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Quick Tip: Spell Check Firefox Text Input Fields

We’ve all seen misspelled article titles (especially on Digg.com) Doesn’t Firefox have built-in spell checking?

The reason why article titles and search terms aren’t included in the spell checker is because Firefox only enables the spell checking on textarea fields, not text input fields. Lucky there’s a quick fix for this.

To change this setting, just type about:config into the Firefox address bar, and then filter by this:

layout.spellcheckDefault

310520071180584839551765623

Just double-click on the item in the list and change the value to 2, as shown. No restart needed.

image

No more typos in search terms!

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 05/30/07

Comments (14)

  1. Mom

    I like your tip, it is very easy for me to understand. Great site! Love, Mom

  2. James Oppenheim

    Wow, nice one. I always wondered about that. Thanks.

  3. Mel

    Hey thanks for that… been putting off upgrading to 2 because I’d noticed that the spellcheck only covered the textarea on another computer, and my extension checked em all…

    But I bit the bullet and did it, so you just saved me from ripping out my hair. :)

  4. Aaron

    I found that using this option can lag the browser on some computers if there are a lot of textfields on one page; although, I haven’t tested it in a while, so it is possible it has changed since then.

  5. sarebear

    Hmm, I just did that and it was already set to 2. and it doesn’t spellcheck. Well, it does down here, but not up in the toolbar . . . PC, Windows 2000, whatever the latest firefox on their site is (wiped my computer a couple days ago (ouch) but techie hubby tried lots o stuff first, over a period of time).

  6. What is Firefox?

    You can also simply right-click text fields that you want to check and select “spell check this field”.

  7. Chris

    Does it do this by itself in Firefox 3?

  8. lowrykun

    Awesome Tip. Thanks for sharing. I was getting tired of right-clicking to spell check input fields.

  9. Andrei

    Thanks a lot. I did not know about that “about:config” you can type in firefox address bar. But i am glad i know now. I taught i have to write out some code by myself to enable automatic spell check in input fields, but it’s solved now.

    Thanks again!

  10. Leia

    Grant you just made yourself something to do with it,

  11. Hallie

    I’ve just been sitting around waiting for something to happen.,

  12. jewelz

    Thanks, Great tip! :) Not computer savvy but your instruction where precise.

    Bravo.

    Thank you,
    Jewelz

  13. alex

    This is a very useful tip – I always enable it on any Firefox I use!

  14. as

    Yes – but in version 3.6 this made no difference in the UK – reason was you need to add a GB English dictionary – then hey presto – it works fine

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