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a spellchecker

see also : aspell


enchant [-a] [-d dict] [-h] [-l] [-L] [-v]

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Enchant is an ispell-compatible spellchecker.



List suggestions in ispell pipe mode format.

-d dict

Use dictionary <dict>.


Show short help.


List only the misspellings.


Include the line number in the output.


Prints the program’s version.

directories important to enchant

Unless configured otherwise, Enchant’s Myspell, Ispell, and Uspell backends will look for dictionaries in directories specific to Enchant, and will not use your system-wide installed dictionaries. This is for pragmatic reasons since many distributions install these dictionaries into different locations.

Like the enchant.ordering file described above, Enchant looks in the global directory for these dictionaries and a per-user directory. The per-user directory takes precedence if it is found. Enchant looks for Myspell dictionaries in $(datadir)/enchant/myspell and ~/.enchant/myspell. Enchant looks for Ispell dictionaries in $(datadir)/enchant/ispell and ~/.enchant/ispell. Enchant looks for Uspell dictionaries in $(datadir)/enchant/uspell and ~/.enchant/uspell.

Packagers and users may wish to make symbolic links to the system-wide dictionary directories. Or, preferably, use the --with-myspell-dir, --with-ispell-dir, and --with-uspell-dir ’configure’ arguments.

enchant ordering file

Enchant has a global and a per-user ordering file named enchant.ordering. It lets the user specify which spelling backend to use for individual languages in the case when you care which backend gets used. The global file is located in $(datadir)/enchant and the per-user file is located in ~/.enchant. The per-user file takes precedence, if found.

The ordering file takes the form language_tag:<comma-separated list of spelling backends>. I am currently aware of the following backends: aspell, myspell, ispell, uspell, hspell, voikko, and zemberek. ’*’ is used to mean "use this ordering for all languages, unless instructed otherwise." For example:


more information

see also

aspell , ispell,


Dom Lachowicz
MAIL: domlachowicz[:at:]gmail[:dot:]com

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