Spelling auto-correction can be a very handy feature, whether it is for tricky words (“emmitted” vs. “emitted”), typical typos (“desing” vs. “design”) or other common errors. Microsoft Word has it, but why not implement it across your system using a free, customizable and easy-to-use AutoHotkey script? Read on to see how.
The script we’re going to be using goes by the shockingly original name AutoCorrect. For starters, simply click the link and save it somewhere handy. It’s a vintage script, last updated on 2007, but it still works very well – we’ve been using it daily for months.
Using the Script
If you want, you can now just double-click the script (assuming you have AutoHotkey installed) and go back to whatever it is you were doing before. That’s all the setup you need. From now on, whenever you type a common typo (such as “whenver” instead of “whenever”) the script will automatically correct it. If you watch closely, you’ll see the computer deleting the word you just typed and very quickly typing the corrected version. This will work across all applications in your system — browsers, games, what have you.
Note: If you downloaded AutoHotkey_L, you’re going to need a Unicode version of the script. One is included in the ZIP at the end of this post. (Thanks, Eliza, for this tip!)
Customizing the Script and Getting to Know It
If you’re the curious type, you can make the script your own by tweaking it a little and becoming familiar with it. Open the AHK file in your favorite text editor; what you see in the screenshot is VIM, but even Notepad would do the job (albeit less elegantly).
By default, the script lets you press Win+H in any application to add a new autocorrect entry to the dictionary. You can change this key binding, or disable it entirely, in line 87.
On line 135 you’ll find a list of words that end with “ign”. This is used to keep the script from flipping “ign” into “ing” for these particular words, because by default it corrects this typical typo across all words. You can browse this list and add any words you think you might not want the script to change.
There are a couple of other lists along the way, but the “meat” of the script starts at line 594. This is where the main list starts, and it just goes on and on for around 4,400 lines, each line being one word. That’s a whole lot of typos you won’t be having to manually correct anymore. You can browse the list just to get an idea of the type of words it catches.
On line 4999 there’s a list of words that is commented out. These are words that are ambiguous – you might want to have the script correct them, but you need to select how you want them corrected based on your typical usage. For example, when you mistype “achive”, did you actually mean “archive” or “achieve”? The same with “woulf” – did you mean “would” or “wolf”?
While you don’t need to manually go through each and every one of the words on this list, you might find a few of your typical typos there. If you do, just move them to the main list and they’ll be auto-corrected.
Remember, if you want to add anything to the dictionary, you simply have to hit Win+H (or whatever combination you set).
That’s it! You now have auto-correction across your system, and typos should be much less of an issue. Enjoy!
Download the AutoCorrect AutoHotkey Script File (2 versions, including Unicode for AHK_L)
A technical writer for Tibbo Technology by day, Erez is obsessed with customizing anything and everything. After years of using Litestep and Blackbox, switching to a custom keyboard layout (Colemak), extending Word and Excel with elaborate VBA, losing weight with an AutoHotkey script he developed and spending countless hours tweaking Foobar2000 to get it to look "just right", Erez decided the time has come to share some of this obsession with the world at large.
- Published 03/8/11