I spend a lot of time in the web browser, so much that I use web apps more than their standalone counterparts. I use twitter.com to compose a tweet, gmail.com to check my email and so on. As a result, I use several plug-ins and extensions to improve the efficiency of my online work. In a previous Friday Favorite, I covered Lazarus, a form recovery tool. Today, I'm going to tell you about After The Deadline, an extension for Firefox or Chrome that'll spell and grammar check your writing.
After the Deadline works with most text fields in a web browser. It appears as a small ABC icon in the bottom right corner of a text box. When you're done typing your comment, tweet or feedback, you can click the icon and the extension will both spell and grammar check your writing. When you're checking with After the Deadline, the ABC icon will change to red. Spelling errors will be highlighted in red; grammar errors in green. One little drawback with the tool is that you can edit the errors, but you can't edit the surrounding text until you click the ABC icon and turn the checking off.
It's a step up from OS X's spell check feature because the grammar check will pick up a lot of writing errors that spell check doesn't detect. The most common one I get is word repetition such as "the the" or "a a." It's not as thorough as a dedicated grammar tool like Grammarly, but those tools cost money and don't integrate into the browser as an extension.
After the Deadline is perfect for informal writing like comments, emails, or feedback forms. It'll prevent you from making a glaring spelling error when you're communicating online. There's also a Wordpress plugin, if you use that CMS. The extension works with Firefox and Chrome for the Mac and is available for free from After The Deadline's website.