Pros / You get a huge word database and numerous word lists.

Cons / You cannot transfer this software to a smartphone or tablet.

 Verdict / 7spell is a flexible and feature-rich spelling application that offers different tools so you can tailor a study plan to suit an individual learning style, making it useful for children, teens and adults.

TopTenREVIEWS - Gold Award - Awarded for excellence in design, usability and feature set
TopTenREVIEWS - Excellence Award - Awarded for excellence in design, usability and feature set

The former Ultimate Spelling software has been upgraded and rebranded as 7spell, an effective and multifaceted learning tool that can teach you or your children how to spell no matter which learning style works best for you. It has more than 140,000 words in its database, and you can choose the level of spelling difficulty or the school grade level to tailor your studying so it fits your educational needs exactly. The updated 7spell boasts a sleek new interface and remains an easy-to-use spelling application.

Along with lessons, reviews and tests, this spelling software provides audio recordings so you can learn to pronounce a word correctly, spelling games for fun practice, and definitions so you learn no matter which approach is best for your individual style. To learn words that are not included in the database, you can add your own. The software comes with several extra resources to help you improve your spelling, including printable lists, worksheets and flashcards.

With all of its features, additional resources and support, 7spell far outweighs any other spelling software we reviewed and easily earns our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award.

Spelling Tools

With a database of more than 140,000 words and the option to add more words, this is the best spelling software to help anyone from elementary school students to adults who need practice. The word difficulty levels extend from first to 10th grade, and the software even includes vocabulary words to help you prep for the GRE, SAT, GMAT or TOEFL. In addition, there are the sections Words for Life Success, Most Common English Words, Enlighten Conversation Words, and one for anyone studying English as a second language. With all these sections and levels, this software can be tailored to a vast range of learning needs.

7spell allows you to create your own custom word lists and add them to the database. This is especially useful if you are trying to learn a new language or have a specific set of words you want to learn. In addition to teaching you how to spell a particular word, 7spell can teach you what the word means and how to pronounce it properly.

The publisher, eReflect, has drawn upon the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA), which is a searchable database of 520 million words created by a linguistics professor at Brigham Young University, to completely revise 7Spell's tools to enhance word usage examples.

This means the software gives you real-world examples of how American English words are used in context. This is intended to make learning how to spell and use American English words a more natural process, much like the way you learned a language as a child. Words are drawn from different genres within COCA, such as newspaper-level use for a general learner or academic-level use for someone who is a more advanced student. This way, 7Spell can tailor instruction and practice activities to your needs.

This software offers different methods of learning how to spell. It has two types of exercises: Spelling Workout and Flash Cards. When you misspell a word in the Spelling Workout, the application shows you the correct spelling below and gives you a red mark, then requires you to retype the word, which gives you a chance to correct the spelling in order to help you remember how to spell it. If you spell it correctly, you get a green mark and then move along to the next word.

There are also spelling games that are fun for both kids and adults. They use the same spelling words from your exercises so you can get some fun but educational practice. These include word searches, word scramblers and crosswords as well as some unique games. These games are an entertaining way to learn while also motivating kids in particular to keep working on their spelling words. As you play the vocabulary and spelling games, the software shows you how many points you are gaining, the number of words you have spelled and more.

Another useful feature in this spelling software is Word Messenger. Once you enable this tool, 7spell periodically provides a pop-up in the corner of your screen, similar to an instant message, as you work on other tasks on your computer. The pop-up shows a word from your spelling list. If you click on the pop-up, it displays additional information about the word. This way you get to practice your spelling words throughout the day. However, you cannot transfer this software to a smartphone or tablet, which would let you keep practicing even on the go; it works only with computers.

Supplemental Learning Activities

This spelling software allows you to print flashcards, vocabulary and spelling worksheets, word lists, and words you've already mastered. Each of the 7spell worksheets is clearly labeled so you can keep track of which worksheet corresponds with which list. This spelling software does not offer additional spelling lists on its website, but because the software has an enormous database and gives you the ability to add words, you do not need additional lists built into the application.

For each word in the database, there are relevant links to Wikipedia, Wiktionary and a dictionary. There are also tabs for each that display the word in context, show words that rhyme with it and explain its etymology, the origin of the word and its meaning.

You can personalize your 7spell account with a photo, create a social profile and link to other groups studying the same words. This lets classmates share things like their word lists and makes the software function as a sort of online study group. 7spell keeps your enthusiasm high by offering rewards points that it displays on your profile.

Progress Reports

7spell monitors your spelling improvement and displays your progress in three reports: Spelling Results, Words Mastered and Spelling Success. These results are all shown in line graphs. 7spell also shares data on how much time you spend using the software through the Training Time Monitor and the Activity Use Monitor. The first shows a bar graph of how long you use the software each day. The latter illustrates how much time you spent on each activity and lesson in a colorful pie chart.

It's simple to add multiple users to the spelling software. All you have to do is type in a name, email address and password for the user. You can edit or delete users just as easily. The software shows separate progress reports for each user. This is ideal if you have multiple children or others in your household who are working to further their spelling skills.

Help & Support

For assistance, you can connect to the eReflect Helpdesk from the software itself or through the company's website. You'll find a FAQs page and knowledgebase online. 7spell has a blog that it updates frequently with informative articles about spelling and other English language-related subjects, such as how to make reading fun, how to write well, why so many people use the word “like,” and spelling tips.

On this spelling software website, you'll find telephone numbers for sales but no numbers for tech support. However, you can submit a question to tech support through an email form the manufacturer provides.

Summary

7spell comes with thousands of words and the option of adding as many other words as you want. This spelling software isn't the best for young kids; however, it incorporates games that can be entertaining to a variety of ages, from elementary students to adult learners. Whether it's teaching a child new spelling words or helping a young adult learn vocabulary for a college entrance exam, 7spell is the best software to improve anyone's spelling abilities.