The Pennington First Aid Squad in curly text

Spell Checking in emsCharts

Kirk Schmitt 19-Jun-2009

The built-in spell checker in emsCharts is defective and should not be used. emsCharts uses a spell-checking program they did not write and which they cannot modify. The company that wrote the program allows users to add words to the dictionary. After about five years, so many bad spellings have been added that the spellchecker is worthless.

PFAS has installed a separate program on its Toughbooks and in-house computers that fixes this problem. The program will check your typing as you type and will show a misspelled word with a red underline. The underline will appear as soon as you hit a space or other character that delineates the word. The program has been installed ONLY on the Squad's computers. Instructions to install this on your home computer are included later in this document

Example showing misspelled word

If you see an error, it is best to correct it immediately. Double click on the red-underlined word, then right click. A dialog box will appear with a guess for the correct spelling. You may accept the guess, leave the word misspelled, or click "Add To Dictonary." If you add the word to the dictionary, it will only be added to the one dictionary on the one computer you are working on. A better approach would be to send an email to the Captain asking him to add it to all dictionaries.

Example dialogue for correcting a misspelled word

The software we are using is a little too accepting of your decisions. If you leave a misspelled word and then go back later to check spelling. You will find that errors are no longer flagged. Here is a workaround:

The standard English dictionary has been supplemented with the 48000 word medical dictionary available from This includes several thousand drug spellings as well as many proper names, procedures, and terms with French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Norwegian special characters. The special characters have been removed and replaced with the closest corresponding single English letters since PFAS discourages entering umlauts, accent graves etc in emsCharts. All abbreviations allowed in the field guide have also been added, so if you use an abbreviation or a medical term and it comes up as misspelled, you have probably misspelled it. A common example is "RMA." This is not an allowed abbreviation and will come up with a red underline.

Installing the IE7PRO spell checking program and the specialized dictionaries

Here are the steps to install the spell checking program on a PC. This program is not necessary on a Mac because spell checking is already built in. If you read this and you don't have a clue what is going on, you should probably not attempt it. If you need help, feel free to call a software administrator.

The following words and abbreviations have been added to the PFAS dictionaries: