Frequently Asked Questions

To ask a question: leave a comment or contact us.

Using After the Deadline in Firefox

Does After the Deadline check my writing as I type?

No, this is the built-in spell checker. This add-on does not check your writing as you type.

Where do I paste the API key to use After the Deadline for Firefox?

After the Deadline for Firefox does not require an API key.

How do I get the Firefox spell checker back?

Go to Tools -> Add-ons -> Select Preferences under After the Deadline. Select Allow Firefox spell checker on AtD enhanced forms. Reload the page. This will allow the Firefox spell checker to coexist with After the Deadline.


This add-on breaks my favorite site, how do I uninstall it?

To uninstall this add-on: go to Tools -> Add-ons and select Uninstall under After the Deadline.

Alternatively, if you right-click on the troublesome page, you can deselect Use AtD on this site from the context menu and reload the page. This will disable After the Deadline for that site and you can continue to use it in other places.

Contact us and tell us what site you had trouble with. We’ll try to fix it in a future release.

This add-on conflicts with another add-on I use, help!

These issues are hard to predict because we do not control or know of the code in other add-ons. If you have found a conflict, use our contact form and let us know about it. We will open a ticket and look into it.

Does After the Deadline work with Google Docs?

After the Deadline works with the old Google Docs interface. The old interface works like most WYSIWYG editors online. The new interface does not.

After the Deadline highlights parts of words and does other strange things in Google Docs?

You’re probably working with a document pasted or imported from Microsoft Word. The HTML generated in this case is very strange. Sometimes several HTML tags end up in a word for no reason. After the Deadline looks at the text inside of HTML tags and assumes the entire word is there. This assumption holds in most editing situations.

Spell, Grammar, and Style Checking

Can I add words to the dictionary?

No, but you can add phrases to an ignore list so they don’t show up as errors.

Do you differentiate between American, British, and Canadian English?

Not yet. For now, American, British, and Canadian variations of words are in our dictionary.

Is After the Deadline available for languages other than English?

Yes. You can check spelling for French, German, Portuguese, or Spanish with After the Deadline. French and German have some grammar checking ability too.

Why did this add-on flag a correct word as misused?

The proofreading feature looks for commonly confused words and then decides, using the surrounding context, if another word is a better fit. Sometimes it gets it wrong.

After the Deadline missed an error I made, what happened?

The proofreading feature is not a replacement for carefully reading what you write. It is a safety net meant to capture common mistakes and bring them to your attention. Finding every error is not possible with today’s technology.

Questions about After the Deadline

Do you support other browsers?

We have a bookmarklet that works in Safari and newer versions of Internet Explorer. The bookmarklet does not work with Google Chrome though.

Can I add After the Deadline to another application?

After the Deadline and the libraries to add it to other web applications are open source. Our Firefox add-on uses the AtD Core library which parses the After the Deadline protocol and highlights errors.

Does this add-on analyze my writing locally or on one of your servers?

After the Deadline is a software service. This means when you click the AtD button, your writing in that text area is sent to our server where it is processed for errors. Our intelligent checking is data intensive making it impossible to do the same checking locally in your browser.

Single line text input boxes (where you enter passwords and credit card numbers) are ignored by this add-on.

If there is a form with information you don’t want to accidentally send to the After the Deadline server, right-click on the page and deselect Use AtD on this site. This will permanently disable After the Deadline on that site.

After the Deadline for Firefox follows Automattic’s privacy policy.


  1. Keith Evans
    Posted January 31, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    I was just wondering if you intend to add any font formatting at any time in the future?

    • Posted February 1, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      After the Deadline doesn’t do formatting. The style checking refers to writing style.
      To learn more about the plain language writing style employed by After the Deadline, check out:

  2. P Neilson
    Posted February 2, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Finding every error is not only “not possible with today’s technology,” it is not possible at all. A word may be grammatically correct but not the word you intended. Here is an example:

    – You must now press the red button.
    – You must not press the red button.

    There is no substitute for proofreading your text and for having other people look it over as well. Accept their corrections cheerfully but carefully; they may be wrong as well.

  3. A Lee Wade
    Posted February 2, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Do you have plans for a Chrome extension?

    • Posted February 2, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      I keep hearing many requests for a Chrome extension. There are no solid plans at this time but I do plan to look into it.

  4. Kennethrl
    Posted February 2, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    It doesn’t seem to work on my Firefox. I am typing using the following bad grammar as an example. This software not longer pick the up errors.

    • Posted February 2, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      Misused word detection picks up mostly homophone errors (e.g., affect and effect). There are about 1,500 words it looks for. ‘not’ -> ‘no’ is not in this list. You’ll find if you try to fool After the Deadline, you’ll have no problem doing so. I recommend you run it against an old paper or email to see how well it can work for you. You can quickly try After the Deadline (without installing anything) at

  5. bob
    Posted February 2, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Will this work on Office Word docs?

  6. Chris
    Posted February 2, 2010 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Grammar check didn’t seem to work for me. Disabling of the “on the fly spellchecking” was a deal breaker. Having to click to check spelling each time is a pain. A good idea here, badly implemented.

    • Posted February 2, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      The Firefox spell checker is only disabled in text areas that After the Deadline can check. We didn’t want users to confuse the built-in Firefox spell checker with After the Deadline. However we’ll listen to the feedback. If we hear more like yours, we will enable the “on the fly spell checking” in the next release or put an option in to give it back.

      • Posted May 6, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

        Some type of on-the-fly checking would be appreciated.

      • Posted May 6, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

        I find the greatest value of on-the-fly checking is making sure your writing is actually checked. I forgot to run AtD at times. This is why we created the auto-proofread feature. When you click a form submit button, AtD will check any editors associated with that form and prompt you if there are errors. It’s optional and can be turned off if you don’t like it.

  7. Tom Grant
    Posted February 2, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    If we use internet explorer for our browser, will your after the deadline work if we don’t have the firefox browser?

  8. Posted February 2, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    I was hoping that it would work on Facebook. My husband is dyslexic. He spells phonetically which means he spells a word like he hears it. Normal spell check catches words he misspells; however, his primary problem are words like does (he spells dose) because that is what he hears. This sounded like the ideal solution but it doesn’t seem to work in Facebook main status update box at top of screen.

    • Posted February 2, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      This is just the first version of AtD for Firefox. We plan to keep improving it.

  9. Posted February 3, 2010 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Thanks for your ads-on. Could it be used in Thunderbird mails as well?

    • Posted February 3, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      Thunderbird is a separate program from Firefox. We do not have Thunderbird support at this time. I’d really like to see a community contributed version of this.

      • Matt
        Posted April 26, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

        Can we correct misspellings on more than one word at a time? Say: Speling and Speling?

      • Posted April 28, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

        Hi Matt,
        There is no “accept all” feature in the user interface. It wouldn’t be too hard to add such a thing though.

  10. yori
    Posted February 3, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    I’m using gmail and in most cases, I need the ability to use ‘rich text’.AtD seems to work only in plain text which forces me to choose between 2 important functionalities.
    I’d much more you’d support gmail in ‘rich text’

    • Posted February 3, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      This is difficult to do correctly, so it may be some time before we’re able to deliver this.

  11. Terisia
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    My Browser Screen is jumping up and down… after installing The Dead Line!!!! I’m using Firefox ver: 3.0.12.

  12. Joseph
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    I submitted the example posted below to the polishmywriting demonstration,and the response was,”No writing errors were found”.Am I doing something wrong?Or am I misunderstanding the program’s purpose. The spellcheck worked, but did the grammar and style?

    I wonder. why the grammar,, functions didn’t detect;’ on errors error,. thus,.;sentence.

    • Posted March 15, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      After the Deadline doesn’t check punctuation. For grammar errors it catches many common mistakes but it won’t catch everything there either. Think of it as a writing aid that catches many things and tells you why they were wrong. The goal is to make you aware of those habits so you can break them.

      • Joseph
        Posted March 15, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        Thank You rsmudge

  13. Posted April 28, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Good question. If you’re using AtD for Firefox you do not need the WordPress plug-in. They both support the same features, options, and quality of checking.

  14. Evan
    Posted May 12, 2010 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    If you are running you’re own AtD server, is it possible to point the Firefox extension to use it instead of the server you host?

    • Posted May 12, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      Oooh, this is a good question. 🙂 Right now you can go to about:config and change extensions.afterthedeadline.proofreadLanguage to map to your server. If the proofread language is changed in the preferences, this value will get overwritten.

  15. Posted July 13, 2010 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Hi, since a couple of days, I get this message from the plugin when I try to check spelling on any page/site:

    “After The Deadline could not connect to the server. Please check your connection and try again”

    My internet connection works perfectly, any ideas ?

    • Posted July 16, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      This was my fault. I made a change to the software that broke the servers for the other languages. I fixed it yesterday so it should be ok now. My sincere apologies.

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