How-To Geek

How to Get Spelling Autocorrect Across All Applications on Your System


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

Comments (30)

  1. Jen H.

    Is there a way to combine an already established (and extensive) autocorrect list from Word?

  2. Aashish V.

    Buddy, Where’s the script ? Do we have to download it from somewhere ??

  3. Patrick S.

    I can’t download a script either, only a text file.

  4. jal

    Where’s the link we have to click on to get this working on our PC’s ?

  5. ron

    Hi i like the prog but how do you download autocorrect.ahk it just takes me to a page of text?

  6. Screwtape

    You have to download the AutoHotKey program and then load the script for it to work.

  7. shawn

    Great idea—–but——- this is supposed to be how-to-geek, kinda explain what in the world an average schlub like me needs to do to ya know—-to get this thing up and running. Like all other posters here, we are wondering what we need to do. Sorry for being such a noob.

  8. shawn

    Okay, update: average schlub learns to read and follow directions—-step one, DL Autohotkey… step two, right click the link above for AutoHotKey, to save the link… step three, double-click the saved “.ahk” file you DL’ed and that’s it, apparently. It opens in the system tray.

  9. shawn

    “right click the link above for AutoCorrect, to save the link” —–now if only average schlub would learn to proofread before posting

  10. Screwtape

    Using the latest version of Autohotkey-L with Unicode, when I try to open the script, I get ERROR AT LINE 409. Anyone else getting this?

  11. ron

    yes i get that too screwtape

  12. Isaac

    Just copy and paste the txt into a script for AutoHotKey and save it as “autoCorrect” or something like that. Works really well for me.

  13. Bob

    Regarding the Error at line 409:

    Seems to be if the previous line ends in a ‘ñ’ then a vowel the script dies. At least with the Autohotkey-L Unicode version.

    I just went through the script and removed the line before the error and it’s all good now.

  14. RTFM

    Too bad it couldn’t catch “…whenever you type a common type(o)…”

  15. Julie

    Download and install AutoHotKey. Right-click on the AutoCorrect link and “Save Target” or “Save Link”. Then run “Convert .ahk to .exe” from the AutoHotKey menu.

  16. Eliza

    TO fix the Error at line 409 encountered by those using Autohotkey-L:
    Open the AutoCorrect.ahk file in Notepad (or whichever text editor you prefer, so long as it has the option to save the file with a different encoding). Without changing anything in the file contents, select the ‘Save as’ option, change Encoding setting from ‘ANSI’ to ‘Unicode’, and hit ‘Save’. Answer ‘Yes’ at the confirmation prompt to replace the existing file. You can now load this script in Autohotkey-L without getting any errors.

  17. ron

    Thank you Eliza i have been all afternoon trying to do that “dohhh” thanks again

  18. jal

    From something that was supposed to be easy to download and install, it’s now turned out to be a long drawn out affair so I’ll just forget it


  19. Erez Zukerman

    LOL, good catch! Corrected, thank you.

  20. Erez Zukerman

    Hi Jal,

    I added a direct download link at the bottom of the post; Do you need a hand with getting AutoHotkey itself? (Don’t get Autohotkey_L, but actual AutoHotkey)

  21. Erez Zukerman

    That is a fantastic tip, Eliza! I’ve added it to the post, crediting you. I’ve also provided a ready-made Unicode version in the download link at the bottom of the post. Many thanks!

  22. Frank

    I get an error in executing the script:
    Error at line 409
    Line Text: o
    Error: This line does not contain a recognized action.
    The program will exit.

  23. Frank

    I followed the suggestion above to delete the lines with ~ in them.

  24. Frank

    For me: htp: corrects to :http::

  25. Albie

    I am from South Africa and speak Afrikaans. Most of my correspondence is in English. The script would work for that, but my emails are often in Afrikaans and I dont want to have any autocorrect function there.

    Any advice?

  26. Aashish V.

    Great ! Finally, I’ve been able to download the ZIP containing the 2 Script files. But, can anyone tell me how to execute these scripts ?
    OR what would be needed to make these scripts work & produce some positive output … ??

    @ALBIE … buddy … these scripts are intended for people with
    typos errors in ENGLISH language only. We’ll have to re-design something similar for AFRIKAANS.

  27. MarkfromKY

    I’d like to dump the spell correct database from windows works into autocorrect, would just cutting and pasting the dictionary work?

  28. Ed

    I use autohotkey mainly to run programs and open files from the keyboard. Even in Windows 7, I find hotkeys to be faster. Among other things, I can hibernate, shut down, or reboot with a keystroke, no ifs ands or buts from Windows. I had downloaded other similar programs in search of an autocompletion program, but settled on Autohotkey because aside from autocompleting keyboard input, it also runs programs as I just mentioned.

    with Autohotkey, I just type ptg and I get photograph. I can add er or y to make it photographer or photography. I type pns and get point-and-shoot, etc. etc. I even have boilerplate text running several paragraphs. I used to have these autocompletion keys in my text editor, but with Autohotkey I have it computer-wide, even in this reply box.

    I also downloaded the AutoCorrect file, but I prefer tinyspell, which gives me spell check in all programs. Try tinyspell if all you want is a spell checker, not a hotkey app.

  29. Lucky

    Man I love this website!

  30. Miguel

    Sounds great! Do you know if there is the same for Mac?

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