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, 25 Apr 2004 CPOL
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A CEdit control with a spell checker and thesaurus.

Sample Image - main.jpg


Sometimes, it would be nice to have an edit box with a spell checker and/or thesaurus built in, especially if you use edit boxes to enter longer messages (E.g. for logs, descriptions, IM messages, ...).

While searching the web, I found some free spell checkers, but most of them didn't work on Windows, or missed many language dictionaries. Then I found MySpell which is used by the free OpenOffice suite. It is distributed under a BSD license, which means you can use it in commercial applications. You just have to mention the copyright somewhere in your app.

And since MySpell is used by OpenOffice, there are dictionaries for almost every language available. And those dictionary files are compatible with the ones Mozilla uses.

I found MySpell, I started hacking on extending the CEdit control to make good use of it. Here's what the result looks like:




To use the CSpellEdit control:

  1. Add the files SpellEdit.h, SpellEdit.cpp and all files in the MySpell folder to your project.
  2. Replace all CEdit variables with CSpellEdit (don't forget to #include the SpellEdit.h file).

Since the default context menu of the edit control is replaced (see PJ Arends' article here on how to do that), you might want to translate those strings (default is English). To do that, you can add the following strings to your resource stringtable:


If those strings are not present, then the default English strings will be used.

Also: if no dictionary files are found or set, then the CSpellEdit control will do nothing, i.e. it will be exactly like the normal CEdit control.


CSpellEdit searches for dictionary files at startup automatically. It looks for those files in the same directory as the program is and in the /dic/ subfolder. For example in:

  • c:\program files\myapp\
  • c:\program files\myapp\dic\

Since there could be many dictionary files in those folders, CSpellEdit first checks if there are dictionaries for the current user locale. If those are not found, then it looks for the English dictionaries. Example:

Current user locale is: de_CH
try myapp\de_CH.*
try myapp\dic\de_CH.*
try myapp\de_DE.*
try myapp\dic\de_DE.*
try myapp\en_US.*
try myapp\dic\en_US.*

If you don't want to store the dictionary files in your program's folder, you can set the paths to the dictionary files with the SetDictPaths() and SetThesaurPaths() methods.


26.04.2004 - if found in user32.dll, the default context menu of the edit control is used.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralRe: Thesaurus Problems Pin
SteveKing26-May-04 2:59
memberSteveKing26-May-04 2:59 
GeneralRe: Thesaurus Problems Pin
elza30-Dec-04 2:11
memberelza30-Dec-04 2:11 
GeneralRe: Thesaurus Problems Pin
elza2-Jan-05 1:45
memberelza2-Jan-05 1:45 
GeneralRe: Thesaurus Problems Pin
SteveKing10-Jan-06 8:05
memberSteveKing10-Jan-06 8:05 
Generalabout edit control menu Pin
Paolo Messina22-Apr-04 1:04
memberPaolo Messina22-Apr-04 1:04 
GeneralRe: about edit control menu Pin
SteveKing22-Apr-04 1:45
memberSteveKing22-Apr-04 1:45 
GeneralRe: about edit control menu Pin
Paolo Messina23-Apr-04 14:32
memberPaolo Messina23-Apr-04 14:32 
GeneralRe: about edit control menu Pin
Paolo Messina23-Apr-04 14:27
memberPaolo Messina23-Apr-04 14:27 
Hi John,

That's exactly what I have on XP Pro ITA (SP1). Also, if you look at the other menu IDs you may guess they have a special meaning, because they're not sequential and they're simple bits combinations, with only 1 or 2 bits set (1,4,64,80,...) and this to me reinforces the thesis of common IDs on all platforms (at least where the corresponding menu is supported).

Anyway, we'll just have to check the broader range of platforms possible to be sure. Wink | ;)

Thanks for the report,

p.s. a side note on the code sample: I think you can use GetModuleHandle in place of LoadLibrary and save a FreeLibrary, since we are subclassing an edit control User32.dll must be there already!
And what are you doing with an italian copy of w2k? (just curious) Smile | :)

Why spend 2 minutes doing it by hand when you can spend all night plus most of the following day writing a system to do it for you? - (Chris Maunder)

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