How to Turn Off Autocorrect on a Mac

How to Turn Off Autocorrect on a MacAutocorrect has been built-in to OS X for years, though an advanced and more intrusive version has been in place since the introduction of Lion and Mountain Lion. Unfortunately, it’s not always a welcome feature as many people prefer to use their own spell checking software and/or do it manually. Businesses that deal in acronyms and other uncommon phrases may find it difficult to have to go through every document and “train” OS X on the new lingo.

No matter what your reason for not wanting the operating system to meddle in your written work, there is a way to turn this feature off.

Here’s what you’ll need to do.

  • Open System Preferences.
  • Select Personal, then Language and Text.
  • Choose the Text tab along the upper area of the window.
  • Uncheck the box next to Correct spelling automatically.
  • Close the window.

That should be all you need to do to turn off the autocorrect feature on OS X. This won’t turn it off on software that is designed with similar autocorrecting features, but it will prevent OS X from stepping in and providing its own alterations to your writing.

If you wish to keep the feature active but keep a close eye on how it alters your writing, just keep a lookout for tiny blue dots underlining words as you type them. These blue dots indicate that OS X has made a correction, though you can undo it by clicking (or right-clicking in some instances) the word and selecting to revert it back to whatever it was originally. You can then right-click the word and add it to your dictionary to prevent future autocorrections.

This training can be a little tiresome after a while, but it will provide you the best possible protection against the occasional unintended typo. Keep in mind that autocorrect is no substitute for good self-editing, especially when context and like-sounding words are involved. Even with all the corrective software in the world, a typo still slips by even here.

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Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia, and commercial video production.