How is Safari spellcheck syncing across machines?

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by osmoses, Nov 10, 2016.

  1. osmoses macrumors newbie

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    Nov 10, 2016
    #1
    I have two MacBook Pros, both running El Cap 10.11.6. One is several years old, one is about 6 months old, but only been in use for about 3 weeks.

    I use Safari quite a bit, and at some point, the older Mac learned a spelling "correction" that was both unique and incorrect. That correction shows up as a standard text box with an X just below the text entry box with the misspelled word.

    I still can't figure out how to make it disappear, or otherwise unlearn that word. If someone knows, that would be nice. It's NOT in ~/Library/Spelling. But that's not why I'm posting.

    Here's why I'm posting: On the NEW Mac, Safari seems to know that SAME unique and incorrect spelling "correction". How is that happening?

    I did NOT do a data migration between machines. I DID export Safari bookmarks and import them into the other Safari, via USB drive.

    The newer Mac is NOT logged into my iCloud.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. jbarley macrumors 68030

    jbarley

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    Vancouver Island
    #2
    The spelling corrector in Safari isn’t a separate spelling corrector, but it’s OSX’s system-wide spelling corrector. So the simplest option is to either shut off OSX’s built-in spelling corrector alltogether, or to learn it to recognize the corrected word.
    You'll find what you're looking for in System Preferences->Keyboard->Text, here you can disable Spelling Correction altogether or replace the erroneous word with a corrected version.
     
  3. osmoses thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 10, 2016
    #3
    I'm not sure that's the case.

    I've seen references to the fact that Safari has its own spellcheck distinct from the OS-wide service. And indeed, the learned spelling I'm referring to does NOT appear in System Preferences->Keyboard->Text, nor in ~/Library/Spelling/LocalDictionary.

    Prompted by your comment, though, I put the word into a TextEdit document, highlighted it, and checked spelling. The unique "correction" shows up there, as well. That makes me even MORE curious how that "correction" is appearing on a wholly different machine that didn't have data from the older machine migrated to it.

    (In case you are wondering, I'm not saying what the word or the unique correction is, because it's pretty much my last name. It's pretty uncommon, and the "correction" even more so, and thus I'm pretty certain it's not a default part of the OS dictionary.)
     
  4. jbarley macrumors 68030

    jbarley

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    #4
    You mentioned earlier checking in "~/Library/Spelling", if there is anything to be found there it would most likely be in a file named "en"
     
  5. osmoses thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 10, 2016
    #5
    Mac ~/Library/Spelling% ls -la
    total 88
    drwxr-xr-x 5 frank staff 170 Nov 10 18:50 .
    drwx------+ 80 frank staff 2720 Nov 3 11:59 ..
    -rw-r--r--@ 1 frank staff 17 Oct 20 18:52 LocalDictionary
    -rw-r--r-- 1 frank staff 158 Nov 10 15:08 dynamic-counts.dat
    -rw-r--r-- 1 frank staff 80788 Nov 10 18:50 dynamic-text.dat
    Mac ~/Library/Spelling%

    I found some other variations on the word in dynamic-text.dat, on the older Mac but not the suggested correction.

    I found one variation on the word in dynamic-text.dat on the newer Mac, but again not the suggested correction.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 10, 2016 ---
    As another data point, I created a new account on the new Mac, logged in, fired up TextEdit, entered my last name and the same unique and incorrect "correction" was suggested. This is really odd.
     
  6. MC6800 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 29, 2016
    #6
    Is the word that it's correcting to a built-in dictionary word? The solution to this is to add a "correction" with the same word on both sides (your name in this case) in Settings > Keyboard > Text.
     
  7. osmoses thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 10, 2016
    #7
    Nope. Neither word is a built-in dictionary word. Still can't figure out how the newer Mac knows the word in the first place.
     
  8. jbarley macrumors 68030

    jbarley

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    #8
    It would appear you're more interested in the "cause" then a "solution".
    Have you actually tried the solution offered up by MC6800?
     
  9. MC6800 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 29, 2016
    #9
    If it knows the word on a fresh account, I would think it must be built in to the OS. You could test it on someone else's machine too. Have you tried the anti-correction trick?
     
  10. osmoses thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 10, 2016
    #10
    I'm absolutely interested in the cause. I thought it was clear from my original posting that that's the interesting part of all of this.

    Once i understand why, I can resolve the phenomenon in one of several ways. What I want to learn is how a new Mac that wasn't data migrated is suggesting the same unique spelling correction for a unique word, when neither word seems to exist in a base OS dictionary.

    The obvious explanation seems to be that I somehow mistyped the "correction" and told the OS to learn it, without noticing. But that doesn't seem likely.

    I'm not logged into iCloud on the new Mac. The only data that is common between them is my 1Password store, my Safari bookmarks, and some word docs. Word itself was a fresh install.

    I'm imapping my mail, so there's common data there, but I don't see how that would cause this.
     
  11. MC6800 macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Back in TextEdit with the wrong-spelled word selected and a right-click, does it give you the "Unlearn spelling" choice? It should if it has actually been learned anywhere. Experiment by learning another garbage word and checking.
     
  12. osmoses thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 10, 2016
    #12
    No, I can either ignore spelling or learn spelling. I think that to be precise, this is a "guess" at an alternate/corrected spelling rather than a learned correction. I say that because when testing with another garbage word, a right click gives me "No guesses found" in the spot where I get the "correction" for the original word in question.

    Is that a meaningful distinction? Are guesses stored somewhere like learned corrections are? Any ideas on how guesses might be derived, and from what?

    It seems likely that some data that I moved between machines contains this information, or it's present in data contained in an account that I'm logged into on both machines, or a website I am logged into, or there is some other kind of serious user tracking/linking mojo going on. I'm using the same username on both machines, but different passwords.

    I may fire up a VM and start adding data and accounts until the phenomenon is replicated or that hypothesis is proven wrong.
     
  13. MC6800 macrumors 6502

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    #13
    I only see "No guesses found" when a word is far away from any dictionary word. Try a long word that's one letter off.

    I think what's more likely is that the Mac's "dictionary" is wider than just the built-in words-- it appears to also include the results of searches. You can check this by choosing to "Look Up" your misspelled word. Sometimes it shows YouTube hits, etc.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 14, 2016 ---
    Also, in Preferences > Spotlight, try turning off "Allow Spotlight Suggestions in Spotlight and Look up".
     
  14. osmoses thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 10, 2016
    #14
    Well, this is very interesting. I've tried several virgin El Cap VMs and someone else's computer that I've never used, and every single machine offered the same unique "guess" for the unique word in question. I don't really know how to account for this, since the word and the correction are so unique, but there it is.
     
  15. MC6800 macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Did turning off Spotlight suggestions make any difference?
     
  16. osmoses thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 10, 2016
    #16
    Nope. Spotlight suggestions was not on.
     

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