Microsoft Notepad Finally Gets Spell-Check, Autocorrect

UPDATE 7/8: Microsoft is now fully rolling out spell-check and autocorrect to all Windows 11 Notepad app users. The spell-check feature is similar to Microsoft Word’s spell-check, which underlines text in red and allows users to pick an intended word or add the word to the software’s dictionary.Both spell-check and autocorrect can be disabled via toggles within Notepad’s settings. Spell-check can be disabled for certain file types only, like .txt and .md files, or it can be turned off entirely. Autocorrect only has one On/Off toggle.These basic features arrive on Notepad approximately 10 months after Microsoft said it would remove WordPad, a Microsoft word-processing software first introduced in 1995, from Windows. Microsoft is expected to pull WordPad later this year. Original Story 3/22/24: For decades, Notepad has been a bare-bones text editor found in Windows. But the program might finally receive an important basic feature: spell-check. Microsoft is now rolling out an update to Windows 11 beta testers that introduces spell-check to Notepad, allowing the software to point out misspellings in real-time.   “With this update, Notepad will now highlight misspelled words and provide suggestions so that you can easily identify and correct mistakes,” the company wrote in a blog post. “We are also introducing autocorrect which seamlessly fixes common typing mistakes as you type.”

(Credit: Microsoft)

The company didn’t explain why it took so long to bring spell-check to Notepad, which has been included in all versions of Windows going back to 1985. But it might be because Microsoft has spent decades trying to push users to buy its Office software. Currently, neither Notepad nor the now-defunct WordPad for Windows contains a built-in spell-check. It now looks like Microsoft is preparing to add a fairly modern version of spell-check to Notepad. The feature will not only offer suggestions, but users can “choose to ignore words in a single document or add them to the dictionary, so they are not flagged as a mistake again,” the company wrote in the blog post. 

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Microsoft is rolling out the feature to Windows Insiders on the Canary and Dev channels. The spell-check will be turned on automatically for some files, but will remain off for other file types associated with computer coding. “You can toggle this setting on or off globally or for certain file types in Notepad app settings or temporarily for the current file in the context menu,” Microsoft says. Microsoft didn’t say when spell-check will arrive on the stable version of Windows 11, but the beta rollout suggests a mainstream release could be imminent. 

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