Fixing tinyMCE's spell check

The default spell check in tinyMCE recently stopped working because Google discontinued GoogleSpell. Here's a quick, easy way to update your site to have spell check again.

I was first alerted to the issue by @JeffPaetkau on twitter. It had probably been a month or two that I'd noticed it not working on werstnet (sorry for any typos) but I honestly thought it was something with my own setup. I tend to have the part-way finished versions of addons and core overrides on this site, so I could totally see something breaking it.

That was about a week ago, I'm finally getting around to fixing it now. Funny how that works when you have real work to do.

Keep reading to learn how to fix this on your own sites.

Overview

First off, I needed to find out exactly how to fix it, and what options there were to use. Some flexing of my google muscles and I found this page on the tinymce wiki that outlined how to change the spellcheck engine.

You could do PSpell or PSpellShell. The shell version seems like it would be the best way to go. That way you don't need to actually change PHP. I'm not sure what differences there are as far as security, but for my needs it's not a big deal.

So, first off, I wanted to make sure that I have the right software installed. It's pretty simple:

I love it when you have everything you need already installed. Of course, that was just locally. On the live server, it did install a bunch of stuff. 

If you need to install different languages, it looks like you can follow this technique.

Now that it's installed, all that needs to happen is to update the configuration file. Sadly, you can't use the standard concrete5 overrides in the outer directory for this, so it is a core modification. 

Open /concrete/js/tiny_mce/plugins/spellchecker/config.php

Uncomment the config like with PSpellShell, and then comment out the GoogleSpell one. If you need to, you can change the path to the aspell executable. 

Conclusion?

It's super easy to do this. I feel pretty bad about waiting a week to actually get around to it, but at least it works now. But I didn't want to just try to update it without a bit of research, and I've been busy, so it was on a back burner. Really, this seems like something that almost anyone could do on their c5 site. I'm guessing that most hosts will have aspell installed, so really all you'd need to do is change the config file. 

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