Version 0.9.1 beta (4. December 2001), Stefan Kreutter FarmersMahJongg


Have you ever wanted a spell checker for Mac OS X that supports other languages than the one provided by Apple? Like Spanish, Italian, German, or French? Here you go...

Based on the famous unix spell checker ispell this spell service allows you to check spelling within almost every Cocoa application.

[8. Dec.] Version 0.9.2 beta has been seeded to some selected beta-testers and will be released very soon. So far I have added AmericanEnglish, BritishEnglish, Dutch and Finnish fixed a couple of bugs and wrote a little helper bundle hat enhanves Mac OS X's spell checking UI.

This software is still a work in progress and isn't considered as final until the release of version 1.0.

Feature Check

ObjectFarmSpell plugs into Cocoa's spell server architecture and makes spell checking for multiple languages available. To be honest ObjectFarmSpell does not implement a real spell checker by it self but rather uses ispell as its spell checking backend. It's simply a wrapper service for a pretty common unix tool.

Currently the following languages come bundled with ObjectFarmSpell:

  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Spanish
For upcoming releases more languages will be added as long as they are available for ispell.

Known Issues

There are some known issues with version 0.9.1 beta

  • Sometimes the first word in a document gets marked as misspelled but is spelled correctly.
  • Italian spell checking is broken because of a configuration error. But you can fix it by your self: launch Terminal and enter open /Library/Services/ObjectFarmSpell.service/Contents/Info.plist this will open the PropertyListEditor (if you have the DevTools installed). Go to Root->IspellParameters->Italian and remove -T latin1 from the value. If you don't have the Developer Tools installed use TextEdit (use open -e .../Info.plist) and be careful nut to mess up the XML file.
  • I got one report that after intalling ObjectFarmSpell on Mac OS X 10.1 English(Apple) spell checking no longer works... but I'm unable to reproduce this problem.
  • On VersionTracker there is a comment that "[...] other users on my machine without admin priviliges get error messages, so there are still some bugs". I tested that but can't reproduce the problem. If ObjectFarmSpell works for users with admin priviliges it also works for users without admin priviliges. Unfortunately the reporter of that problem didn't give any details and I can't contact her/him.
  • Some people think ObjectFarmSpell sould be visible some way in the service menu and think they did something wrong when installing. Fact is that Cocoa spell-checking services (like Apple calls them) do not show up in the Services menu. You only notice installed spell checkers when you choose Edit->Spelling->Spelling... from the menu and the Spelling inspector pops up.

Package Download

The spell service is available for download in the following packages:

Mac OS X

Mac OS X Server 1.x

Version Release 0.9.1
not available
not available
Read Me
plain text (8 kB)

PDF format (104 kB)
- -
Architectures PowerPC
(3.4 MB)
Documentation included
Source available soon
License ObjectFarm Public License
ispell and dictionaries (GPL) licenses see ReadMe

Note: If you're in desperate need of a spell checker for Mac OS X Server 1.x drop me a note. And what about OPENSTEP? Anybody interested? Those releases are planned but I had no time to compile and test the stuff on other platforms beside Mac OS X.

Since our server might not be the fastest, we encourage you to search for the files in some of the well known archives or to try our public iDisk (user "objectfarm").


... go to the authors of ispell and all the language dictionaries.

Future development

  • More languages (Dutch, Norsk,...)
  • Documentation on how to add or customize language dictionaries.
  • Support for ispell user dictionaries.
  • What about a language-dictionary plugins so you could download only the languages you're interested in?
  • A spell checking frontend application to allow checking of HTML and LaTeX files.

Any kind of feedback is welcome. Please send it to