Bike: Improved macOS Text Checking
Bike Outliner now supports autocorrect, substitutions, user replacements, and improved spell checking! Bike’s text checking interface is custom built, adopting and then improving upon macOS standard behavior.
Show and correct errors
Showing and correcting spelling errors is surprisingly problematic in most macOS apps. Bike makes this task straight forward.
- Incorrect words show immediately
- Correction popups show consistently
Predictable and reversible autocorrect
Autocorrect is a challenging feature. While useful, it will always be wrong or unwanted some of the time. How to design a useful feature that will sometimes be wrong?
The standard macOS approach is to limit the unwanted cases at the cost of making the system more complex and unpredictable. In my mind this isn’t a good tradeoff. Autocorrect is still wrong sometimes, but now you also have a system that’s hard to predict and understand.
Bike’s approach is different. It expects autocorrection to be wrong sometimes and optimizes the system make corrections predictable, visible, and easy to undo.
- Autocorrect only depends on caret position and text
- Autocorrect doesn’t show completions as you type
- Autocorrect is disabled in code formatted text
- Autocorrect’s blue underline shows for current sentence
- Undo removes only the autocorrection, never your typing
- Use Delete key to quickly undo the previous autocorrection
Expanded keyboard friendly checking panel
Standard macOS apps have three text checking UI’s: checking window, substitutions window, and menu items. These are extra windows that you’ll have to manage, and they don’t work well with keyboard shortcuts.
Bike’s approach is different. There’s a single keyboard friendly checking UI with all settings. There are no extra windows to manage, the panel slides into the bottom of your outline window. Use the Escape key at anytime to close the panel and go back to outlining.
- Single panel with all features and settings
- Panel slides in below outline, no separate window to manage
- Text checking is keyboard friendly. Use the up/down arrow keys to correct. Use Enter to accept correction and find next problem. Use Escape to close the panel and get back to outlining.