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This is a minor but ongoing annoyance that takes up more time than I would like, and I am wondering if anybody knows of a solution. I often write papers with foreign collaborators, and we tend to end up with a mixture of British and American spellings of words in our text. We know it's a problem, and often agree on which to use ahead of time, but it's so ingrained one often doesn't even realize when you've made a mistake. Thus, in the final proofing stage, somebody has to go through and manually regularize the spelling, which is really boring and time-consuming.

My question is this: does anybody know of software that can help automate this process? It feels to me like it should exist, but I don't know of any...

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    What’s wrong with using a spellchecker?
    – Wrzlprmft
    Oct 15, 2014 at 16:34
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    This would be a great semester-long software assignment for undergrad computer science majors if nothing has been made yet! Edit: This would probably do lightweight work. A heavyweight application would use something like Java or .NET.
    – Compass
    Oct 15, 2014 at 16:35
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    don't assume the differences between the two forms are limited to spelling. there are grammar and word sense variations too, probably much harder to resolve. Jan 31, 2015 at 0:03
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    I wonder if this would be a better fit at software recs.se?
    – StrongBad
    Feb 2, 2015 at 20:14
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    "We know it's a problem" -- Is it? As they say, "the official language of science is broken English", so this seems a very minor issue to me, compared to what I read in many other papers. (Disclaimer: I am fluent in broken English myself, so I might miss many language subtleties.) Feb 23, 2015 at 12:41

1 Answer 1

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Yes. There is an add-in for Microsoft Word called myWriterTools that will convert US to UK English and vice-versa. It also highlights changes so you can double-check. It isn't free however.

Alternatively you could use CTRL + A to select all your text in the existing document and set the proofing language to your desired version of English. This will then show the majority of errors as incorrect spelling (be wary of words such as license and licence though which may be used in different contexts) in Word.

Compass in a comment has mentioned an online converter US2UK that may be useful for shorter documents.

I have searched for a LaTeX equivalent but it would appear one does not exist currently.

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