QuarkXPress 8 Tip: How to control the language used for spell-checking selected text

One of the Giant New Features of QuarkXPress 8 is its support for spell-checking and hyphenating more than 30 languages. So, a QuarkXPress document created by any language version of QuarkXPress can be opened, edited and output from any other language version of QuarkXPress 8.

But how do you USE this feature? It turns out to be as simple and flexible as you can imagine: it’s a character attribute.

This means that wherever you can define the attributes of the characters in the text, you can define the language you want QuarkXPress to use when spell-checking and hyphenating it. I found three places to do that:

1. You can assign a language to selected text in the Measurements palette’s Character tab. Just use the popup menu and choose a language.

2. Use the Character Attributes dialog box (Style> Character).

3. Assign a language to a Character Style Sheet.

Fortunately, you don’t have to think about this if you don’t want to: the default language is the same as the language of the version of QuarkXPress you’re using. For me, that’s U.S. English, and that’s the default in every place it can be seen.

In case your brain works in a more linear fashion, here’s the explanation I found in the Help system in QuarkXPress 8:

“The character language attribute determines which dictionary is used for spell checking and which rules and exceptions are used for hyphenation. When you check the spelling of text that uses different languages, each word is checked using the assigned language dictionary. When automatic hyphenation is enabled for a project that uses different character languages, each word is hyphenated using the appropriate hyphenation rules and hyphenation exceptions for that language.The character language attribute determines which dictionary is used for spell checking and which rules and exceptions are used for hyphenation. When you check the spelling of text that uses different languages, each word is checked using the assigned language dictionary. When automatic hyphenation is enabled for a project that uses different character languages, each word is hyphenated using the appropriate hyphenation rules and hyphenation exceptions for that language.”