Chrome 26 Beta Uses Google Docs' Intelligent Spell Checker

The spell checker is now context sensitive and checks for grammar as well

Chrome 26 has been graduated to the beta channel, after spending six weeks in the dev channel. The big new user-facing feature is the improved cloud spell-checker.

Chrome has had the ability to use the Google Search spell checker, which performs much better than any dictionary spell checker, for a while.

Now, Google is adding some more advanced features such as context sensitive spell checking, for example, Chrome will know when you meant to use "ad" or "add" depending on the rest of the sentence.

That alone is a huge improvement, if you're a good speller you won't see so many false positives, Chrome trying to correct your spelling even though you know you're right, and if you're a poor speller, you'll appreciate the help.

The new Chrome spell checker also checks for grammar issues and homonyms; all in all, the tool is a lot more useful. It's safe to say that the Chrome spell checker is the most advanced built into any browser and on par with those found in document editing tools.

In fact, the new spell checker is built on the same technology that powers the wonderful Google Docs spell checker, the technology Google first built for its search engine.

The "Did You Mean" feature initially used simple spell checking, but its methods improved to the point where now Google regularly replaces a misspelled query with the right one and give you the results you need, not the ones you asked for. Google started using this technology in Docs about a year ago and it's now using it in Chrome.

But there are more improvements to the Chrome spell checker, even if you haven't enabled the "Ask Google for suggestions" feature. Incidentally, to enable it, right click in any editable field on any page, select the spell check submenu and you'll see the option.

The built-in dictionaries have all been updated and the tool now supports Korean, Tamil and Albanian. What's more, the custom dictionary is now editable and syncable, so any words you "teach" Chrome will be available anywhere you use Chrome.

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