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Spell checking in ColdFusion?

06-14-2010 6,261 views ColdFusion 16 Comments

Last week a reader asked me about spell checking and ColdFusion. To be honest, I haven't really thought about it much. Firefox has provided support for spell checking for a good year now (probably more?) and I just kinda got used to it always being there. However, as a computer user I may be more tuned to it then the casual visitor. Also, the browser doesn't really provide any additional capabilities above simply adding the red squiggly lines to your text boxes. There may be times when you want a completely non-interactive spell check. Perhaps after importing a PDF for example. I did a tiny bit of Googling around to see what options were out there.

The first thing I found was an old CFX by Ben Forta, CFX_Spell. However, the link didn't seem to go to a valid location anymore.

The second thing I found was a like to an article in (I'm not going to name the magazine as the publisher is in cohorts with the devil). This article spoke about Jazzy, an open source Java application for spell checking.

Finally I found a solution by Foundeo (where community member Pete Freitag works) called, simply, Spell Checker. The docs seem to imply (or did to me) that this is a solution only intended for client side applications, but after speaking with Pete he did confirm you can use it completely server side as well.

So my question is - can anyone speak to any of the above solutions, or suggest their own?


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  • Brent #
    Commented on 06-14-2010 at 3:02 PM
    Our office took the Jazzy project (using said article) and wrote a JS front-end for it. It's been in production for 4-5 years and has served us well.
  • Commented on 06-14-2010 at 3:09 PM
    I have used a program called a little. I have had mixed results. It seems like it hsoudl be easy to install but I've tried this on a Windows 2003 sever as well as Windows 2008 and it breaks in different spots on each (this is the server edition).

    When I was able to get this working it was kind of nice because it let the clients use the system dictionary as well as create their own dictionaries.

    The hosted version is really cheap and you use their hosted spell checking app but you have inline advertising.
  • Djonesax #
    Commented on 06-14-2010 at 3:43 PM
    I agree. I have used a few in the past but with more browsers coming equip with this functionality already, I bet you can see less and less of these.
  • Commented on 06-14-2010 at 4:16 PM
    We are using Aspell ( with the ColdFusion plugin for FCKeditor.
  • Susan #
    Commented on 06-14-2010 at 4:55 PM
    We use the SpellChecker that is on the Foundeo site. It was originally called ActivSpell, and came as an add on to our ActivEdit wysiwyg editor. This spellchecker works great. The one we have uses a javascript pop-up, but the spellcheck dictionary is maintained on the server.
  • Commented on 06-14-2010 at 8:23 PM
    +1 for ASpell, but I use it with TinyMCE and the ColdFusion Spellcheck plugin. Works a treat, very elegant, behaves just like the red underlining that MS Word does.
  • Misty #
    Commented on 06-14-2010 at 9:59 PM
    Hi I have the COpy of CX_spell by Ben Forta, Tell me if in need, I will upload as far i know, It works well even today
  • Commented on 06-14-2010 at 10:25 PM
    If you're going with a Flex/Flash front end, you can use the Adobe spell checker, squiggly,, which has worked very nicely for us so far. Quick and easy to implement too.
  • Commented on 06-15-2010 at 3:52 AM
    I've stumbled across this one. It's used in OpenOffice and Firefox plus there is mention of a Java interface for it.

    We've previously used Ben Forta's CFX_Spell but have some memory leak issues with it in older versions of CF (6/7)
  • Raj #
    Commented on 06-15-2010 at 7:54 AM
    1+ for ASpell with FCKEditor
  • MikeG #
    Commented on 06-15-2010 at 12:46 PM
    ASpell installed for use with CFTEXTAREA, ActiveSpell when you are not using CFTEXTAREA or are using ActivEdit is how we do it.
  • Simon #
    Commented on 06-16-2010 at 4:41 AM
    At last a post I can constructively comment on :0) We use foundeos spellcheck and found it very easy to implement.
  • Giarc #
    Commented on 06-16-2010 at 12:03 PM
    This is something I've needed on a couple of different projects... unfortunately, our corporate standard browser is IE, so I don't have the ability to tell people to just use Firefox :(

    We looked into several different options, including Foundeo. Off the top of my head, I don't remember why exactly we decided against it... I think it may not have supported FCKEditor at the time we were looking.

    In the end, we went with JSpell ( It was very easy to install and implement, and has a lot of nice features, including multi-language support and the ability to add words to the dictionary (which is a good thing, since the company bigwigs didn't find it nearly as amusing as I did that the spell checker flagged our company name!). Overall, we've been pretty hapy with it.
  • Commented on 06-16-2010 at 12:04 PM
    I ported the really excellent JQuery based Spellify to Coldfusion. It provides a nice pop up spelling suggestions window as the user is typing into a text field. It uses the Google spelling API:


    Spellify for Coldfusion:
  • Commented on 08-03-2010 at 9:58 PM
    You can find Ben Forta's CFX_Spell & associated language packs at
  • Ray #
    Commented on 07-17-2013 at 9:49 AM
    Google pull the rug on the Spell Check API?