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The WordPress.com Blog

After the Deadline Live for WP.com

Last week you guys published 1.4 million new blog posts, but you only ran the spell checker about 204 thousand times. Ahem. The two possible explanations for this are that we’re all perfect writers or that we just forget to run the spell checker. I’m in the latter camp.

I don’t blame you — spell checkers are usually pretty lame. They are bad with most proper nouns and usually my problem isn’t spelling (which my browser catches), but grammar and style.

It’s amazing to me how hard it is to edit one’s own writing. I can read something I’ve written ten times, even speak it out loud, and miss obvious errors and mistakes that an editor (often Jane) spots on their first pass. And what if Jane isn’t around?

Now there’s a solution for everybody. It’s already live on your blog, and it’s from a company called After the Deadline. Here’s a video to introduce you to it:

When I first tried After the Deadline I was blown away; it was so much better than other checkers I’d used, and it was by one guy building this thing that solves a problem other folks have teams of PhDs trying to solve. I reached out to Raphael (the one guy) to see how we could get this technology in front of WordPress users and ended up doing a deal for Automattic to buy his entire company.

The other cool thing about this new technology is that it’s getting better every day — Raphael is constantly adding new rules and heuristics, and the technology is learning from millions of blog posts on WP.com to make the contextual parts of the checker smarter and smarter.

At its core WordPress has always been about writing — that’s why we put so much effort into things like the visual editor, revisions, and auto-save, so you never lose your work. Now you have another arrow in your quiver to help you present the best possible face to your readers and the world.

As the video above shows, you can enable and customize the way After the Deadline analyzes your posts by adjusting the new Proofreading settings in your profile, and then use the new feature by clicking on the icon in the Visual Editor toolbar that has ABC and a green checkmark on it. After the Deadline will analyze your post as you write it and highlight potential errors with an underline (red for spelling, green for grammar, blue for style), similar to grammar and spell checkers in word processing software. Clicking on a highlighted word or phrase will reveal the suggested correction, tell you why it’s suspected to be an error, and allow you to accept or ignore it.

You can read more about the story behind Automattic acquiring After the Deadline on the official AtD blog.

This feature is English-only for now (give us a little time) and available for WordPress.org as a plugin.


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164 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. Sim Goddess

    This is great! My husband will be happy to know that his services as editor will no longer be needed. 🙂

    Like

  2. technogran

    I use Live Writer to compose my blogs on here, and so I don’t need a spellchecker on the site itself as there is one built into Writer as I write the post. However, it will be useful to others who use the inbuilt blog editor

    Like

  3. Brenda Nepomuceno

    Wow, that’s SO useful! Guess it’s gonna be even more so when we have it in some other languages, such as Portuguese (the one I blog in)! 🙂

    Like

  4. ultraistgut

    Thanks, I am waiting ! 8)

    Like

  5. Paul Handover

    Well done, the team.

    Like

  6. pcmetix

    I didn’t even notice the spell checker or even knew i had one…mmmh! Interesting!!!!

    Like

  7. ninjakitten3782

    …before spell/grammar check (and yes, I realize I am aging myself, though I am actually only 27) I would read my papers/assignments backwards. That was a great way to catch double words and spelling mistakes. This is better. :o) And faster.

    Like

  8. alisantr

    thank you…

    Like

  9. Jenn Besonia

    Thank you! A learn a lot from this “spelling checker”.

    Like

  10. kvnpark

    I’ll try the plugin and see how it goes.
    Thanks! I’ll be an expert author in no time with this. ^^

    Like

  11. ayfs

    I use Microsoft Live Writer which is an AWESOME blogging program, with tons of plug-ins, like automatic Twitter posting, etc.. Its had a real-time spell-checker forever as well a WYSIWYG based on your theme. Sadly, it doesn’t have a built in grammar checker… yet. I am so happy that it works so well with WordPress.

    This will be helpful if I am making a post from a computer I don’t own and not using my phone, but that’s not a common occurrence.

    Like

  12. peggyinez

    WordPress has really been busy since I was on last. I spend so much time writing, I have had to neglect this blog, which I sincerely enjoy. Most of the time I spell-check my work…but I agree…sometimes one continues to look at their work so long and the words run into each other. So great for the ..Deadline…checking procedure. I will also look into that for my own personal use … if available. Thanks so much for all your time and efforts for wordpress.com. Peggy Inez

    Like

  13. diehardsaintsman

    “Last week you guys published 1.4 million new blog posts, but you only ran the spell checker about 204 thousand times.” Which means they aren’t using the ABC feature. Therefore, the addition to the feature is useless for those select majority. By God not for me I need all the help I can get, just ask my wife.

    Like

  14. sempune

    Grate, accelerate with new update. Thanks

    Like

  15. percyweller

    A U.S spell checker isn’t much good to us Brits! We spell English properly.

    Like

  16. N.R.

    maybe because many of those blogs are not written in English ?? I write in Latvian, and my language doesn’t have any usable spellcheckers, let alone for WordPress 🙂

    Like

  17. Margaret

    Oh, oh!!! I’m guilty at least half of the time. This should be really nice and I can’t wait to try it out. I’ve always been glad for the spell checker when in doubt about a word, but now that you’ve got something even more sophisticated, checking should be more fun and possibly thought provoking.

    Thank you for always thinking ahead.

    Like

  18. Pingback: After the Deadline « WordPress Publisher Blog
  19. Tom

    Seems to be a great service. And other languages?

    Like

  20. enkerli

    Shorter version:
    There’s no spell-check in Jazz improvisation.

    Like

  21. rindut

    sounds great! ok, i’ll try it. and thank u (see? i always write ‘u’ for the word ‘you’) for the hardwork. and goodluck for the upcoming update 😀

    Like

  22. PURPLE HATTER

    Man, I needed this one, now all you have to do is put it in comment section for when you make a comment. PS while your at it add a place to add pictures in the comments then we are in business!

    Like

  23. joornaal

    Great suggestion, but I use word to write my content and then I paste to WordPress.

    Like

  24. tmac

    This feature is just for english blogs or for all languages?

    Like

  25. janjansendekinderenbouwen

    can’t wait to use it, but i’m bloging in dutch.

    Like

  26. Pasquale

    I often type my text in word first so it auto corrects grammar mistake. I may still leave some out if I don’t pay attention. However, I will look out for this new option.

    Like

  27. LakeIceFishing.com

    That’s a pretty sweet feature. Maybe I are to use it good. If are the good spelling then blog of me will good it up.

    Like

  28. Fox

    that sounds cooler than regular spellcheck!!! =D

    Like

  29. Moin Ansari

    Great! Finally a spell check that works

    Now if you could set up a table of contents for all my 3000 articles which works with a search engine for my site—I would be a happy camper

    Like

  30. ideagirlconsulting

    this is great, i sent u guys a request for a spelling grammar program, glad we finally have it. now will it be automatically put into the spell checker ? I hate having to click on it all the time.
    I find when I use Office 2007 it catches my grammar flaws and I find it annoying at first but you learn from your mistakes and eventually your grammar skills improve! 🙂

    Like

  31. bO2

    Brilliant! It helps me alot!

    Like

  32. daddyfumanchu

    shouldn’t this be about honesty?, if you’r adding post’s about your daily life surely it should be warts and all? it’s nice to know it’s there, though. so thankz.

    Like

  33. virtuallyamy

    I use Firefox instead of IE. There is an automatic spell checker with it so I do not have to do anything extra. Maybe this has something to do with the low rate of people using the checker?

    Like

  34. Lord Vader

    Firefox with US English Dictionary Add-on :yes:

    Like

  35. utahbeach

    I am used to use the MS-Word spell checker. But WordPress is really the best blogging company in the world!

    Like

  36. J.J's Dolly Rockers

    I never forget to spell check. The only thing that makes me revert to dictionary.com is that the corrected spelling on WP tends to be in US English language, I am from the UK. As always love it all keep it up!

    Like

  37. june232

    That’s cool. For me, a non-native speaker of English, it would be very useful.
    But, I also hope some day I can use it to check Chinese grammer:)

    Like

  38. dwieansh

    this is very useful, indeed. thanks heaps, WP

    Like

  39. editx

    Okay… so far so good.
    But me being Danish, I can easily get confused when using spell checkers. Already at this point, the words, me, can, easily, get, confused, and spell checkers are with a red-red line below.
    And maybe, since wordpress is global, it might be a charm that we all write in different styles within the English language? Me so absolutely so think 🙂 yes?

    Like

  40. a5v19

    thx! very useful…

    Like

  41. amhm

    will it be good for the Arabic language .I do not think so .ofcourse not ,thank you for learning us .

    Like

  42. RCA

    Good stuff, but what with other than english languages? For example polish?

    Like

  43. justgirlsnboys

    ok so you know me or is just not me that F spilling

    Like

  44. thewordseeker

    I am glad I left blogger and came to wordpress. This new feature is great!

    Like

  45. rl

    kewl feature… once more!

    Like

  46. Lars

    Great thing!
    When do other languages follow?

    Like

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