Check Spelling as You Type in Mac OS X Mail

Spelling mistakes and typos in emails are embarrassing. Yet taking the extra time to go over an email before you send it or to run a spell-check can be inconvenient and time-consuming. With Mac OS X Mail, you don't have to take that extra step if you set the app up to check for, flag, and correct misspellings automatically as you type. The program underlines with a dotted line any spelling mistake that its spell-checker detects and changes it to the proper spelling.

How to Turn on Automatic Spell-Check in OS X Mail 10.3

To set your default spell-checking preference so that the spelling in every email is checked as you compose it:

  1. Select Preferences.
  2. Click Composing.
  3. Next to Check Spelling, select as I type from the drop-down menu.

To turn on automatic spell-checking from within the composition window for a single email:

  1. Select Edit from the menu along the top of the window.
  2. Click on Spelling and Grammar.
  3. Hover on Check Spelling
  4. Select While Typing.

For Older Versions of Mail

To check the spelling as you type in Mac OS X Mail 1, 2, and 3:

  1. Select Edit > Spelling > Check Spelling As You Type from the Mac OS X Mail menu so that it is checked.
  2. If Check Spelling As You Type is not yet checked, click on it.
  3. If Check Spelling As You Type is already checked, leave the menu without making changes.

The Caveat With Spell-Checking 

As in any program, spell-checking is a matter of checking words against those in the program's list of accepted words. If the word is in that list, it won't be marked as incorrect or be corrected. In other words, the spell-checker can't tell, for example, whether "to," "two," or "too" is correct in your sentence, so quickly checking over your email before you send it is always a good idea.