Beta testing tip

How have I just learned this!

I’ve been doing quite a bit of beta testing and proof reading recently, both for a couple of WIPs I’m following and some official betas. I have just discovered that if you enter the following:

document.body.contentEditable = true;
document.designMode = 'on';

into the console of your web browser it makes a game “editable”. Obviously it is only on your end that this affects, but the true beauty of it is that it then allows your web browser built in spell check to highlight misspelled words.

This makes it much easier and quicker to provide “low-level” feedback and lets you focus more on continuity and actual writing feedback.


That looks like it could be useful. Can I ask where that’s being edited? (Is it in the web developer tools or another section?)


You enter the above code into the console of your browser (CTRL+SHFT+J on chrome, I think it’s the same on most browsers). That then allows you to edit the webpages directly in your browser.


I can definitely see how this would be helpful in beta reading–great idea!

This website has instructions for finding the console in all major browsers and OSes.

You could also turn this into a bookmarklet so you don’t have to open the console each time–basically you would just save the script as a bookmark and click the bookmark every time you wanted to run it.

If you want to do that, follow the directions in that link and then enter the following when you add the bookmark:
javascript:(function(){document.body.contentEditable = true; document.designMode = 'on';})();

There are also browser extensions which highlight spelling errors if you don’t want to mess around with JavaScript, although I’m not sure if they work without also making the page editable? it’s hard to tell.


Though I’ll tell a writer about typos or wrong word choice when I beta test, I will not run a spellchecker for them. They should have done that before submitting the game for beta test. I point out misspellings or word usage that slip through. Your method would sure make it easier to take screen shots of errors!


Agreed. I’m not sure about the appetite for low-level feedback like non-recurring spelling errors in a beta test, but SOME typos are incredibly important for an author to know. Things like double punctuation, missing punctuation, odd spaces before periods or commas, cut-offs mid-sentence, or strange symbols within words or sentences could all be signs of a problem in the code.


Oh, hadn’t looked it at from that POV (code). You could definitely search for double punctuation. I point out weird code symbols or pronouns that are off, that sort of thing, I also mention homophones since the latter often won’t flag under a normal spell-checker. That’s about as low level as I get unless the author specifically asks.