Virtual OS/2 International Consumer Education

October 1998

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SpellGuard v1.2.2

By: Mark Dodel <>

I recently decided to take advantage of one of the many software discounts provided as a VOICE membership benefit and purchased SpellGuard. Since I do a fair amount of writing these days, it's about time I did something proactively about spelling don't you think? And SpellGuard is certainly proactive. No need to run a document through a spell checker if SpellGuard is running. SpellGuard checks your spelling as you type, no matter what application you are in. It sits there in the background and reads every key press and when it finds something not in it's dictionary it alerts you by popping into the foreground and asking if you want to match the word for the correct spelling, or add the word to it's dictionary.

SpellGuard was developed by 2Rud Software SpellGuard's dictionary is integrated into Innoval's Post Road mailer and also Panacea Software's ProNews/2, but these are not "check as you type" versions.

SpellGuard is shareware and is available from many fine OS/2 shareware outlets, as well as the developers web site. It comes with a 77K US English dictionary, and there are replacement dictionaries for Dutch, German, UK English, Spanish and Italian. There is also a 391K (zipped size) US English dictionary available for download as well. For those of you who write in more then one language there is a file available for combining dictionaries of different languages also available at the author's site.


Installing SpellGuard was just a matter of unzipping the the download file into it's own directory and running install.exe. It creates a folder on the desktop with object's for SpellGuard, the documentation and a SpellGuard browser. The SpellGuard Browser allows you to search the standard and user dictionary and either add or delete entries. That's great if you are in the habit of hitting the add button a tad to quick when SpellGuard display's a possibly misspelled word. If you download the separate dictionary, just unzip it over the included version. The full US English dictionary expands to about 1.2 Meg once unzipped.

How it works:

Since SpellGuard intercepts all key presses, it sits there in the background checking each word as you type. When you hit a non-alphabetic key, it compares what you typed since the last non-alphabetic key against it's standard dictionary and a user defined dictionary. If it can't find a match it will pop to the foreground and play a sound if you have one enabled. At that point you can either hit the Match button which will display alternative words to replace the word or you can select to add the word to the user dictionary. It works in all window types - OS/2 PM, VIO, DOS, and Win-OS/2 windows. There isn't much of a learning curve to get it up and running and I didn't have to read any docs to figure it out. If you don't understand a particular setting, there is field level help available with the 'F1' key.


SpellGuard can be configured to be as intrusive as you wish. As you can see in the following settings page, you can have the SpellGuard window appear in the foreground on an error until you start typing a new word, or just float to the foreground for a specified time duration, or always stay in the foreground. You can configure it to beep or play a wav sound file when it finds a mistake. You can tell spellguard to ignore certain applications by entering either the program name or the Window title into the Exclusion page. Conversely, if you only want SpellGuard to check a few specific applications, you can enter these into the Inclusion page and it will ignore all other applications running. The Miscellaneous settings page allows you to fine tune Spellguard's behavior. you can decide how small a word should be before it's checked (the default was 4 letters), whether an apostrophe should be considered part of a word, how soon to reset SpellGuard after it encounters a misspelled word and also how many alternatives should be displayed if you choose to match the word (50 is the default). There is also a vulgarity warning option which will say "How Rude" if you type a vulgar word. I spent a while typing in various obscenities just to see which ones trigger the warning and to hear the funny little voice say "How Rude" :-). Finally you can also setup Hot Key combinations to switch to and from SpellGuard.

A very neat feature of SpellGuard is the ability to create abbreviations that will then be expanded by SpellGuard when you type them. I for one can never remember my I/P address so I have added that as an abbreviation. So whenever I need to type my personal web address, I just type "myweb" instead and it changes that to my web address. If there are words you frequently mis-key, you can add the misspelling as an Abbreviation and have it automatically re-type the correct spelling.


This is a great utility. It has improved my spelling and I don't have to remember to run my mail and documents through their applications batch spell checker anymore. When I'm writing program code SpellGuard can be a bit annoying, since a lot of code involves creating variable names that are used for that project only and are not in the existing dictionary. I haven't as yet turned off SpellGuard for my programming editor as of yet though, since the annoyance is only temporary and for programming related words I use a lot I can just hit the add button and not be bothered as much. Also you can turn it off entirely by just clicking on the "Spell Checking On" check box in the SpellGuard window. SpellGuard is not perfect. It can get fouled up if you use the cursor arrow keys, tabs or backspace to move about in a document and then try to have it correct a word. It also sometimes pops up when I am playing a game since the key presses are sensed by SpellGuard. This can be easily rectified by entering the games into the exclusion list.

Especially at the VOICE member discount price this has been a great little utility for me. How did I get along without it all these years? I highly recommend SpellGuard. Now if I can only find an app that will correct my grammar on the fly I might not need to have all my articles reviewed by others anymore. ;-)

SpellGuard 1.2.2; 2Rud software, (667K) -
$25.00 registration
also available for $18.00 for VOICE members (a 30% discount) by ordering from the members discount page

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