The spell command reads one or more files and prints a list of words that may be misspelled. You can redirect the output to a file, use to locate each of the words, and then use vi or ex to make the edits. It's also possible to hack up a shell and sed script that interactively displays the misspellings and fixes them on command, but realistically, this is too tedious for most users. (The program solves many - though not all - of these problems.)
When you run spell on a file, the list of words it produces usually includes a number of legitimate words or terms that the program does not recognize. spell is case-sensitive; it's happy with Aaron but complains about aaron . You must cull out the proper nouns and other words spell doesn't know about to arrive at a list of true misspellings. For instance, look at the results on this sample sentence:
Alcuin uses TranScript to convert ditroff into PostScript output for the LaserWriter printerr. $
Only one word in this list is actually misspelled.
On many UNIX systems, you can supply a local dictionary file so that spell recognizes special words and terms specific to your site or application. After you have run spell and looked through the word list, you can create a file containing the words that were not actual misspellings. The spell command will check this list after it has gone through its own dictionary. [On systems where I've used it, your word list file had to be . -JP ]
If you added the special terms in a file named dict
, you could
specify that file on the command line using the
The output is reduced to the single misspelling.
The spell command will also miss words specified as arguments to, and like any spelling checker, will make some errors based on incorrect derivation of spellings from the root words contained in its dictionary. If you understand , you may be less surprised by some of these errors.
- from UNIX Text Processing , Hayden Books, 1987