spellcheck Attribute

By  on  

Many useful attributes have been provided to web developers recently:  download, placeholder, autofocus, and more.  One helpful older attribute is the spellcheck attribute which allows developers to  control an elements ability to be spell checked or subject to grammar checks.  Simple enough, right?  Let's take a look at how it's used!

The HTML

The spellcheck attribute uses values of true or false (you cannot simply add the spellcheck attribute to a given element):

<!-- spellcheck everything! -->
<input type="text" spellcheck="true" /><br />
<textarea spellcheck="true"></textarea>
<div contenteditable="true" spellcheck="true">I am some content</div>

<!-- spellcheck nothing! -->
<input type="text" spellcheck="false" /><br />
<textarea spellcheck="false"></textarea>
<div contenteditable="true" spellcheck="false">I am some content</div>

You can use spellcheck on INPUT, TEXTAREA, and contenteditable elements.  The spellcheck attribute works well paired with the autocomplete, autocapitalize, and autocorrect attributes too!

We've all filled out form fields on our mobile and desktop devices which check spelling or grammer and probably shouldn't.  The spellcheck attribute can save us from that embarrassment when used properly!

Recent Features

  • By
    JavaScript Promise API

    While synchronous code is easier to follow and debug, async is generally better for performance and flexibility. Why "hold up the show" when you can trigger numerous requests at once and then handle them when each is ready?  Promises are becoming a big part of the JavaScript world...

  • By
    An Interview with Eric Meyer

    Your early CSS books were instrumental in pushing my love for front end technologies. What was it about CSS that you fell in love with and drove you to write about it? At first blush, it was the simplicity of it as compared to the table-and-spacer...

Incredible Demos

Discussion

  1. Peter Kasting

    Wait a minute, how is this new? I helped spec the spellcheck attribute, and implement it in Firefox, in 2006.

    • Thank your for letting me know Peter — apparently I was misled!

  2. Guess it’s one of the lesser known features in HTML, even if it’s been around for a while.

  3. First time that I’ve heard about it, thus: appreciated!

Wrap your code in <pre class="{language}"></pre> tags, link to a GitHub gist, JSFiddle fiddle, or CodePen pen to embed!