I was texting to my friend MJ the other day, who’d asked me how I did something on the computer. I told her.
Grazie, she texted me, using Italian for fun.
I answered the same way, typing, Prego.
After I hit Send, the word Oregon appeared in my answer.
Oregon? I thought to myself. How did that get there?
I typed “You’re welcome” or “My pleasure” in Italian again: Prego.
The AutoCorrect had substituted Oregon. Not even Oregano, which, in my opinion, would be closer to Prego. I responded again. Prego.
Before I could tell her that, once again, Apple’s dread and bizarre autocorrect had transformed my text into gibberish, our mutual friend Beth texted me.
Before I could figure out what had happened, our friend Mattie texted: Oregon… what about it?
It seems that I’d accidentally replied to MJ in a message field that had originally included Beth and Mattie.
Since they’re my friends, I text them the way I talk when in private with my friends. I answered them. Here are the texts:
Ship Head autocorrect.
I gave up.
Despite Apple’s refusal to recognize what I was typing, my friends got it: they sent back laughing faces.
It seems that all of us had been victims of Apple’ dreaded autocorrect. All of us also swear that we have the things spelled perfectly correctly, and that when we hit Send, the autocorrect demons attack.
I suppose if you’re a young person who grew up with computer, especially with computers, smartphones, and social media, and you’re furthermore used to typing only with your thumbs, autocorrect could be a good thing. For those of us who know how to spell, or who try to use foreign words, or even those of us who are discussing something like Game of Thrones on the Twitter or the Book of Face, autocorrect ruins our texts, tweets, and posts.
I realize from the number of apologies on social media, that most people have been victims of Autocorrect’s vicious attacks. However, sending apologies afterward is not a satisfactory solution.
I decided to disable Apple’s danged autocorrect.
Turning Off AutoCorrect
in iPhones & iPads
It is surprisingly easy to turn off Apple’s Autocorrect, on both its OS and iOS for mobile devices. It’s so easy, in fact, that you can do it in about 5 seconds, without losing the time-saving “Word Suggest” feature available in some applications.
On your iPad or iPhone, go to Settings, that icon that looks like a gear.
Go to General.
Go to Keyboard. (If you can’t see it, scroll down.)
Go to AutoCorrect, called Auto-Correction, which is turned on by default.
Turn off AutoCorrect.
All the Word suggestions, check spelling, etc remain on.
The only problem I encountered was that none of my keyboards on my iPhone worked after I turned off AutoCorrect (iPad Air and mini-iPad worked just fine).
To fix that, I did a Hard Reset on the iPhone: hold power button and Home button down at same time. Hold until phone turns off and then restarts. Hold until Apple icon appears in middle of screen. Release (or iPhone will restart again.
I could immediately use my iPhone and iPad without having Apple’s AutoCorrect feature messing up whatever I was texting or posting to social media.
How to Turn off AutoCorrect
on IMac & MacBookPro
I had to use the Spotlight search feature on my computer to find the AutoCorrect feature on the Mac or the MacBookPro, but it came up easily enough. To turn off AutoCorrect on your desktop or laptop Mac, go to System Preferences. Though it has a different name from the iOS devices, it has the same icon as Settings.When System Preferences loads, it looks like this:
Choose Keyboard. When Keyboard opens, it looks like this:
Choose Text. When Text opens, you’ll see this:
AutoCorrect, or Correct Spelling Automatically, is the default setting.
Clear it, so it is not checked.
(I also turned off Curly Quotes, which Apple calls Smart Quotes, since I can’t use them in eBooks. Unfortunately, Apple combines Smart Quotes with Smart Dashes, which is when typing two hyphens – – without a space between automatically turns them into a dash –. So you might want to leave that on in your System Preferences.)
And that’s all there is to it.
Now you will never look like an illiterate idiot when texting or posting to the Book of Face or tweeting to your followers on an Apple device.