While doing some searches for new writing software a couple of months ago, I came across a rather interesting web site from Ginger Software. The company was tauting a new software application called Ginger Spell that works within Microsoft Word to provide students with writing disabilities support in the area of spelling and grammar. At the present time Ginger Spell beta does not include grammar support but will be added when the applications ships. Ginger Spell is unique in that it assist students in producing error free text right within Microsoft Word using very sophisticated algorithms. Ginger Spell installs within Microsoft Word 2003 and Word 2007 and provides a window that allows students to view the suggested corrections. As much as I am a big fan of word prediction there are a number of students with writing disabilities that do not do well with the tool- here is where Ginger Spell comes in. Students can write within Microsoft Word as they always do and once they are done can utilize the power of Ginger Spell to process their writing. Ginger Spell has the uncanny ability to make the right correction and produce an error free finished product- which is ideal for students with writing disabilities. I have had a chance to beta test Ginger Spell and am very impressed with the underlying technology. To use Ginger Spell you will need to be running Windows and have access to Microsoft Word 2003 or 2007 along with a connection to the internet.
I like the post processing features and I believe that many students will find this a more natural way for them to check their work. At the present time, Ginger Spell does not support text to speech but this something that the developer will be adding when it is officially released. I found the user interface very intuitive and rather straightforward. Making changes to the text was very easy and Ginger Spell in 90% of the cases made the right suggestion without me having to make any changes. Give it a try by downloading the beta now of Ginger Spell.