disable spell check on a per-paragraph basis

Hi, I know that Scriv. on the Mac uses the built-in spell checker and so inherits whatever capability it has from that.

I’ve got a document (heaps of documents, in fact) that are bi-lingual. Usually these are block paragraphs of Latin followed by English. Because I’m block-quoting the Latin in a single paragraph, I’m wondering if there is any way to turn off the spell checking on a paragraph by paragraph basis? I don’t really need to spell-check the Latin (not even sure if the Mac has a Classical Latin dictionary), what I’d like to do is just not spell check those paragraphs and be able to spell check the English (dealing with the odd embedded Latin in the English much easier than the huge blocks of it).

Any ideas?

Normally you could use the automatic language detection for multi-lingual texts. Although that has some quirks, it tends to work all right—so if you were writing Spanish and English it would detect by paragraph and switch checkers. I think the main problem is, as you guessed, the Mac doesn’t ship with a Latin dictionary.

I know Word can do paragraph-by-paragraph language settings but I assume that’s because it is using its own built-in spell check?

I was also trying to just select the English text: but spell-check on the selected text only doesn’t seem to be an option. As soon as you run the spell check it seems to check the whole document and not just parts of it.

Would it be possible to add a future feature to mark a paragraph just not to be spell checked? Or an option to just spell check the current selection?

This is not something that affects me, even though I am regularly mixing Chinese and English. But two suggestions:

(1) Put your Latin texts and English texts in separate documents, and mark them with keywords “Latin” and “English”. Use search on those keywords to make a collection of English and a separate collection of Latin. You can then turn spell checking on when you’re working in the English collection and off when working in the Latin collection.

(2) I don’t use Word, but use Nisus Writer Pro. That allows you to mark not just paragraphs, but even phrases and single words as being in given languages. The individual languages can be associated with fonts, dictionary and thesaurus, if they exist and also keyboard. Also, since NWP has full grep search and replace, and extensive macro capabilities, if you began each stretch of Latin with a comment e.g. {latin} and end it with {\latin} — though you’d have to remember to escape the ‘’ or use some other symbol in the search line — you could search for all those comments and all text between them and replace it removing the comments and marking the text for language including setting font etc. at one go. And that could be done through a macro which could have a shortcut associated with it.

As I say, it’s not something I have to do, though I might start marking Chinese stretches in that way. I also have spell check turned off in Scrivener, doing the spell checking in Nisus after compilation.