Auto Correct, is a feature that came to the Mac from iOS. For many people, this will assist with minor typos, but I personally find that it gets in the way and will often assume  a completely different word than the one I was aiming for. It can therefore make the editing process a lot more complicated than it needs to be.

Although, you can cancel the auto correct my clicking on the x button when it appears. If you do continue typing, and notice the corrected word is not accurate, then you can always highlight the word, right click and select Change Back To “original word”.

Regardless of your personal Auto Correct preference, how do you either activate or deactivate Auto Correct on your Mac?


Proceed to System Preferences > Language & Text. Then make sure you are in the Text tab. You will notice in the top right hand corner that the option to Correct Spelling Automatically is either selected or deselected. If you want Auto Correct turned on, then make sure a tick is filling the box. If you would prefer to manually check spelling errors, then deselect this option.

If you do deselect Auto Correct, you will still be presented with underlined words that your Mac perceives to be erroneous, therefore allowing you to make manual corrections.

Now that you are at the mercy of your own vocabulary, you may find that using the Dictionary or Thesaurus will come in handy. After all, you don’t want to be misinterpreted.


At anytime, when entering text on your Mac, you can highlight a word and right click. The drop down menu will change depending on the application you are using. For example TextEdit presents the Look Up function at the top of the drop down menu. Selecting this will allow you to see the Dictionary, Thesaurus, and Wikipedia entries for the selected word.


In contrast, an application such as Pages will require you to go to the bottom of the drop down menu and select Writing Tools, and then specify the specific set of options you would like to see.

writing tools

It should also be noted that you can press Command + Control + D on your keyboard when a word is selected in Pages, or any application, to present the window of information that was seen in TextEdit.

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