As part of the makeover for Tiaan.com, the online spellchecker was also updated, as depicted in these before and after screenshots, and further described below.
Besides the obviously different look from the new theme and color scheme, the following can be noted.
- In addition to the English and Afrikaans dictionaries that were already previously available, the language selection now includes Dutch, French, Spanish, Swahili and Zulu.
- The dictionary used by the Afrikaans spellchecker has been upgraded to the January 2006 edition released by Translate.org.za (previously the July 2004 version was used). This should generally result in better suggestions for misspelled words, and more correctly-spelled words should be recognized.
- The width of the field where you enter the text to be spellchecked is now resized automatically with the browser to utilize the available space on wider screens better. The height can now also be adjusted manually; simply grab the handle at the bottom of the textbox and resize like you would any other window.
The dictionary used for the Zulu spellchecker, in particular, still has a rather limited vocabulary, but it is good enough for a first release. Users who would like to see improvements in this area are encouraged to get involved with the efforts of Translate.org.za. For those who don’t know, this non-profit organisation is focused on supporting South Africa’s eleven official languages in Open Source software; so the same goes for future improvements to the Afrikaans spellchecker’s wordlist, or to bring about similar free spellcheckers for the remaining South African languages (which still lag far behind).
Meanwhile, enjoy the new functionality of the updated free spellchecker today!