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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Things Spell Check Doesn't Pick Up

We've talked in the past about different methods for proofing finished transcripts – whether it's a full proof to audio, a quick read-through or simply using spell check. It's important to follow your client or contract's requirements, but for those that only ask for a spell check, there are a couple of things that you should watch for besides common mistakes like "their" instead of "there" (Word 2007 actually does an amazing job of picking up improper usage of words such as those, though):

::Single letters. If you accidentally mistype a word, separating one letter from the rest, such as "that" as "t hat", Word will not flag "t" as a mispelled word. In this case, "hat" is also a recognizable word, so spell check would skip right over it.

::Sentence case following a colon. If your transcript style calls for speaker tags that contain a colon (Mandi:), Word will not check the first word of the sentences following the colon for proper capitalization, so it's important to pay extra attention to these.

::Words written in all caps or that contain numbers. I would suggest checking your spell check options to be sure that Word checks words in all caps as well as those that contain numbers rather than automatically skipping over them. Even though you'll have to manually "ignore" many of them, it's better to quickly review them than to miss a misspelling because it wasn't flagged.

Are there other things you've noticed that Word doesn't flag that you wish it would?