Text editors

Spell Checking Options in Moodle 2.5

Picture of Tzvi Daum
Spell Checking Options in Moodle 2.5


It seems the old spell checker button in the default Text editor has disappeared in Moodle 2.5 due to some problems with it in older versions.

Question: What are the current options? Right now, I guess I have to hit shift and right click the mouse to get Firefox's spell check features. I think students would not find that intuitive. What are the other options in terms of getting a spell checker button back? What are the downsides of those options?

Thank you!

Tzvi Daum

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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: Spell Checking Options in Moodle 2.5
Core developersDocumentation writersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

I think the situation is this (but this is not 100% reliable):

  • There used to be two options for spell-checking:
    1. Use a google web-service
    2. Install pspell (or aspell) libraries on your server
  • The default used to be 1.
  • Then Google stopped offering the web service, so that option is no longer possible
  • So now, you have to use option 2., and if you have not got the necessary libraries installed, the button is disabled.
  • But, of course, most web browsers now off inline spell-checking anyway.
  • TinyMCE typically disables that.
  • But Moodle has an option to tell TinyMCE not to do that.

Ah! I found the docs: http://docs.moodle.org/25/en/Text_editor_FAQ#The_Text_editor_does_not_appear. It seems my memory is mostly right.

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Mary Cooch
Re: Spell Checking Options in Moodle 2.5
Documentation writersMoodle Course Creator Certificate holdersMoodle HQParticularly helpful MoodlersTestersTranslators

Strange coincidence -  I was researching and updating the docs on this while Tim was replying. There is some more information now in http://docs.moodle.org/25/en/Text_editor but not much different from what Tim said basically.

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Picture of Rick Jerz
Re: Spell Checking Options in Moodle 2.5
Particularly helpful Moodlers

The change in spell checking in 2.5 caught me by surprise. Now that I understand what is happening, I have no complaints.  In fact, I kind of like letting my browser do the work, especially since I can now add "Moodle" to my dictionary.  That's progress. smile 

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Picture of Tzvi Daum
Re: Spell Checking Options in Moodle 2.5

Thank you Tim and Mary for the clarification!

Personally, I don't mind the right click option, just hope the student will adapt. The advantage now is that the misspelled words are automatically highlighted (unlike before where the spell check button needed to be pressed). So on second thought that might be an advantage.


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Picture of Danny Wahl
Re: Spell Checking Options in Moodle 2.5
Core developersPlugin developers

I still think there might be an issue as we were using PSpellShell before we upgraded to 2.5 and the spellcheck button is tsill missing.

I tried changing it to PSpell but still no luck.

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Picture of Craig Mackey
Re: Spell Checking Options in Moodle 2.5

I too have been looking for a spellcheck solution (for Moodle 2.3.8).

I have just setup PSpell  and it seems to work ok.

I followed this tutorial to install it on Ubuntu 12.04

sudo apt-get install libpspell-dev 
sudo apt-get install php5-pspell
sudo apt-get install aspell-en

then restart your apache2 server

sudo services apache2 restart

Then in Site administration -> Server -> System paths set the "Path to aspell" to /usr/bin/aspell after confirming that it was correct.

Finally in Site administration -> Plugins -> Text Editors -> TinyMCE HTML editor set the Spell engine to PSpell.

I assume that it's the same for the newer versions of Moodle?


Hope this helps.

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Picture of Nobuyuki Fujioka
Spell Checking Options in Moodle 2.8

Moodle 2.8

Hi, all, Craig, Mary and Tim

I would also like to use a spell check integrated into the moodle.  I tried and understand from your various forum threads that moodle's default spell checker does not work, and not longer seems to be supported.  I believe that the rationale behind this is that we can use the web browser's Spell Check As You Type functionality, so there is no need to have a separate spell checker for the Moodle text editor.   But, actually it is not the case for any of the web browsers currently available for mobile devices such as ipads and android tablets.

The reason why I need a spell check (wiggly red lines) within my moodle (on my server) is that the main devices my students use are android tablets and ipads.  Strangely, the mobile web browsers (including Chrome, native android browser, and safari on ipads) do not currently come with their own web spell checkers, which is very strange because the desktop versions of these browsers come with spell checkers.  Also, these mobile devices have spell checkers for device applications but do not work with websites/web applications (online text editors).

What I require is these red wiggly red lines  (not auto correction) when users make spelling mistakes.  With these red lines, students can learn they made spelling mistakes and learn correct spellings (self correction) as they practice writing.  It is a very useful function, as school teachers do not have enough time or do not correct kids' spelling in their homework nowadays.  With a help of my programmer, I have made a notepad application for my moodle, but I cannot enable the moodle's default spell checker...

So, I would appreciate it if anyone can help me install or turn on the default spell checker for moodle.  Detailed instruction is appreciated as I am not a programmer, and have a limited knowledge in coding.

Kind regards,


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Picture of James D
Re: Spell Checking Options in Moodle 2.5

Letting the browser do all the work is not a good option and should not be the only option to give our students. Not everyone uses Firefox even if it is the recommended browser.

Moodle really needs to clarify PSpell/ASpell/Google because not everyone knows that Google has been discontinued. It is still the default in Moodle but does not work. Many hours wasted trying to figure out why a Moodle feature it was not working only to find out it was Google.

Not happy! I am new to Moodle and took over when another guy left. 

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Picture of Nur Ali Tejani
Re: Spell Checking Options in Moodle 2.5

Thank i just use as you said and it works.

I guess I have to hit shift and right click the mouse to get Firefox's spell check features

but how we can enable the browser spell check with Moolde

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