I am coming from Windows world and have recently got myself a MacBook Pro and iWork 9 for it. When I type I often do spelling mistakes and spellchecker complains about them. This is common functionality that can be found in many applications, like Microsoft Office, OpenOffice.org, Internet Browser and many other applications that contain an editor. Is it also common for all of them to offer fix suggestions using context menu over the misspelled word.

When using Windows I used to navigate the cursor to the misspelled word and press alt text button to get the list of quick-fix suggestions. There is no such button on my MacBook keyboard, but I would still like to perform similar action with a keyboard. All advices online that I have found suggest to use Ctrl-click (right-click) with a mouse, but it is painfully slow to move mouse over misspelled work, rather than using a keyboard. Is there a way to popup list of quick-fix suggestions in iWork Pages using only keyboard?

P.S. I misspelled over 10 words while writing this message and could have saved about 1 minute if I had quick-fix functionality accesible from keyboard.

4 Answers 4


There is another related question: see Chris Johnsen's answer since it relates to spell check.

There are standard shortcuts for the built-in spell checking. Not all applications may have these menu items.

  • ⌘; — Edit > Spelling > Check Spelling
    • This selects the next ‘misspelled’ word.
  • ⌘: — Edit > Spelling > Spelling…
    • This selects the next ‘misspelled’ word and opens the Spelling floating window.
    • To focus the floating window without using the mouse, you can use the “full keyboard access” shortcuts (enable them in System Preferences, search for “full keyboard access”, it (and the extra shortcuts it enables) are under the “Keyboard Navigation” subtree.
      • You may need to reassign the shortcuts.
      • The default for “move focus to the floating window” is ⌃F6, but that seems to be used by the editor here on SO, so I needed to change it to test it while composing this answer (I used ⌥F6).
      • Once focus is on the Spelling floating window, you can
        • dismiss it with Escape, or
        • use Tab to move to the various controls, and
        • with the replacement textbox focused, you can
          • use Up and Down to select replacements, and
          • type a replacement, and
          • use Return to activate the default button: Correct
  • This is what I was looking for. It's not as convenient as Windows right-click button, but with practice, I believe, I will be able to do this fast. Thank you. Sep 9, 2010 at 11:17

I realize this isn't a direct answer to your question, but rather an alternative solution:

I don't have iWork, but is there an option in the Edit Menu?

Edit > Spelling and Grammar > Correct Spelling Automatically

In TextEdit there is an option in the preferences as well:

alt text

Is this option available in iWork also?

  • 1
    There is this option in Pages > Preferences > Auto-Correction. It actually corrects only the errors where there is only one suggestion available, e.g. "sopistication" turns into "sophistication". But if I make a mistake like "iland", it won't be converted since it can be "island", "land", "inland" etc. Moreover, if I type a word that is not in the Dictionary, it may happen that it will be replaced by a different similar word, despite the correct spelling. This kind of mistakes can only be fixed by human, so I need a quick and convenient way to do so. Sep 7, 2010 at 9:17
  • I see the problem now. That's really lame. What if you used a key-remapping app to remap the [non-existent] numeric keypad key needed for @slhck's answer to work to an extremely-rarely used key? pqrs.org/macosx/keyremap4macbook
    – jsejcksn
    Sep 7, 2010 at 9:21

I'm sorry to tell you, but I guess you should learn to fix errors after typing a portion of text.

That way you can easily use the batch spell checker or use your mouse and fix multiple errors...

  • 1
    Apparently it seems to be the case :( Sep 7, 2010 at 9:18

In the Edit menu you can choose Spelling » Check spelling as you type for automatic spell checking.

The keyboard shortcut ⌘; (Command-;) will jump to the next misspelled word.

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