SharePoint new feature, MS Editor, causes headache for international users

Occasional Contributor

tl;dr The consequence of the introduction of the new editor feature is that our pages are a wash of red squigly lines, the performance of the PC is impacted if the page is long or complicated, and it becomes frustrating to work with SharePoint.

This impacts adoption of SharePoint page and news creation for international users. 

Scenario

  • User has a site with a base language in english in either a Group site or Comm Site
    • Multi language is not enabled
  • User creates or edits pages in their own language or multiple languages on the same page that is not english
  • MS Editor spell checks using the sites base language, causing the page to be a red sea of squiggly lines, but depending on page size and complexity as well as computer performance, begins to cause timeouts, delays and impacts ability to work with existing or new content pages

Background

A lot of international users have problems with the Microsoft Editor feature that was added to SharePoints page editor. 

 

The problem is as follows: 

  • MS Editor for spell check and grammar was recently introduced as a native feature in SharePoints page editing feature.
  • Editor spell checks the page based on the base language of the site.
    • It is not affected by the users preferred language options in M365, SharePoint/OneDrive or the browser
    • It seems not to be affected by MS Editor being installed as a browser plugin or not, nor what the browser plugin is configure to
    • Problem occurs in all browsers, again, being an SP editor feature in the product
  • I have not found a way to configure or disable MS Editor by neither end user or admin, for group or comm sites, at least not in any documented way

Impact

Constantly having to redraw the squiggly lines causes large and complex pages to become unwieldy to edit, create or update, with what appears to be javascript timeouts and issues updating content in webparts, adding webparts, moving webparts around etc

  • Why not just change language?
    • A sites base language cannot be changed after site creation. This is how SharePoint works.
    • In many international companies, requested sites have been or are being provided with a base language set to english, however end users create content in their native language, especially in companies with provisioning solutions
    • Or already well established sites with the "wrong language" now suddenly face this problem where it wasn't an issue before
  • Why not just create a new site with the correct language?
    • End users cannot copy pages between sites ourselves, so even if we got to create a new comm site in the correct language, it would require a lot of effort to handle URLs, links, migrating pages using PowerShell or 3rd party tools etc etc

To recreate this issue just create a comm site in one language and write content on the pages in another. I would also hope that Microsoft consider the impact with this scenario in future product changes. We had a variant of the same problem with the introduction of multi language sites.

 

There is an idea up for this Please allow disabling Microsoft Editor spell check (MC308286 ) · Community but I'm posting here as well to see if it is possible to get someone at Microsoft to look at this. 

 

@Karuana Gatimu - apologies for mentioning you directly, but this is a source of great frustration for both consultants making non-english adoption sites and content and other communication roles in orgs. Hoping you could ping someone in SharePoint product group to focus on it. This is a bug/regression compared to previous functionality.

1 Reply
To add to this, this is a big problem and for our customers (1-2 million SharePoint users) who edit pages in multiple languages. there are small workarounds, installing the extension and configuring it and the user's browser in a particular way, or providing an artificial setting for the "siteLangPref" cookie, but those do not scale to large number of users and rely on accidental behaviour of MS-Editor that might not last. Turning it off or allowing the configuration of MS-Editor languages without installing the extension or relying on very specific browser settings would be much better.