Smart Spell Checker in Google Docs Provides Awesome Support

I’ve said it here before, and I think it’s worth repeating. I LOVE GOOGLE because it keeps working to make the Internet more accessible for individuals who struggle with text. I wrote recently about the helpful equation editor that Google has built into Google Docs. Now the new spell checker in Google Docs offers powerful additional support to anyone who struggles with spelling.

     

The Spell Checker for Google Docs has recently become way more intelligent, and therefore much more helpful. The spell checker for documents and presentations is no longer based on a fixed dictionary. Instead, it has become completely contextual. The developer illustrates this by showing how it distinguishes between Iceland and island when both are misspelled in the same sentence.

   

A common problem with spell checkers is that they don’t catch mistakes when the error is a real word. For example ‘here’ is written when it’s supposed to be ‘hear’. Google’s new spell checker looks at the context and offers suggestions accordingly.

Better yet, the new spell checker in Google Docs is constantly evolving and becoming better. That’s because it is fed by Google’s search bots as they comb the web! Among other things, this means the spell checker recognizes relatively new words and knows how they are spelled.

For now, Google Doc’s new spell checker is available only for English, but Google is promising to make it available for other languages as well.

Math in Google Docs with Built-in “Equation Editor”

If you read this blog regularly, you know that I am keen to provide learners with options for doing math work in a word processor. I believe this is essential for anyone who finds it difficult to use pencil and paper. So, this morning I was delighted to see a tweet by @njtechteacher (Ann Oro) mentioning that Google Docs has a built in equation editor.

    

Equation Editor in Google Docs means that anyone with a computer that can go online is able to do his or her math work in a word processor. The built in equation editor is easy to use, and offers a convenient way of inserting mathematical notation and maths symbols into a document. Perhaps the only thing that would make this equation editor more useful would be keyboard shortcuts for each of the symbols.

In a Google document, the equation editor is accessed by clicking on the Insert menu in a document and then selecting Equation.

This will open the toolbar shown below. Click on New equation to get started and then select from one of the palettes of symbols to obtain whatever notation is required.

    

 UPDATE: It is helpful to be aware that the ‘Enter’ key is literally the key to using this equation editor. For example, after selecting the notation for fractions, for seven eighths you type 7 followed by ‘Enter’, then type 8 followed by ‘Enter’.