Microsoft Enables Windows Spellcheck API for All Chromium Browsers

Posted on May 28, 2020 by Mehedi Hassan in Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Web browsers with 3 Comments

Microsoft Edge is moving away from the traditional spell checking mechanism in Chromium. Microsoft’s new Chromium-based Edge browser will now make use of the Windows Spellcheck API, allowing for an improved spellcheck experience.

The new feature is obviously limited to Windows users, and Microsoft says it will only be available to users on Windows 8.1 and above. The new feature is enabled with Microsoft Edge 83, and replaces Chromium’s Hunspell spellchecker with Windows’ own built-in Spellcheck API.

But here’s the cool part: Microsoft built this new feature working with Google engineers on the Chromium project, which means all Chromium-based browsers will now be able to benefit from the Windows Spellcheck API as well.

There are a couple of improvements that you will see with this change. For one, Microsoft’s Windows Spellcheck API has better support for URLs, acronyms, and email addresses. But more importantly, using the Windows Spellcheck API will enable support for more languages and dialects, as well as a shared custom dictionary.

The following screenshot is a pretty great comparison:

As for Microsoft Edge 83, it will use your preferred Windows language for spellchecking, though you can set preferred languages and other settings by heading over to edge://settings/languages. For languages that are not supported by the Windows Spellcheck API, Microsoft Edge will fall back to Hunspell.

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Comments (3)

3 responses to “Microsoft Enables Windows Spellcheck API for All Chromium Browsers”

  1. truerock2

    For as long as Google has been around, I have used Google search as my fall-back spell-checker.

    When Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel, etc cannot figure out my mangled spelling I use Google to find the correct spelling.

    When I was in college majoring in computer science, I had an assignment to write a spellchecker in SNOBAL.

    I think the issue is that Microsoft uses a dictionary of correctly spelled words. I think Google also uses a dictionary of correctly spelled words - but, also uses a dictionary of misspelled words and what the possible correct word spellings might be.

    Just now, this forum could not figure out how to correctly spell "mis-spelled". I I had to use Google to find the correct spelling.

  2. dftf

    Mehedi: "and Microsoft says it will only be available to users on Windows 8.1 and above".

    Well, I'm still puzzled why Microsoft ever decided to release Microsoft Edge for Windows 7, anyway, given the stable release came out literally the day-after Windows 7 went EOL.

    Sure, enterprises can use ESU to keep Win7 Pro and Enterprise PCs receiving updates until Jan 2023... but Microsoft have said they will end-support for Edge on Windows 7 at the same-time Google Chrome does -- currently earmarked for July 15, 2021. So even ESU customers won't continue to receive updates for Edge on Windows 7 past that point and will likely have to rely on Firefox, where I imagine their ESR version will-likely last until the Jan 2023 cut-off...

  3. kralizek

    It would be cool if they supported multiple languages within the same context.

    For an Italian living in Sweden and working mostly in English, it happens quite often to mix languages.