A Gaelic spell checker for Microsoft Office has been officially launched at the Scottish Parliament.

The resource, containing a database of approximately 547,000 forms, was funded by statutory language body Bòrd na Gàidhlig and created as a writing support material for the language. The project was conceived by linguist and lexicographer Leo McNeir and Gaelic scholar the late Dr. Roy Wentworth.

Their hopes were that the spell checker would provide users of Microsoft Office services such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, more confidence to use the language in a wide range of formal and informal settings such as in education and business and via social media. Also that it would help standardise Gaelic spelling which, until fairly recently, varied from region to region.

Minister for Scotland's Languages, Dr Alasdair Allan said: "This is an important step forward for old and new Gaelic speakers alike."

He said it acknowledged the currency and enduring vitality of the language and would help raise its profile through social media and online.

"This gives Gaelic speakers the tools and opportunities that speakers of other contemporary languages expect and I hope others will follow Microsoft's lead in supporting the thousands of speakers and the Gaelic businesses contributing significantly to our economy."

Chris Forrest, Managing Director of Microsoft Scotland, said: "This is the result of several months of hard work with our partners at Bòrd na Gàidhlig and we are proud that Scottish Gaelic speakers will now be able to use the features of Microsoft Office in their preferred language."