spell, hashmake, spellin, hashcheck - find spelling errors
The command collects words from the named files and looks them up in a
spelling list. Words that neither occur among nor are derivable (by
applying certain inflections, prefixes, and/or suffixes) from words in
the spelling list are printed on the standard output. If no files are
named, words are collected from the standard input.
The command ignores most and eqn constructions.
The command recognizes the following options:
All words not literally in the spelling list are printed,
and plausible derivations from the words in the
spelling list are indicated.
British spelling is checked.
Besides preferring etc., this option insists upon
in certain words, such as in
Every plausible stem is printed with
for each word.
By default, follows chains of included files much like (see deroff(1))
which recognizes the intrinsics and the names of such included files
begin with If the option is used, follows the chains of included files.
With the option, ignores all chains of included files.
If the option is used, words found in local_file are removed from out‐
put. local_file is the name of a user-provided file containing a
sorted list of words, one per line. With this option, the user can
specify a set of words that are correct spellings (in addition to
spell's own spelling list) for each job.
The spelling list is based on many sources, and while more haphazard
than an ordinary dictionary, is also more effective with respect to
proper names and popular technical words. Coverage of the specialized
vocabularies of biology, medicine, and chemistry is light.
Pertinent auxiliary files can be specified by name arguments, indicated
below with their default settings (see FILES and VARIABLES). Copies of
all output are accumulated in the history file. The stop list filters
out misspellings (such as that would otherwise pass.
Three routines help maintain and check the hash lists used by
Reads a list of words from the standard input and
writes the corresponding nine-digit hash code on
the standard output. This program only accepts
words that are up to 30 characters long. When
words exceeding 30 characters are encountered, a
diagnostic message is displayed on standard
Reads n hash codes from the standard input and writes a
compressed spelling list on the standard output.
Information about the hash coding is printed on
Reads a compressed
spelling_list and recreates the nine-digit hash
codes for all the words in it; it writes these
codes on the standard output.
Your hashed spelling list (default is
Spelling history (default is
Your hashed stop list (default is
Directory for temporary files; overrides the default
To check spelling of a single word:
If word is spelled correctly, a prompt is returned. If it is spelled
incorrectly, word is printed before the prompt is returned. To check
spelling of multiple words, they can also be typed as a group on the
same command line:
To create a personal spelling list that incorporates the words already
present in the default American spelling list file
To modify the default British spelling list file replace all occur‐
rences of with in the above example.
To add words to the default spelling list, change login to change the
current working directory to and execute the commands listed in the
The spelling list's coverage is uneven. When undertaking the use of as
a new tool, it may be advisable to monitor the output for several
months to gather local additions. Typically, these are kept in a sepa‐
rate local file that is added to the hashed spelling_list via as shown
The British spelling feature was developed by an American.
Start-up versions of files and are available in directory If these
files or a suitable equivalent are not present in directory complains:
The command is likely to be withdrawn from X/Open standards. Applica‐
tions using this command might not be portable to other vendors' sys‐
Hashed spelling lists, American and British.
Hashed stop list.
Executable program file.
SEE ALSOderoff(1), sed(1), sort(1), tbl(1), tee(1).