

Turn it off!

At least, turn off the “check spelling while you type” option. This is where suspected misspellings are flagged as you are writing.

When you have this option turned on, it’s tempting to go back and correct spelling errors as you type. Do this once or twice, and it won’t have much of an effect on your productivity. But if you’re like me and make LOTS of typos, correcting mistakes is distracting – and it slows the flow and spontaneity of the copy from your creative center.

This is particularly true for your first and second drafts.

Wait until you have finished your draft to check the spelling. And when you do it, concentrate only on that.

A Word of Warning: Use the spell-checker, but do not rely on it solely. You can’t depend on it to make sure you have used the correct form of words like “they’re/there/their” or “your/you’re.” These are easy mistakes to make when you’re typing, without realizing you’ve done so – and they won’t necessarily be flagged by your spell-checker.

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Published: December 24, 2007

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