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July 12, 2010

Google Suggest as a Context-Sensitive Spell Checker

This is one of the most useful features released by Google this year. Google Suggest, which usually auto-completes your query as you type, is now also a spell-checker. Even if Google can't find popular queries that start with the words you've typed, it will still show a "did you mean" entry that corrects your spelling mistakes.

The most impressive thing about this feature is that the spell checker is context-sensitive, so the suggestions are actually relevant. It's likely that Google uses the smart spell checker from Google Wave.

If you type [this is a rlly], Google suggests that [this is a rally] is more appropriate. Most browsers offer the same suggestion. If you type another word and your query is [this is a rlly beautiful], Google shows a different suggestion: [this is a really beautiful].



Type [Why its so important too eat hole grains] in a text field from a web page and your browser won't find any spelling mistakes. Not even Gmail's spell checker can find the mistakes. That's because most applications use dictionaries to find the words that are spelled incorrectly. Google Suggest is smarter because it tries to find if the words make sense in the context of your query.

15 comments:

  1. any idea if Google plan on putting this into their Search Appliances?

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  2. Miss Steaks I can knot sea (from Jerrold H. Zar's poem @ Wikipedia)

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  3. Yeah, this is indeed great... Google is even honest... http://i28.tinypic.com/2jbv57r.png

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  4. Wouldn't it be nice to have this in Google Docs?

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  5. It still isn't correcting your/you're mistakes. That's my main issue with the world. If Google fixes that, it will be the perfect woman- er, search engine... giant.

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  6. This is Proof that Google are trying to control what we write and how we think but a good feature

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  7. Wow, the last one is impressive. I agree with SV; let's see this ported over to Docs!

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  8. Better than never improving something...

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  9. How long till we see this in Android. Would be an awesome feature.

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  10. There is an amazing contextual spell checker that works in docs,outlook, and any website. It even corrects grammar mistakes.
    www.gingersoftware.com

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  11. wow! if this can reduce the incorrect use of its and it's (and they're and their) i will be so thankful...

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  12. cool wonder when we will see this in chrome.

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  13. Good article!

    You might wish to look at the presentation comparing among Google-Wave, MS-Word-2007 and Ghotit:
    http://www.ghotit.com/contextspellcheckers.shtml

    Google has a good potential, but still some work to do, whereas even Microsoft Word-2007 corrects better.

    Ghotit is worth looking at, particularly for the writers with dyslexia, etc writing difficulties.

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