unix: aspell Tutorial

By Xah Lee. Date:

This page shows you the basics of using aspell.


Aspell home page is at: aspell.net

Full manual is at the home page. You can also read it from the command line. Type:

How to spell check a file interactively?

aspell check filename.txt

It launches into a interactive prompt.

How to spell check a file in batch?

cat myFile.txt | aspell pipe --encoding utf-8

The output is long list with annoying “*” for each line. To avoid that, use the following.

cat myFile.txt | aspell pipe --encoding utf-8 | grep -v \* | uniq

To list only the misspelled words, do:

cat myFile.txt | aspell list --encoding utf-8

How to check a single word?

echo badword | aspell pipe

echo somee words ar good some badd | aspell pipe

Where is personal dictionary at?

It's at ~/.aspell.en.pws. The file is just a list of words, one on each line (except the first line). Not sorted.

When you spell check a doc, such as “aspell check myFile.txt”, you can type “a” to add it.

There are also features for checking similar sounding words or word's root or affix and surfixes. example

aspell soundslike
aspell munch

However, am not sure how to use them. They didn't work as expected on my machine.