QuarkXPress lets you check the spelling of a word, text selection, story, or entire layout. Words are checked against a dictionary provided by Quark and optional custom dictionaries that you create. The U.S. English dictionary provided by Quark is not particularly robust, missing many plural words and many newer words. Nonetheless, using spell check before final output is always a good idea, especially if you augment the Quark dictionary with your own auxiliary dictionaries (see “Creating custom spelling dictionaries). If you’re working with a writer or editor, always confirm changes you make when checking spelling.
Assigning a language to words
For a more accurate spell check in multilingual documents—even a cookbook—you can assign a language to words. The language is used for spell check and hyphenation. For example, if you assign Spanish to “jalapeño,” it will not be flagged as a possible misspelling. To assign a language, select the words and choose an option from the Language drop-down menu in the Character Attributes dialog box (Style > Character) or the Character tab of the Measurements palette. For words that may not appear in any dictionary, you can choose None for the language so the word is never spell checked.
Running a spell check
To check spelling, choose an option from the Utilities > Check Spelling submenu: Word, Selection, Story, or Layout. Note that Story checks only the story (the series of linked items) containing the text insertion bar. After you choose an option from the Check Spelling submenu, the Word Count dialog box displays. The Total number of words reported is helpful for assigning stories by word count—and it gives you an idea of how much time the spell check will take. Click OK to bypass the Word Count dialog box.
In the Check Spelling dialog box, use the Replace, Lookup, and Skip buttons to handle each suspect word listed at the top of the dialog box (Figure 4.18). If the project has an auxiliary dictionary assigned to it, you can save spelling variations in it by clicking Add. (Note that QuarkXPress has no Skip All button—it flags every instance of each suspect word. As a result, saving spelling variations in auxiliary dictionaries can significantly speed up spell check.)
Figure 4.18 The Check Layout dialog box flags suspect words—words that do not match any in the QuarkXPress spelling dictionary—and displays possible replacement words.
If any stories in the layout are locked (Item > Lock > Story), the Search Locked Content check box lets you specify whether to spell check those stories.
Creating custom spelling dictionaries
For a quicker and more accurate spell check, you can save words specific to your work in a custom spelling dictionary called an auxiliary dictionary. Each project can have one auxiliary dictionary associated with it. Once a project has an auxiliary dictionary, you can enter words into it or add them during spell check.
Creating an auxiliary dictionary
To create an auxiliary dictionary, choose Utilities > Auxiliary Dictionary. Click New, then specify a name and location for the dictionary file. The new auxiliary dictionary is associated with the current project file; if no projects are open, it is associated with all new projects. To add words to a project’s auxiliary dictionary, choose Utilities > Edit Auxiliary (Figure 4.19). Type each word—such as proper names, rare food spellings, and plural words missing from the regular dictionary—in the field and click Add. Click Save when you’re finished adding words. You can also add words to the auxiliary dictionary by clicking Add during spell check.
Figure 4.19 Add spelling variations and names in the Edit Auxiliary Dictionary dialog box.
Managing auxiliary dictionaries
Auxiliary dictionaries are separate files that you can share with other QuarkXPress users (Figure 4.20). You can assign one auxiliary dictionary per project, and the path to the dictionary file is saved with the project. If you move the file, QuarkXPress cannot find it and displays an alert when you start a spell check. (You can click OK to bypass this alert, or use Utilities > Auxiliary Dictionary to locate and open the file.)
Figure 4.20 An auxiliary dictionary file icon.