Automattic Acquires Spellcheck Plug-In After The Deadline

Automattic has acquired spelling plug-in After The Deadline, which adds spelling, style, and grammar checking to web applications. WordPress and Automattic co-founder Matt Mullenweg announced the acquisition in a blog post.

After The Deadline is an impressive ( WordPress founder Mullenweg was “blown away” by its functionality) spellchecker that lets you customize how the tool analyzes content. Mullenweg says that the new plug-in is already enabled for WordPress blogs. You can go to the proofreading settings in your profile, and then enable After The Deadline by clicking on the icon in the Visual Editor toolbar that has ABC and a green checkmark on it.

The new spellchecker will read your content as you write it and then underline errors and spelling mistakes (red for spelling, green for grammar, blue for style). Similar to other spell check applications, when you click on a flagged word or phrase, you will see a suggested correction, and you can see an explanation of why it’s an error. You can then choose to accept or ignore it.

After The Deadline’s founder Raphael Mudge says the deal was completed in July. The startup will continue to upgrade the tool, though under the Automattic banner. And After The Deadline’s plug-in will remain free for non-commercial use and will soon add support for different languages.

It will be interesting to see when and if this useful feature will be fully integrated in the WordPress hosted blogging software suite. There’s no doubt that a default Word-level spelling and grammar checker is a desirable feature for any blogger. But WordPress didn’t do this with IntenseDebate, the commenting software it bought last September.

WordPress made waves in the blogosphere yesterday when it enabled RSSCloud in post feeds, which is a way for people to get push notification that your RSS feed has updated.