Why Auto Correct Sucks In OS X Lion

Why Auto Correct Sucks In OS X Lion

One of the more annoying things to cross over from iOS 5 to OS X is auto correct spelling. It’s a love / hate feature to have on a mobile device in the first place because mobile spawned txt speak and Apple’s implementation of auto correct on iPhone / iPad doesn’t like anything other than correctly spelt words.

Now that we have auto correct on OS X Lion, it’s just as annoying and their implementation of this feature hasn’t improved.

What’s my problem with auto correct? It forces itself on you far too much. If I’m intentionally spelling something incorrectly, my iPhone will jump in and correct it. A battle then ensues with my iPhone as I force it to accept my incorrect spelling by hitting backspace and repeatedly spelling wordz wrongingly. That’s kind of annoying.

Apple basically copied and pasted the same annoying behavior from iOS 5 to OS X – and it just doesn’t work on OS X.

When working on my Mac I want to see my spelling mistakes and correct them myself. What if I get my spelling way off and auto correct corrects the spelling to the wrong word? I have no idea (other than a really quick-to-fade blue underline) that I made a mistake.

I am more than happy to lay down 200 words and review all underlined words manually and verify the spelling after. This system has worked for years and I’m sticking to it.

And furthermore, the auto correct stops me in my tracks to make sure that OS X spelt the word correctly. I don’t know about you but auto correct takes me out of my stride when writing and adds zero value.

Fortunately it only takes a few clicks of a mouse to turn off auto correct in Lion. Go to System Preferences > Language & Text > Text > untick “Correct spelling automatically”.


  1. Fredrik Jackson says:

    I’m disabling it when I get serious problems. I hate it on the iPod/iPad, but so far it’s worked pretty well in Lion.

  2. I think Auto Correct works great on my Mac. But I can understand that it might be annoying when you spell something wrong, and then it might change it to something completely different, but don’t you look at what you are typing? I do, and when there is a word that I’m not sure on how it’s spelled, I check the inbuilt dictionary.

    1. Cormac Moylan says:

      Depends on how quickly you type I suppose. 

      I sometimes don’t look at the screen when I type if I’m reading from notes or from another window.

    2. So, you watch every single word every single time and never make a mistake because you’re 100% sure about all the words you know…or not? Interesting, that’s a first. But, I’ve had many times where spelling a word completely correctly results in auto correct changing it to a completely different word…or correcting a misspelling way off…if I were to type “yes, I will be thrd ut 3.” Autocorrect would come up with something like “yes, I will be thought about 3.” Sometimes it’s so bad I have to stop and think, ok, so what was I trying to say? It gets so far off that I can’t even figure out what I was trying to type 2 minutes ago.

  3. Bigmasterchief says:

    Yeah the auto correct in lion works well so far .. I’m keeping it.

  4. Extensor says:

    You should change the title to “You Kids Stay Off Of My Lawn!”. 🙂

    1. Cormac Moylan says:

      Why I oughtaaaa! (shakes fist!)

  5. I try to turn off auto spelling but it just won’t stop correcting me. For me it’s even more annoying because I like my OS in English but I am native Dutch. When I write Dutch mails the auto correct tries to change the words in English. And strange enough it won’t stop by just turning it off. Somebody any ideas? Also choosing another spelling language doesn’t change this problem…

  6. Mnort says:

    You need to look at the ratio of how many times it helps you vs. how many times it annoys you. Then your opinion will be different.

  7. Anonymous says:

    It is pure crap (the automatic mode) . I shut it off day2.

  8. Zach Harkey says:

    Lion’s auto correct is especially crippling to anyone attempting to write anything even remotely technical in nature, e.g. a line of code, example terminal commands, etc. Completely disabling system wide seems to be the only reasonable option.

  9. Natural Nurture says:

    The Lion Dic sucks…it is usless at suggesting what you may have been trying to type…I have to take the word that I can’t spell and drop it into Google and it can figure out immediately what I was trying to say…now if Google can do it why can’t a smart mac?
    I am so tired of a great tool being downgraded to a toy. I make my living in a Mac and can’t afford the affront of a toy slipped into my tool box.

    1. scott says:

      Agreed! it is so not smart. it cannot guess very simple and common spelling errors. Terrible, needs improving. OS X has suffered overall and is getting worse, since iOS.

  10. Chad Cole says:

    When I’m typing on my Mac, it can’t offer suggestions to fix most of my typos, I often have to copy & paste it into Google to get them to correct it, which is flawless. I don’t see why Apple can’t get this to work better.

  11. Alex says:

    I hate my ipad auto correct into wrong words and not understanding much of my incorrect words cause ENGLISH isn’t my 1 st or 2nd language. Google does perfect job finding right words!

  12. John Public says:

    its the most idiotic frustrating thing I have ever encountered in the iPad

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