Pidgin 2.0.1 for Windows now comes with Aspell bundled in. This release fixes over 100 bugs (says the web page). If it speller does not install, you can still get the installer and dictionary from http://aspell.net/win32/.
Last Update: Oh good grief. Pidgin spell check works fine and it was an aspell issue all along. The file aspell.exe needs to be in your PATH.
Install Pidgin 2.2.2 and make sure you install the language you need. That will kick off Aspell and the dictionary. Once the installation is done go to the control panel. In Vista it’s “System and Mantenance” then click on Advanced system settings.
Click on Environment Variables and modify the Path environment variable. BE CAREFUL not to mess up that settings as it could do bad things to your system.
When you edit the PATH variable, append to the end of it with a semicolon the path of your aspell.exe. On my system I added to the end “;C:Program Files (x86)Aspellbin”.
That’s all there is to it.
This is probably documented somewhere but hey as long as it works…
Update: Spell check for Pidgin 2.2.2 (current as I type this) does not work on my installation. I believe the problem is that pidgin is looking for Aspellbin in the wrong directory but that’s just a guess on my part. If I can get it to work on my Vista 64 installation and reproduce it, I’ll post it here.
In order to get the Windows version of Pidgin spell check working, go to http://aspell.net/win32/ and get the full installer as well as the pre-compiled dictionary.
I’ve been using Trillian 3 Pro since it came out. It’s okay but I have problems with it’s stability and I suspect that AOL updated their protocol and Trillian has not kept up. Upgrading to Vista did not help, Trillian routinely crashes and I can’t get any spell check plug-in to work.
The appeal of Trillian is that instead of running multiple clients which are loaded with advertisements (I am a huge user of AdBlock Plus) I get to run an IM client that supports all those protocols and it has no ads.
The free IM client
GAIM Pidgin is that way too except it really has kept up with the protocols. The current version 2.0.0 beta 7 runs well in Vista and looks good. I’m using it now for AIM, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, and Google Talk. AFAIK it does not support the whiz bang features of video and voice. Since I don’t use those features anyway I’m not missing out.
The first thing the beta does is update my GTK+ installation. Good thing since the existing installation worked badly in Vista. I ran the defaults and installed Aspell also. The spell checker does the red squiggly line underneath words I misspell; important to me since I hate when people use “r u there” or “c u l8r”.
I know it’s instant messaging but do people have to kill the language that way…?
Pidgin comes with sounds for events such as when contacts log on or off, when a message is recieved or sent, etc. It supports plug-ins for things like setting window transparency, conversation color, iconify on away, and so on.
It’s all well thought out from a development that has been going on for months (not counting the issue with AOL and re-branding the product) and is a really good replacement for Yahoo, AOL, and Micosoft’s IM clients. When 2.0.0 is released in a week or two I’ll dump Trillian 3 Pro and just use Pidgin.