So I had a bit of a problem today. I wanted to send an Amazon gift certificate to my son, and I typed his email address in the form on Amazon’s web page. I didn’t notice, however, until later, that El Capitan had decided to “correct” that email address.
Since I set the gift certificate to be delivered tomorrow, I should be able to get it canceled, but still. Why did this happen? When a field says “email,” shouldn’t auto-correct ignore it? Because a lot of people have email addresses which aren’t real words, or people have names that aren’t in the auto-correct dictionary.
Auto-correct can be useful, if you’re writing an article like this; it saves going back and fixing typos. But if it can cause a serious mistake, then it’s simply dangerous.
I had never had this problem before, at least not in email fields. But I’ve been noticing that when I search for things in Google, both on my Mac and my iPhone, auto-correct has been a lot more aggressive. I often search for terms that aren’t in the dictionary, and it’s an annoyance to have to go back and retype them after they’ve been “corrected.”
You can turn auto-correct off globally in El Capitan. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard, click Text, and uncheck Correct spelling automatically.
In iOS, you can do this in Settings > General > Keyboard, then toggle Auto-Correction.
Auto-correct is a useful feature, but I’ve found in Apple’s recent operating systems it gets triggered in many of the wrong places. It would be great if it were optimized to work when you need it, or if you had some options to turn it off for certain types of text fields.
Note: a Twitter follower pointed me to this article which shows how web designers can turn off auto-correct, auto-complete, auto-capitalization, and spell check.