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Colon Causes Spellcheck Failure

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Hi, This issue was originally posted here in version 1.x of Affinity Publisher, but the issue persists with Affinity Publisher 2.0.4 on Windows 11 22H2, OS Build:22621.1555


ISSUE: Words ending in a colon in a header style, flag as misspelled, when they are, in fact, correctly spelled.


  • Copy some HTML text from the web, preferably a title with a colon and a line break right after.  I suspect it might have something to do with this source text. 
  • Pasted it into a text frame in Affinity Publisher. 
  • Mark the pasted text with a heading style. 
  • Ensure Text > Spelling  > Check Spelling While Typing is on.

OBSERVATIONS:  in the Preflight panel, that there is a down arrow glyph (see image below)next to the colon.  Turning on Text > Show Special Characters (Alt+P) does not seem to reveal a difference between this arrow (new line glyph) and the normal "new paragraph" (backwards P) glyph.  Replacing it by deleting the paragraph symbol and typing a new one, does not fix it either.


WORK-AROUND:  adding another colon, then add a space, and then delete the second colon.

e.g.: right after the "g" in "lighting", add a second colon, (Lighting::) and then space (Lighting: :), then delete the right-most colon.

The end result is your headings will have an extra space after the colon and before the paragraph symbol, but since they are invisible, this should not be a critical document housekeeping issue.

EXPECTED BEHAVIOR:  Spell checker will not flag words in a heading style, that precede colons or hidden html symbols, as misspelled.


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I think I figured out how to reproduce this 100%, however I included a sample file as well, just in case someone spots something I did wrong.

**** The issue seems to be a combination of a header style, a colon immediately following a word, and an anchor!  ****

I am not sure how the anchors got into my text, perhaps from copying the HTML text from the website?

  • Make sure your spell check is turned on, of course.  Within the Base style, the Language for the spell check dictionary is English United States
  • Turn on Text > Show Special Characters (Alt+P) 
  • Turn on Text > Interactive > Show Anchors  (**This setting should also be under the View > menu, in my opinion, as it is very obscure**)

Interestingly, it does not seem to give a spelling error with other types of punctuation as shown in the screen capture below.  Note: I did not check every punctuation symbol...


Seems like something that should be fixed.  In life, nobody wants colon trouble :D

Spell check colon trouble.afpub

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This must be a Windows-specific issue as it's not flagged by the spelling checker for me in 2.0.4 or the latest 2.1 beta on macOS.

A similar issue with zero-width non joiners was just fixed in the 2.1 beta so this is along the same lines and wouldn't be too surprising. Perhaps somebody else can confirm it's a bug on Windows.

Free PDF manual for Publisher 2.2 - links to a forum page with more information [manual updated Sep. 26]

Affinity 2.2 for macOS Sonoma 14.0, MacBook Pro 14" (M1 Pro)


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With the false anchor present, I get the warning message from Preflight. With the false anchor deleted, or a space inserted in front of it, the message also goes away.

-- Walt

Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 22H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 
Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 22H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
        Affinity Photo 1.10.6 (.1665) and 2.2.0 and 2.2.0. beta/ Affinity Designer 1.10.6 (.1665)  and 2.2.0  and 2.2.0 beta / Affinity Publisher 1.10.6 (.1665)  and 2.2.0  and 2.2.0 beta
iPad Pro M1, 12.9", iPadOS 16.7, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard

      Affinity Photo 1.10.7 and 2.2.0 and 2.2.0 beta/ Affinity Designer 1.10.7 and 2.2.0 and 2.2.0 beta/ Affinity Publisher 2.2.0 and 2.2.0 beta

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