I notice that the autocorrect in Lion uses the character positions in order to suggest which correction to be made:

For example, if I type thst really fast, it will correct it to that but if I type thet, it corrects it to they.

This makes sense on a Qwerty keyboard, since the s is by the a, and the t is next to the y. However, it wouldn't make much sense on a different layout such as Dvorak.

Does Mac OS X Lion take into account which keyboard layout you are using and offer suggestions based on keys that are nearby the typo?

What if I created an entirely new keyboard layout, and use that instead of a keyboard layout which comes with Lion?

  • Apple doesn't disclose the inner workings of its autocorrect algorithm on any OS. It's going to be difficult to get a definitive answer to this.
    – Ian C.
    Apr 2, 2012 at 18:23
  • Can't you test Dvorak for yourself and thus answer that question? I don't think there is any connection between spellcheck/autocorrect and keyboard layouts. Apr 2, 2012 at 18:27
  • @TomGewecke: I'm not 100% sure that it works the way I specified above, so I can't be certain that my tests will prove or disprove anything.
    – Senseful
    Apr 2, 2012 at 18:33
  • @Senseful So your tests do not show any change in behavior when you switch between qwerty and Dvorak layouts? Apr 2, 2012 at 22:39

1 Answer 1


Apple has a patent on the autocorrect feature for mobile phones (and possibly for desktops as well). There was a lawsuit over iPhone vs Samsung autocorrect: http://gizmodo.com/5884179/apple-is-now-suing-samsung-over-autocorrect . Moving right along, apple's autocorrect does use keyboard layout to predict a replacement word: http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2010/07/yes_ill_matty_you.html . Lion will only try this feature if it can recognize the keyboard layout you are using based on a keyboard standard.

  • Of course autocorrect uses the keyboard in iOS, because the keyboard determines the spellcheck language. This is NOT the case in OS X, the keyboard choice has no connection to spellcheck, which is determined by preference settings. Apr 2, 2012 at 22:41

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