Spelling check suddenly not working

Sigh. Just when I’d finally come to terms with the fact that sometimes as I type, I hesitate for a split-second in the middle of a word in order to recall the spelling, and autocorrect steps in not-so-helpfully filling in the rest of the word it thinks I was through typing, spelling check has stopped working while I type. In Scrivener only. It works fine here – believe me, I’ve tested it already in this post – and in Pages, Safari, etc. (I’ve not tried it in Word, simply because I loathe Microsoft.) I suspect there’s a possibility my typing buddy, a Siamese cat named Simon (his brother is, of course, Garfunkel) who is even now attempting to force his nose under my hand as I type, has managed to change some setting by walking across, or lying on, or attempting to bite the keyboard. I’ve looked at Preferences, both system and Scrivener-specific, and in both places, “correct as you type” is set. I’ve tried unsetting, closing Scrivener, reopening and resetting (and closing and reopening afterwards). I’ve tried shutting down my computer and allowing the buffers to completely drain before restart. I’ve tried begging, pleading, offering money, threatening with spilled Diet Coke, and turning the air for miles completely blue with a stunning variety of curses. Nothing has worked. Spelling check doesn’t even put the little red dots under misspelled words anymore. In Scrivener only, I emphasize.

Checking the spelling in the document does find errors; it is the autocorrect which has suddenly shifted. This happened only several days ago, not in conjunction with upgrading to Mountain Lion, or any other software update.

Here’s the geek-speak:
Running Scrivener 2.3.1 (19975)
Running under Mac OS X 10.8.2 (12C54) (Mountain Lion)
MacBook Pro 13-inch, late 2011
Processor 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7

Can someone please help me fix this?

FWIW: I’m experiencing the same. Only way to check spelling is by using “Check Document Now”, which picks up the spelling mistakes, but only one-by-one (ie. when I click “Check Document Now” it will only give me the spelling mistake closes to where my I am in the text; I need to click it many times to cycle through the whole document).

Scrivener 2.3.1
Mac OS X 10.8.2
MacBook Pro Retina 15-Inch
2.3GHz Intel Core i7

Perhaps I have maligned my cats, then. It is good to know I’m not alone, but I’m sorry someone else is experiencing this problem.

Hi there,

I’m having exactly the same problem and it’s only recently started. I’m a new Mac user and bought a MacBook Air mainly to work with Scrivener.

Symtoms for me are:

Spelling is no longer auto checked (even though Edit > Spelling and Grammar > Check Grammar While Typing is ticked)
Check Document Now only seems to find the first spelling mistake after the cursor.
Smart quotes are no longer being converted automatically from straight quotes.

All of these symptoms are in Scrivener only and work correctly in TextEdit and other applications.

I’ve been using Scrivener for weeks and it’s been working fine. Then I applied an update to Mac OS X (version 10.8.2) which required a restart. I think it was a small update and I’ve no idea how to find out what the update was.
The machine restarted and Scrivener was still running correctly with two projects open (the tutorial and a project I’ve been working on for a while). Smart quotes and spelling was all working correctly.
I closed the Scrivener Project for the tutorial (while in Full Screen) and the project didn’t close, but that’s when things started to go screwy - could be a coincidence.
My cursor keys stopped working, (weird) so I did a restart of my MacBook Air and when it came back up cursor keys worked again, but then noticed smart quotes and other issues.

I’m really hoping there’s a fix for this already.

Cheers, Dave.

I’ve go the same kind of problem. The spell check just does not work, and I am the world’s worst speller. Worse, it misses misspelled words entirely.

I write for a living, so sitting there having my writing reviewed on a big screen and there’s words misspelled is kind of embarrassing. I emailed support about this and they told me to use click/control, like I wouldn’t know that since it’s standard on every piece of software I have. I love Scrivner and it helps keeps me organized through complex writing assignment but this spell check problem is driving me craaaaaazy. Help!!!

It looks like this is not the place to post bugs, but I have good news. My smart quotes and spell checking is working again.

The only thing I did differently last night was instead of finishing writing and then hibernating my MacBook Air, I closed the Scrivener project, then quit Scrivener before hibernating.

When I woke (is that the opposite to hibernate?) my Mac, I started Scrivener again and opened my recently saved project and started writing - and was shocked to see red underlines when I mistyped a word.

So is this the cause of the bug? Leaving Scrivener open continuously and hibernating? I’m just happy to have these features back and working again, hopefully this will fix it for other users in this thread that reported experiencing the same problem.

Well, there is an area of the forum specifically for reporting bugs, but actually the best thing to do if you have a problem is to do a search first. I looked for “spell check” and it brought up 572 hits, among which was this thread. If you had looked there, you would have got some sort of an answer without having to even write a post, never mind wait for a reply.

It’s important to know that the spell-checking is done by the system – it is nothing to do with Scrivener, and (I believe) there is not a single line of code in Scrivener that deals with spell checking, apart from calling it up from the system. So if it doesn’t work, it seems you should complain to Apple :slight_smile:


Hi Martin,

yup, I found that thread too before posting here. I tried the things it suggested and it didn’t make a difference, spell checking was working in TextEdit but not in Scrivener. Smart quotes was working in TextEdit but not in Scrivener.

I added my comments to this thread because it seemed like the OP was describing the exact symptoms I was experiencing. After checking back regularly, I realised I’d posted in Tech Support and not the Bug Hunt. :blush: As I said I’m totally new to Mac and it’s interesting discovering the little quirks of a new system. But I’m pretty sure this is a bug in Scrivener, but I’m learning stuff all the time.

I’m just pleased that everything seems to be working as it should again.



I’m glad it’s working too!

If you are new to Mac, it might be worth knowing about a couple of useful Mac sites:



And there are some “default actions” that can clear up problems sometimes. One of them is to repair disk permissions by running Disk Utility. I always do it after every update. Another thing is to clear out the caches, which can be done using Onyx (a free utility which you can download from MacUpdate.com). Deleting the preferences file will solve some problems, though of course you lose all your preferences.

Best, Martin.

Thanks so much for those links and for your help.