Changing the language and spell check settings in Chrome

Photo from Unsplash with an addition of Google Chrome’s logo
Photo from Unsplash with an addition of Google Chrome’s logo

Introduction

Favourite or favorite? Colour or color? While they both mean the same, one is the correct spelling in British English and the other is the American English spelling of the same word. I’ve always used British English spellings while writing articles, emails and social media posts, and I’ve always gotten a red squiggly line because Chrome tried to spell check against American English. I’ve finally gone ahead and updated my browser’s settings to resolve this. This article outlines these steps for those who are seeking a solution.

Problem

Let’s take a look at a typical problem one might face before we jump to the solution. I’ve written a super short story and I know that the spellings are correct, but Chrome keeps hinting that there are spelling errors with a red squiggly line, as pictured below. Okay, while the story is super fictitious, the problem statement still holds true. I need to tell Chrome to check the British English dictionary and not spell check against American English. But how do I do that?

Sample story with spellcheck errors using American English dictionary
Sample story with spellcheck errors using American English dictionary

Solution

The idea is to add the language of choice into Chrome’s language settings and then enable spell check on that.

Adding a language

Go to Chrome settings → Expand the Advanced section → Click on Languages, OR, open this link in a new Chrome tab: chrome://settings/languages. From the Languages section, add the desired language. In this case, we’ll add English (United Kingdom).

Adding a new language preference to Chrome settings
Adding a new language preference to Chrome settings

Spell check preferences

Adding another language will make the Use spell check for section visible. You can now turn on spellcheck for English (United Kingdom) and disable English (United States).

Tip: If you’d like to have spellcheck for both languages, feel free to leave both toggled on.

Toggle spell check for only a selected language in Chrome settings
Toggle spell check for only a selected language in Chrome settings

Mobile

If you’ve synced Chrome across devices and you’re using the same Chrome profile on your mobile, then this setting will auto-apply.

Final result

Lo and behold, all the spelling errors are gone — just the way we intended.

Sample story without any spell check errors
Sample story without any spell check errors

That’s it!

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Software developer. Teaches online at @skillshare. Created @lightnsparknpo. Author of http://mamatellmeastory.clydedsouza.net

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