Type of Program: Educational Spell Checker
Supported Platforms: Win 95/98/NT
Company Name: Planet Software
OK there are spell checkers everywhere but not like this one. Planet Software has produced a really great educational tool here. Ideally suited for children, it comes with four different animated and talking characters to choose from, but fun for adults too.
You can basically use this in one of two ways. You can cut and paste from the application you are using and have Planet Speller check that, or you can type into the Planet Speller window and have the program check spelling as you type. Planet.Speller is one of the fastest spellcheckers on the market. It's so fast it can 'check-as-you-type' without any lag in performance.
Don't be fooled by other Spell Checkers that claim 50,000, 80,000 or 100,000 words per minute. Ask them how they determined that. Most were from spell checking the word 'the' used 10,000 times in a document - not a very real world test. Alternatively you can do a complete spell check at the end.
The animated characters Genie, Robby, Peedy or Merlin can also read back what you have typed. Now normally I avoid programs that talk to you like the plague, mainly due to the speech quality, but Planet has got it just right. Clear diction and at a reasonable speed.
There are 13 different languages available including synonyms, antonyms, and word definitions and the expandable English dictionary contains more than 130,000 words, a 25,000 word thesaurus, plus word usage, definitions and more! At present though it can only speak English.
You can also build your own dictionary, which is useful for jargon related areas such as medical, IT, legal etc.
There are many other technical features available which I don't have space for here and I suggest you visit http://www.innovators.com/products/PlanetGroup/planetspeller.asp for an in depth description of these. This will keep children fascinated and educate them at the same time. Just ask your child to type a story and let them learn from the mistakes that Planet Speller finds. The animated talking characters will hold their interest, you can be sure of that. Equally it's a great aid to homework for schoolchildren. At only $15.00 it's an absolute steal.
Ease of Installation:
Reviewed by Simon Baillie