Ducking autocomplete

Dear Lazyweb, can anyone tell me how to make my Mac stop doing this incredibly unhelpful thing that it just started doing a couple of days ago? There is no "Learn spelling" menu item. Attempting the obvious thing in Preferences / Keyboard / Text says "The original text cannot contain spaces". Note that I am not asking "how do I turn off autocorrect".

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26 Responses:

  1. Sam says:

    If you go to system preferences—>keyboard and then select the text tab, you can add a replacement that (usually) over rides the auto correct, so could have dna lounge be automatically replaced by DNA Lounge.

  2. If you do Right click -> Show Spelling & Grammar and click Find Next does it complain about 'DNA'? If so, does clicking Learn fix it?

    FWIW mine doesn't do this (set for Australian English)

  3. excruciate says:

    As per Jesper, it's probably a person now:

    Simply create a new contact and type those ... words into the First, Last or Company field of that contact, making sure you put a space in between each of these words. In future you'll see these words pop up as suggested options by autocorrect, which is able to remember words placed into the Contacts database.

    Try grep -i dna ~/Library/Spelling/dynamic-text.dat

    • jwz says:

      The badly-capitalized version:
      • does not appear in Mail / Windows / Previous Recipients.
      • does not appear in any Contact.
      • does not appear in: strings ~/Library/Spelling/dynamic-text.dat | grep -i dna
      does appear in the Subject and To fields of a bunch of email messages, however many of those are Very Old, and this only started going wrong recently.

      • excruciate says:

        But if it has gained personage, the badly-capitalized version won't explicitly be anywhere; the Firstname Lastname casing will be automatic. (All conjecture, have not tested/verified.)

        • jwz says:

          I know it’s popular to think “neural nets! Whattayagonnado!” [no replacements found] but A) pretty sure it’s not one and B) even if, there’s gotta be some file I can delete to reset Skynet back to Mere Siri.

          This emergent dragon can be killed with a paperclip if aimed right.

          • Commandhat says:

            What the suggestion is, is to create an email contact with the first name being "DNA", and the last name being "Lounge". The hope is that the name fields of the contact have their capitalizations preserved (i.e. LaBorge as a last name is totally viable).

            Now, whether this rumor will actually hold water is still up in the air fro debate.

            • jwz says:

              Does not work.

              I already had a contact with "DNA Lounge" as the "business" but I created another one with the first/last thing and it didn't help. But I was pretty sure it wouldn't. That trick is for adding completions. I'm trying to remove one.

              • Nick Lamb says:

                Mmm. But are you though? The choice to display "Dna Lounge" could, I agree be because it thinks "Dna Lounge" is a thing and you've typo'd that. But it could equally be the result of some more general rule that would equally have tried to correct "DNA Bathroom" to "Dna Bathroom".

                If other corrections of the same sort happen, then what you're looking for is a higher priority override to insist on DNA Lounge as the correction, you can't remove "Dna Lounge" because that's not a thing.

                On the other hand if it cheerfully leaves, say, FBI Lounge and DNA Bathroom unaltered but messes with DNA Lounge then it must care about that text specifically and it's time to break out the debugging tools to seek out this "Dna Lounge" spelling on disk and in memory.

          • margaret says:

            So I hear.

  4. Dirk says:

    Ok, no solution for your problem, but maybe a workaround. What if you create a shortcut for DNA lounge in System Preferences / Keyboard / Text, which replaces a handy shortcut, maybe dnal with "DNA lounge". Then it should only replace the shortcut with the given text. But maybe this doesn't work and Apple sucks.

  5. pnuk says:

    It’s a bicycle for your mind but with a random reverse gear on the sprocket

  6. Dan Moore says:

    My autocorrect keeps changing Netscape to Mozilla.

  7. Dan Moore says:

    Usually when I've had macOS or iOS misautocorrect things for me, I think it has stopped doing so for the word or phrase after a couple times of hitting "X" (like in your screenshot to stop the replacement before it happens).

  8. thielges says:

    I’m facing a similar problem but with Microsoft tools instead. Since MS Office is set up in an enterprise config there’s a twist: autocorrect learns from not just my mistakes but also from my 10000 colleagues, many of whom are worse at spelling than I am.

    This leads to entertaining situations like:
    - properly spelled but obscure words being autocorrected to bad spelling
    - forms of correctly spelled verbs autocorrected to another more common tense of the same verb root. For example “unexclude” gets flipped to “unexcluded”. Every time
    - non words (like function or variable identifiers) being autocorrected to something else. Every once and a while the text is substituted with a project code name that I’m not supposed to know about. Leading to fun discussions later on.
    - my own difficult to spell name being autocorrected to how the majority of other people misspell my name

    The result is that my fairly modest American English prose gets corrupted into sounding like I just arrived from a foreign country. Maybe this is some sort of affirmative action to level the playing field so native English speakers don’t have an advantage? :-)

  9. Brad J says:

    Can't guarantee this will work because I can't reproduce the problem, but:

    System Preferences->Keyboard, Text tab.

    Uncheck 'Correct spelling automatically' and 'Capitalize words automatically'.

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