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Basically, is there any way to trigger the native OS X spellcheck context menu using a keyboard shortcut. I know the command keys +: activates spellcheck, but what I'm trying to do is get the result of a right-click without taking my hands off the keyboard. Is there an OS X equivalent to emacs' flyspell-correct-word-before-point command.

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I don't know of a way to get spellcheck, but pressing Control-Command-D will show you the definition of the word under the cursor or by the insertion point. If you don't get a result, then your word is most likely misspelled (it doesn't provide hints though). –  ughoavgfhw Feb 8 '12 at 23:40

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If you're on Lion, you can turn on iOS-style spelling corrections in System Preferences under Language and Text. I don't always have luck noticing or reacting to these corrections while typing, but moving back over the misspelled word with your cursor will bring up the iOS-style popup and you can select the correct spelling with the down arrow and Return.

A similar question was asked on superuser, see Keyboard Shortcut to Right Click. To paraphrase that answer here:

  • Use Cmd : to activate spellcheck
  • Focus the floating window with Ctrl F6. (You need "Full Keyboard Access" shortcuts enabled in System Preferences. And unfortunately for me while typing this, Ctrl F6 is already used by the Stack Exchange editor.)
  • Use Tab and Arrows to navigate and select the right spelling
  • Use Escape to dismiss the floating window

You can also "Activate Mouse Keys", but I find that solution unsatisfying.

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