Spell check not working in Lion?

Yes - that worked perfectly. After I did this, the squiggles came right back. Great problem solving from afar!

Interesting. This may suggest that the interface file became corrupted in some way, then, or that a certain setting somewhere was clashing. Please keep an eye out for the problem reoccurring, and what the trigger might be if it does.


All the best,

There’s a related problem I’m having. Some of the documents I write need British English (I live in Singapore) and some need US English (I’m American). Some also need Chinese, but that’s not a spell-check issue :slight_smile:

When I open a project and look under Edit->Spelling and Grammar->Show Spelling and Grammar, the “automatic by language” comes up by default. But in fact, the initial spelling dictionary is always the US English dictionary, regardless of my language settings at the time, and I have to change the spelling to British English for those documents where I need to use British spellings. The setting persists only as long as I have the project open, but as soon as I close it (or Scrivener) I need to go through the process again.

It seems that the “automatic by language” setting is not actually followed. It would be great if it were, and better still if the language preference were saved with the Scrivener Project. I’ve tried all the solutions on this thread, including deleting the ui prefs and restarting, but to no avail. I’d love to know if there’s something I’m missing.

I’m using version 2.1 (13594)


The spelling language always defaults to whatever is set in your System Preferences. Please see my reply here for why:


It’s annoying, but there seems to be no way around it from what I’ve found.

All the best,

Thanks, then it appears I either have a deeper problem or (more likely) am still misunderstanding something about my transition to MacOS. My System Preferences include British English and US English in the Spelling Settings, and set as Automatic by Language. So I now understand why Scrivener always comes up with Automatic by Language; it just refers to the system settings. Why I don’t know (again, my ignorance) is how to change what language it thinks I’m using. I assumed that changing the input source using the menu bar from US to British would change the language detected by “Automatic by Language”, but that appears not to be the case.

“Automatic by Language” tries to detect the language you are using as you type, and whether you are using more than one language or not, and it tries to adjust accordingly. It’s a bit flaky, though, as it can often think that a word is part of another language when it’s not, assume you therefore must be writing in more than one language, and thus results in spell-checking seems not to work properly (not all the time, just with some texts). So “Automatic by Language” doesn’t look at your input settings or anything else, as far as I know; it just tries to detect the language from the text itself.

All the best,

They disappeared on me when I did an import from docx. Don’t know if that was the cause, but it worked on some hand typed stuff. When I imported they went away. I now have to spell check word to word using Command;. Full page mode has the squigglies so that is good :slight_smile:

I opened a textedit and it worked, turned all spell check stuff off then on and it checks new and old.

I’m a bit late to this topic, but just in case anyone else stumbles on it I thought I’d comment. I had this same problem in Lion and hoped it would fix itself in Mountain Lion but it didn’t. I followed all the advice in this topic to no avail. In addition to no live spellcheck, I had straight quotes and no em-dash in the main editor, but everything was fine in composition mode.

I found that if you create a new project, as John says, you can also fix things by importing your existing project (File - Import - Scrivener Project). This preserves all the notes, meta data, references etc (so far as I can tell). You do, however, lose your labels, icons, synopsis images and possibly a few other things I haven’t yet noticed.

To get the meta-data back, you have to go into the inspector of your new project, select ‘edit custom meta-data settings’, click plus, add each custom category for the data (so, ‘goal’ or whatever), then the meta-data from your original project will magically populate.

Thanks, John! So glad to get my spelling and dashes back.

Scratch all of that. It worked till I restarted Scrivener, and now my live spellings and em-dashes are no longer working. :frowning:

It looks like I am very late to this party, but yeah, my spell check isn’t working in any way. Check Document Now isn’t working, show spelling and grammar isn’t working. If I check on them, nothing happens. It doesn’t work in any of the writing modes. it doesn’t work in new document or imported document. None of it is working. It’s like the whole thing went on strike.

The weirdest part is, I’m pretty sure it was working, using this scrivener edition and my current OS (which is 10.7.5) - baring any tiny update that might have changed something.

I love scrivener and everything, but I’m getting a little tired of having to import into word to check spelling mistakes and then correcting them by hand in scrivener.

Any suggestions?

I seem to experience the same issues as Suse. I also created a new project and copied the contents of the old ones into it - at first the spell check was working fine but it didn’t any longer upon restarting the programme. Any chance you could help me with the spell checking feature? Thanks, Tobi

It is doubtful you are experiencing the same bug, because this thread is from 2011 and that particular bug that was impacting 10.7 users has been fixed and a part of the standard build for some time now. So unless you are running an extremely old version of Scrivener, you should be clear of it. Use the main Scrivener menu to check for updates if you are unsure.

However a recent Apple update to 10.8 has had a detrimental effect on spell checking and corrections, specifically for some people who purchased the software from Apple (it has to follow different rules to be allowed in the store). So can you confirm that you are in fact using Mountain Lion, not Lion, and that you purchased from the Mac App Store? If so, we’ve not found the source of the problem yet as we can’t get it to happen on our computers (which isn’t terribly surprising since it would require working in the MAS version for extended periods of time). We have found that deleting the UI preferences for a project can temporarily resolve the issue. The easiest way to do this would be to hold down the Option key will looking at the File menu. You’ll see an alternate command pop up that closes the project and wipes the interface settings. If you’d like to help us figure this out, we’d appreciate you sending in your UI settings (or the entire project if you are okay with that) to our support address. To find this file, close the project, right-click on it in Finder, select “Show Package Contents” and drill down into the Settings folder within that. You’ll see a ‘ui.plist’ file. Drag that out of the project (this will reset it), and then attach the file to an e-mail. Let us know you’re experiencing the 10.8 MAS bug. Hopefully we can find some commonality between these files that we are collecting.

A more permanent solution is to switch to using the direct-sale version. However it is free to do so if you’ve purchased from the MAS, the demo checks for your system receipt and unlocks itself if one is found. Since this step may take a little migration, we’ve prepared an instructional article for doing so.

I was using the latest App Store version of Scrivener and experiencing the bug under Lion and Mountain Lion. I’ve now installed the direct sales version - so far everything is looking good.

Thank you very much for this fix!