Microsoft is improving Windows Spellcheck on Google Chrome, Edge

Windows Spellcheck for Edge

Last year, Microsoft said it was moving away from the default
spell checking feature in open-source
Chromium and Edge was updated with the new Windows Spellcheck
API. This was also added to Google Chrome as an optional
feature and it’s obviously limited to Windows 10.

Windows Spellchecker works only when you enable the
experimental flag in Chrome’s flags menu and it replaces
Chromium’s Hunspell spellchecker with the operating system’s
built-in Spellcheck API.

But there’s a problem: Windows 10’s built-in spellchecker could
stop working properly when there are a large number of
misspellings in editable content, which has over 2000
characters. On such a page, if you right-click on a misspelt
word to bring up the context menu with suggested corrections,
the renderer process will stop responding.

Windows Spellcheck API
Example of Windows Spellcheck API

Microsoft believes that the main issue is that if suggestions
have not already been retrieved and cached, a synchronous IPC
is made from the renderer process to the browser process, which
doesn’t work as expected.

“If the platform spellchecker is still busy performing a text
check on all of the content, this can be a long wait,”
Microsoft noted.
“A reason that the full-text check may take a long time is that
suggestions are being retrieved for all misspelled words, even
though the user may never invoke the context menu to view
them,” the company added.

For those unaware, Microsoft built Windows Spellcheck
integration with Google engineers on the Chromium project and
Windows Spellcheck API works in any Chromium browser.

In Microsoft Edge, the feature is enabled by default and it has
better support for URLs, acronyms, and email addresses. In
addition to performance improvements, Microsoft is also fixing
a bug where the browser was retrieving suggestions even for
words not marked as misspelt.

This part of the fix is currently available behind another
feature flag and it’ll be enabled by default.

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