OS X Lion could drop any day now. We could be mere hours away. And there’s one feature that a lot of Lion users are going to want to switch off pretty much immediately. Here’s how.
Lion is bringing a lot of the functions of the iPhone and iPad interface (aka, the iOS operating system) to Mac users. Among the many new high-profile features, such as Versions and Launchpad, there are loads of smaller changes, and one of them is guaranteed to earn the ire of seasoned iOS users: Auto-correct.
Auto-correct isn’t a bad idea on paper: it’s meant to interpret what you’re typing and replace it with the right word when you make a typo. This could be particularly helpful when using the tiny keys on the virtual keyboard of your iPhone. But this “smart” feature often turns out to be remarkably dumb, particularly when typing proper names or other terms that aren’t found in your computer’s built-in dictionary. I can’t tell you how many times Auto-correct has changed things I’ve typed on my iPad when I didn’t want it to.
To be sure, Auto-correct will work for some users. But power typists will be driven nuts by it. Fortunately, there’s a very simple way within OS X Lion to switch this feature off.
In System Preferences, click on the “Language & Text” icon. Under the “Text” tab (above), you’ll find a number of options for text strings that can be automatically corrected. You’re free to fiddle around with these individual options, but if you want to keep things simple, just deselect the “Correct spelling automatically” option on the top right.
That will keep Lion from automatically correcting anything you spell. (Note that turning off this option will not interfere with spell-checkers in programs like Word.)