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Google Docs Gets Better at Spell-Check

New system is context-sensitive, so it's almost like a grammar checker. In other words, don't worry if you always use the wrong "you're"

Bad spelling reflects badly on you. Doesn't matter if it appears in a product brief or a presentation; if you write "it's" when you should have used "its" or accidentally type "loose" in place of "lose," you're going to come off looking, well, not too bright.

Help is at hand for Google Docs users. Thanks to a new update, Google Docs now offers Web-powered spell checking.

See, when you type a misspelled query into Google Search, an adaptive, context-sensitive system comes up with suggested corrections: "Our suggestions get smarter and smarter based on the words Googlebot sees as it explores the web," according to Google software engineer Yew Jin Lim.

That same system (or one quite like it) now powers the dynamic spell-check in Google Docs--specifically, in documents and presentations. As you type, the checker immediately flags (with a red underline) any word that's either misspelled or improperly used.

That's right: If you typed "your" instead of "you're," Docs will flag the former and suggest the latter--even though the former is spelled properly. In that sense, it's like having a grammar checker as well as a spell checker.

Google also promises to keep up with modern pop-culture lingo and other new words.

Slowly but surely, Google Docs is evolving into a viable substitute for Microsoft Office. With this update, it just got a little closer.

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