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Why 3 Dictionaries?
RTF Composer

Windows:  XP, Windows 7,8

  Why 3 Dictionaries in the rpsoft 2000 RTF composer  

note:  we suggest also reading the page on Dictionary Hints on how we suggest using these dictionaries and Grammar Checkers.  Click here for that page.

Why 3 Dictionaries?

One May Not be Reachable

Only two of the three dictionaries are inherent in our software.  The large one, the one under "Edit" instead of under "Convert" and also keys from the f7 key, is a borrow from Microsoft Office.  If Microsoft Office is not installed on your computer, likely this large dictionary and grammar help may not work.  But check to see if it does work and is just hiding behind other windows.

THEY DO DIFFERENT THINGS - at least, in my opinion

There is a bit of overlap, but perhaps not much.  The following are some of the objectives of each:

The British / American Dictionary

This dictionary has an option to work either direction - American Spelling to British preferred spelling, and British Spelling to American preferred spelling.  Why?  Well, first of all it was easy to provide this.  Many online references give the differences in spelling between the two countries and it was not that hard for us therefore, to take some of their advice and put together even an 1800 plus word pair dictionary.   As to its value, I find that since both countries of course use English but have different spellings, that different spellings can easily get into an author's work.  One example is that both the spellings of grey and gray for the color are considered acceptable.  You might know that.  But did you know that the spelling of "grey" is far more common in Britain and the spelling of "gray" is far more popular in the US?  That is just the start.  Do word spellings end in "ise" or "ize" for some words?  Depends on the country.  This dictionary may or may not be a help to you.  But it was easy for us to put together and offer it.

The "Fix Some Spell Errors" choice under the pull down menu "Convert"

First of all, this is both a dictionary and a grammar / format checker for just common things.  This is really our own dictionary of common errors we find when we write or read other people's writings.  It is not a large dictionary, and has only like 30 items, but tries for some of the more common errors that we see.  It includes the common small "i" for capital "I" that so many people do in text.  It also looks for needed apostrophes for common words such as cant to can't and wont to won't as well as Im or im to I'm.

It also does some grammar checking.  It looks for spacing between sentences, something we certainly admit is hard for software to be certain of.  But it attempts for most writing we have seen to give you a choice of 1 space (the new grammar suggestion) or 2 spaces (the older suggestion no longer pushed by many) between sentences and after quotes.  The reason for the change, we are told, from 2 spaces to 1 space now, is that supposedly typesetters had thin spaces and needed to use two of them in order to get adequate spacing after sentences.  Now of course we mostly use computers where the spacing is better and one space is fine.  In fact, we ourselves suggest just using the more modern one space since it can lead to fewer errors by either this software or by ourselves.  And so, this routine tries to adjust spacing after sentences.  It also then tries to look for capitalization on new sentences.  But it might not always catch spaces needed or capitalization if there are no spaces at all after a sentence.  You see?  A period can be an end of a sentence.  But it can also be part of ".com" or ".txt" or "3.165" or".mp3" and so our software here will ignore items that have a number or letter directly after a period.

This grammar checker also checks for American grammar rule on the usage of end quotation marks, which are a common problem for ourselves and also we have noticed for other writers.  For periods and commas, we understand that it is a solid rule that the end quotation mark ALWAYS goes AFTER the comma or period.  At least that is what the grammar rules we have read tells us.  But our software still asks you if you wish this change.  For question marks or exclamation points, well, the end quotation marks depends on the usage of the quotes.  If the quotes and the question mark, for example, are all part of the whole sentence, then the end quotation marks should go outside the question mark or exclamation point.  However, if the quotes are just a middle of the sentence thing and not part of the whole question or exclamation mark, then well, perhaps the quotes just go around the select words and the question mark or exclamation point would be outside furthest out.  Again, the software just alerts you, and lets you decide.  However, spacing between sentences does not alert you to a yes or no decision but just works silently.  We hope that it always works.  We try to look for common things that can confuse it, but we agree that there is always the chance of error.

But, we ourselves love this spell and grammar checker as simple as it is.  It seems to help us find some common issues.

The Full f7 Microsoft Spelling and Grammar Checker (if Ms Office is installed on your computer)

And yes, this full spelling and grammar checker is not inherent in our software, but borrows the usage of it from Microsoft Office if it is installed on your computer.  I actually did not even know that this item existed, even though I often use Microsoft Word, or MsWord as it is sometimes called.  I generally just look at the red lines Word puts under my words to tell me that spelling is not good and should be looked at.  The full spelling and grammar checker must be started separately, but is indeed an option in Microsoft Word.

If this spelling and grammar checker runs for you, I generally use it last after the other spelling checkers on our program.  I do this to not burden it with obvious things.  Also the Microsoft spell checker could be hidden behind other windows on your computer.  Please check if you do not see it and have other windows open.  But if there is a small window open in the upper left of this program itself, do not close this rtf composer itself.  It must be open for some operations.

However, I have found the grammar section to be a great addition to the spelling checker.  The grammar seems quite smart, most of the time, to tell when one should use "their" instead of "there" or "They're."  It also seems quite good at knowing when to use "its" or "it's."  I have seen instances where it guesses wrong, since software often only looks at so much, and humans can look at so much more.  And so I sometimes disagree with it.  However, I am amazed at how smart it is.


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