spell(1) General Commands Manual spell(1)
spell, spellin, spellout - check text for spelling errors
spell [-v] [-b] [-x] [-d hlist] [+local-file] [-s hstop] [-h spellhist] [file...]
spellout [-d] list
The command collects words from the named documents, and looks them up in a spelling list. Words that are not on the spelling list and are
not derivable from words on the list (by applying certain inflections, prefixes or suffixes) are printed on the standard output. If no
files are specified, words are collected from the standard input.
The command ignores most and constructions.
Two routines help maintain the hash lists used by Both expect a set of words, one per line, from the standard input. The command combines
the words from the standard input and the preexisting list file and places a new list on the standard output. If no list file is speci-
fied, a new list is generated. The command looks up each word from the standard input and prints on the standard output those that are
missing from (or present on, with option -d) the hashed list file. For example, to verify that hookey is not on the default spelling list,
add it to your own private list, and then use it with
echo hookey | spellout /usr/dict/hlista
echo hookey | spellin /usr/dict/hlista > myhlist
spell -d myhlist <filename>
-v Displays words not found in spelling list with all plausible derivations from spelling list.
-b Checks data according to British spelling. Besides preferring centre, colour, speciality, travelled, this option insists
upon -ise instead of -ize in words like standardise.
-x Precedes each word with an equal sign (=) and displays all plausible derivations.
-d hlist Specifies the file used for the spelling list.
-h spellhist Specifies the file used as the history file.
-s hstop Specifies the file used for the stop list.
+local-file Removes words found in local-file from the output of the command. The argument local-file is the name of a file provided by
the user that contains a sorted list of words, one per line. With this option, the user can specify a list of words for a
particular job that are spelled correctly.
The auxiliary files used for the spelling list, stop list, and history file may be specified by arguments following the -d, -s, and -h
options. The default files are indicated below. Copies of all output may be accumulated in the history file. The stop list filters out
misspellings (for example, thier=thy-y+ier) that would otherwise pass.
The coverage of the spelling list is uneven; new installations will probably wish to monitor the output for several months to gather local
The command works only with ASCII text files.
/usr/dict/hlist[ab] hashed spelling lists, American & British, default for -d
/usr/dict/hstop hashed stop list, default for -s
/dev/null history file, default for -h
/tmp/spell.$$* temporary files
deroff(1), sed(1), sort(1), tee(1)