Until now I had overlooked the IE7 plug-in IE7Pro. But I’ve just found that it can do inline British-dictionary spell checking, in IE7 forms and blog entries. I had heard about it before, but assumed it to be shareware. But it’s actually freeware, and is being actively developed.

It contains many IE7 widgets (which are easily turned off), including…

Spell Check : IE7Pro Spell Check will check any text you enter and alert you to possible errors by adding a red underline to any potentially misspelled words”.

IE7Pro’s Spell Check does not seem to offer the option of switching to a British English dictionary, despite the ability to look up and download a small selection of free add-in Open Office dictionary files. But it is possible to “fool it” into using one. IE7Pro uses the Open Office dictionary format. So download the free Open Office English UK dictionary, then…

1. Unzip the Open Office dictionary file, re-name en_GB.aff and en_GB.dic to en_US.aff and en_US.dic

2. Copy your re-named files into C:/Program Files/IE7Pro/Spelldic/en_US, allowing them to overwrite the existing American English dictionary files.

You now, having selected “English” as the dictionary in the options, have a free British inline spellchecker in IE7. The only drawback is there is no Word-like correction/add/ignore option for correcting the spelling, just a red underline that shows the word is incorrect. I suppose that means I have to start paying more attention to spelling, rather than relying on a machine to correct it. Which is probably no bad thing.