Spellcheck has stopped working

If spellcheck has suddenly stopped working in Scrivener for macOS (or was never working to begin with), please make your way through the following troubleshooting checklist:

  • Go to Scrivener ▸ Settings… ▸ Corrections and make sure that Correct spelling errors as you type is enabled.

  • From the same Corrections pane, click the System Text Preferences… button to open up your Mac’s keyboard settings. Under the Text Input heading, click the Edit… button. Make sure that Correct spelling automatically is enabled, and that your keyboard is set to the correct language/region.

  • In Scrivener, under the Edit ▸ Spelling and Grammar ▸ submenu, ensure that Check Spelling While Typing is checked (along with Check Grammar with Spelling if you wish to use that option).

  • Under Edit ▸ Spelling and Grammar ▸ Show Spelling and Grammar, make sure the dropdown menu is either set to Automatic by Language or to the language that you write in.

  • Reboot your Mac.

If you continue to have trouble after working your way through this list, we ask that you try out spellcheck in the TextEdit application that comes with your Mac (ensure that you have Check spelling as you type enabled under TextEdit > Settings… before trying this). Both TextEdit and Scrivener use Apple’s text engine, so if you’re seeing the same problem in TextEdit, this is an issue with the underlying text engine. Please ensure that you are running the latest version of macOS on your device, as updating may resolve this issue.

If all else fails, then this is likely due to a known issue in Scrivener, caused by a timing error that results in a disconnection with the spell-checking system.