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Dynamic Spelling- InDesign CS3 Tutorial

Jake Van Ness


August, 2008

In this tutorial we will learn how to use the Dynamic Spelling feature that is build into InDesign. This is a great way to have the software check your spelling as you are typing text instead of having to run spell checker at the very end. This allows you to make the changes on the fly when the software notices the mistake.

Obviously you do not want to have to take the extra step of changing this information every time you open a file. There is a simple way to have this information displayed by using the Text Variables option under the Type menu.

1. First we want to open a new document. File -> New -> Document (Cmd N or Ctrl N).

New Doc

2. When the New Document dialogue box opens we will just leave it as the default letter size. Click OK.

New Doc Settings

3. Here is how your new document should look.

Letterhead Size Doc

4. Click on the Type Tool (T) on the tools pallet.

Type Tool

5. Create a text box at the top of your new document. It should look similar to image below.

Text Box

6. Now we want to type (or paste) some text into the text box. I am using the first two paragraphs of the review I wrote on Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0. The text has a few mistakes already built in for this example. As you can see there is no way to know this because nothing is indicating any of the mistakes.

Filled Text Box

7. To turn on the Dynamic Spelling feature you will need to go to the InDesign Preferences -> Spelling.

Spelling Preference

8. The Preferences dialogue box will appear. [1]You will need to click on the check box next to Enable Dynamic Spelling. [2] You can also choose what color you will the misspelled words to be underlined by.

Dynamic Spelling On

9. Once you hit OK you will see little lines under the words that the software feels are spelled wrong.

Misspelled Words

10. As you can see below the word "compete" was misspelled and is indicated by the red underline.


11. If you right click on the misspelled word you will see a list appear of the words the software thinks you meant it to be. In this list you will find the correct spelling of "compete."

Right Click

12. As you can see the word is now correct and the red line is no longer under the word. It is important you watch the word you choose and make sure it is the correct one. Once the word is replaced, even it if is the wrong one, it will see it as spelled correctly. So it's important to choose the correct word.

13. Now do the same with the other underlined words. Ignore the ones for Xara and Xtreme for now. I'll explain in the next tutorial how to fix those so they don't appear misspelled. They are the software name after all.

14. The great thing about Dynamic Spelling is how it will pick up your mistakes right as you type the word. As you can see below I left out the "f" in the word software and it caught it right away. Makes corrections on the fly pretty easy.

Now you know how to turn on Dynamic Spelling and how to make corrections on the fly.


Download the original source files from this tutorial in Zip format Here

Copyright (c) 2008, Jake Van Ness, Prepressology Graphic Design
, All Rights Reserved


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