Enabling TinyMCE's PHP Spell Checker

      The TinyMCE download comes with a standard spell checker plugin, but you might find that you have trouble getting it to work as expected. In fact, many people start off seeing a promising spell check button on the toolbar, only to receive the following error message when they click on it:
Please specify: spellchecker_rpc_url

I've documented the steps that I've taken to successfully install and configure TinyMCE's PHP Spell Checker plugin to use the Google spell checker service. It's easier than you think, but there's not much in the documentation that clearly states the entire process, so here you go.

These steps are intended for the PHP version of the spell checker plugin, but should also work with the .NET and [unofficial] ColdFusion plugins as well.

      1. Download the latest version of the Spell Checker plugin. Even if you just downloaded TinyMCE, download the latest version of this plugin before you continue!
      2. Move the new plugin into TinyMCE's plugin directory, overwriting the existing one in
      3. Next, add the plugin to your TinyMCE init
        plugins : 'safari,paste,fullscreen,...,spellchecker'
      4. Note: The plugin points to Google's spell checker by default. You can update the config file if you want to use another compatible spell checking service, but normally you won't have to do anything here. (In case you need it, the config file is located in the top level of the Spell Checker plugin folder.)
      5. Lastly, add this line to your TinyMCE init
        spellchecker_rpc_url: '/path/to/tinymce/plugins/spellchecker/rpc.php'

Now, make sure you clear your browsers cache and then load up TinyMCE. Your spell checker should work just fine. If you get an AJAX error, double check your path to rpc.php and try again.

A Note About the Google Spell Checker

Google doesn't officially support their spell checker service anymore and, as of December 2006, they stopped issuing API keys for the [deprecated] SOAP version of their web service. This doesn't affect the performance of the Spell Checker plugin, but it does mean that Google doesn't guarantee that this service will remain publicly available.

In the meantime, you might find Mike Malone's post on Hacking Google Spell Checker a fun resource to play with :)

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