Q&A: Spelling colour correctly

Q Pages seems stuck using American spelling. How can I change it to use British English instead?

A Although some applications such as Microsoft Word set their own dictionary preferences, Apple’s and most others stick to those set in the Text tab of the Keyboard pane.

Spelling dictionaries are added through the Text tab of the Keyboard pane.
Spelling dictionaries are added through the Text tab of the Keyboard pane.

Open that pane, and in the Text tab, set Spelling to Automatic by Language, or specify British English if you will not want any other. If you want to use multiple language options, use the dialog for the Set Up command in that same popup menu to drag dictionaries into the desired order. In the Input Sources tab, ensure that the British keyboard is selected.

Older versions of Pages required additional configuration before they would reliably use localised spelling. If you are still using one, in any Pages document, select the Text (T) tool in its toolbar and select the More tab. You can there set the language to British English, and once again it will reassure you that ‘colour’ is correct.

This was an intricate chain of settings that could easily go wrong, but once established should not have let you down.

Current versions can be tuned by opening the Spelling and Grammar floating window, using the Show Spelling and Grammar command in the Spelling and Grammar item in the Edit menu. The popup menu at its foot lets you choose different dictionaries, but left at its default it will determine which dictionary to use according to the language associated with the active keyboard. Use the British English keyboard and it should use British English spelling.

You should find that simpler and less prone to error.

Comments Further details of spelling dictionaries are other related matters are here.

Updated from the original, which was first published in MacUser volume 28 issue 21, 2012.