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Analyzing documents to make reading more enjoyable

Updated the 04/25/2024 08:00 

I swear this is the last article I write on document analysis. Even though the Analyzer is always useful for correcting what you write (I practically always use it), today a good portion of the narrative is also sold digitally, so the problem of correcting a book acquired through OCR is now hardly felt.

In this article, I'll describe in detail how to use Biblos's spell checker to make your documents perfectly spell-checked.

Biblos is the Windows successor to a Software I developed in 1998 for MS-DOS. Scan Text was a text editor that had the ability to analyze the text of documents step by step. It used a dictionary created by me to compare the words in the documents, a dictionary that the user could expand themselves. After a few years, the dictionary I distributed contained almost 400,000 terms; a dictionary that is still included in Biblos.

The reading need I had was to digitize the books I bought in paper format, in order to be able to read them with my screen reader. I used a Scanner and OCR Software and, page by page, I transferred them into digital format. The OCR Software of that time made many recognition errors, so I came up with the idea of developing a program that would recognize those errors and allow me to correct them. I wanted a Software that would go through the words of the book and stop at those unknown, awaiting my decisions.

This system excellently replaced the line-by-line reading I used to do before, correcting the errors as I found them. I wanted to separate the two phases - correction and reading - because I wanted to read my books in complete relaxation, avoiding having to concentrate on both reading and correction. The solution I had invented worked very well, and I was satisfied with it.

I've just described to you the underlying philosophy that led me to develop Biblos:

  1. Avoid reading line by line through an electronic book full of errors.
  2. Quickly correct the electronic book using the spell checker.
  3. Upon completion of the correction, read the corrected book in comfortable relaxation.

In 2004, I began developing the Biblos project, where I transferred all my experience and data. I reprogrammed the spell checker for Biblos, making it more powerful, capable of handling multiple dictionaries, and analyzing punctuation as well.

Today, Biblos still uses the same system. There are still visually impaired individuals who correct their books using the dictionaries I've created over nearly twenty years of development. However, I notice that the technique I used to correct my books has almost been forgotten. Some people use other tools in Biblos, while others continue to read their books line by line. I believe that the old correction techniques, still valid today, have been forgotten because the small group of influencers who adopted this system has disappeared, so the knowledge of Biblos's spell checker is no longer being disseminated.

Today, there are other people who use Biblos to correct their books, but they don't fully exploit all that Biblos offers for analysis and correction.

Returning to the words I wrote in the introduction, today there is hardly any need to correct an electronic book because a good portion of books are sold already in electronic format and do not need to be corrected. Moreover, OCR programs have become so advanced that, when scanning a paper book, they make few recognition errors.

All the spelling analysis tools in Biblos are contained in the menu Tools/Dictionaries. To start correcting a book, all you have to do is go to the beginning of the book and then press the F1 key. F1 is the analysis command, which starts analyzing words starting from the cursor position. When the analyzer encounters a word not contained in the dictionaries, it stops, positions the text cursor at the beginning of the word, highlights it, and waits for the user's decisions. If the analyzed word (but unrecognized) is correct, the user can add it to one of the dictionaries; otherwise, it can be corrected by rewriting or modifying it, and the analysis continues by pressing F1 again.

To add a correct word to an existing dictionary, press the Shift+F1 keys. A window appears with some fields, including the one to choose the dictionary to add the word to and the two fields to set its characteristics. If the word to be inserted is only useful for the book being analyzed, by pressing CTRL+F1, the words are added to a temporary dictionary. In this way, the words will only be useful for the loaded book. The above commands can also be used with the Mouse, through the menus, or the toolbar.

The analysis of a book proceeds like this until the end. Correcting a book can be annoying, but the alternative is to read the book line by line and meanwhile correct it. Is it more tedious to analyze and correct a book using Biblos's analyzer, or is it more tedious to read the book with errors, stopping every time to correct them?

I developed the spell checker precisely because I wanted to read a book in complete relaxation, free of errors, spending a few hours correcting it beforehand, and I believe I succeeded.

However, Biblos is a comprehensive Word processor that can be used in any way. Everyone uses it as they prefer, even reading a book line by line and meanwhile correcting it. De gustibus non disputandum est.

For further support you can subscribe the Biblos Group on Facebook.