My favorite Linux email client skips the spell check until I do this

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I recently migrated from Blue Mail to the Evolution Groupware suite on Linux. Since making the switch I haven’t looked back. Evolution is the perfect combination of a modern UI with the features I need to efficiently manage all my email accounts (and then some).

A few days after starting my journey with this tool, I ran into a bit of trouble — spell check. Evolution has a built-in spell checker for both manual and automatic options. The manual option worked fine though, enabling Check spelling as I type The alternative was to do nothing.

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I decided it was time to investigate.

Fortunately, my sleuthing didn’t take long, and I realized that there was a missing piece of the puzzle. The sed package is Honspell, an open-source spell checker, morphological analyzer library, and command-line tool. Without this piece of software, Evolution is not capable of running an automatic Spell as you type Spell check.

Therefore, it must be installed.

Let me show you how.

How to enable spell check as you type

What you will need: To install Hunspell, you’ll need a running instance of a Linux distribution and a user with sudo privileges. I will demonstrate this on both Ubuntu and Fedora distributions.

The first thing to do is open your terminal window application from the desktop menu.

On Ubuntu (or an Ubuntu-based distribution), the command to install HunSpell is:

sudo apt-get install hunspell -y

The installation command on Fedora (or a Fedora-based distribution) is:

sudo dnf install hunspell -y

Also: two tricks that make using the Linux command line much easier

Enable Evolution’s automatic spell check

Finally, we can enable automatic spell check in evolution and it will work as expected. Here’s how.

Click the three-line menu button in the upper-right corner of the evolution window. From the drop-down menu, select Edit > Preferences.

Evolution Edit menu.

Entering the Preferences window can also be done with the Shift+Ctrl+S keyboard shortcut.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZdNet

Click Composer Preferences in the left sidebar, and then click the Spell Check tab. At the bottom of the window, you should see a checkbox Check spelling as I type. Click that checkbox to enable the feature. Once you have done this, close the preferences.

Evolution Composer Preferences window.

You can select multiple dictionaries for spell check.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZdNet

Automatic spell check should work now. Any misspelled words will be underlined in red as you compose an email. You can right-click on that word to see recommendations. Select a recommendation and it will automatically change for you.

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Congratulations, you can now rely on Hunspell and Evolution to keep your spells under control.

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