Master Spell Help Topics

3. Changing the options

General tab

Preferences General

Automatically check for updates

With this option on, Master Spell will check for updates no more often than once a day when launched. If a new version of Master Spell is found, an option to download is presented. You can also manually check for updates from the Master Spell menu. This option is always off when Teacher passwords are on. Manually checking for updates from the Master Spell menu is password protected when the Teacher password is on.

Check for Proper Case

You may allow Master Spell to check for proper case such as in the case of proper nouns such as "January" or "Arctic" with the Check for Proper Case option checked. In this case if you submit "arctic", it would be counted as incorrect. Uncheck this item if you want Master Spell to completely ignore case.

Type Along Correction
With this option on, the pupil must also type the correction the first time the correction is given but not on retry.

Preview Words Before Drilling

With the Preview Words Before Drilling option checked, Master Spell will present all the words in the Drill before drilling.

Hide Other Applications

With the Hide Other Applications option checked, Master Spell will draw a solid color for the entire background outside of the Master Spell windows. These colors are selected randomly and can be changed to another randomly generated color by clicking the solid color background.

Enable Account Mode

With this option on, Master Spell pupils are always associated with the one user of the current computer Account. For more information, see 10. Multiple-users/Networks

Choose Pupil at Startup and Logoff

With this option selected, when Master Spell is launched or when a pupil logs-off, the user is immediately asked to select his/her class and name except if the Remember Last Logged-in Pupil option is on and there was a pupil to remember.

Remember Last Logged-in Pupil

This feature is most useful in multiple user environments. With this option checked Master Spell records the last logged-in Pupil in the current user's preference folder. When the user opens Master Spell from then on, his pupil file is loaded. Master Spell will not ask for a password, even if Pupil Passwords is turned on since the user has accessed this pupil file before. If the user logs-out the pupil, the user will be asked for a password for any other pupil file if Pupil Passwords is turned on.

Hide "Master Spell Network" folder

Only available when Master Spell is used in Network mode, when this option is checked the Master Spell Network folder is made invisible. This is used to hamper casual deletion of Master Spell files on the server by users.

Speech tab

Preferences Speech


I suggest Alex for Mac OS X 10.5 and up and Victoria for Mac OS X 10.3 and 10.4.

Speak each letter as it is typed

Master Spell will speak each letter as it is typed. This feedback is intended mostly for children and may be very cumbersome to adults and fast typists so it is an option.

Talkative option

With the Talkative item checked, Master Spell:

Uncheck this  if you want a faster paced drill process.

Use Voice Recordings when they are present

With this item checked, Master Spell will prefer using recorded files to using Text-to-Speech for the presentation of spelling words. Voice recordings are included for all 3,690 words that ship with Master Spell. In addition, you can record your own in the 7. Test Editor.

Passwords tab

You may turn the passwords requirement for the teacher and pupils on and off individually. See 4. Passwords

Pupil Privileges tab

Preferences Pupil Privileges


Pupil Privileges

With "Disable Drill Cancellation" checked, users will not be able to cancel in the middle of a drill. However they could just quit Master Spell without Þnishing the drill. This is an option to make it harder for users to falsify their Drill Log.

With "Disable End of Drill Retry" checked, users are denied the chance to retry for half credit, words they spelled incorrectly.

User Options

User Options is a feature particularly useful in multiple-user environments such as managed clients. With this option on, pupils are granted access to a subset of preferences that they would not be able to access if the Teacher password is enabled. As the name implies, these user options are not global nor are they assigned to the pupil but rather they are preferences stored in the default preferences folder ~/Library/Preferences/Master Spell Options. In a multiple-user's environment, this would be the user's own preferences folder. This menu item appears in the Pupil menu.

Pupil Option General

Users are granted the ability to decide Check For Proper Case, Preview Words Before Drilling, hiding other applications and all sound preferences.

The default user options are determined by the corresponding preferences set in the preferences window so that new users inherit these preferences.