hunspell - spell checker, stemmer and morphological analyzer
hunspell [-1aDGHhLlmnstvw] [--check-url] [-d dict[,dict2,...]] [--help]
[-i enc] [-p dict] [-vv] [--version] [file(s)]
Hunspell is fashioned after the Ispell program. The most common usage
is "hunspell" or "hunspell filename". Without filename parameter,
hunspell checks the standard input. Typing "cat" and "exsample" in two
input lines, we got an asterisk (it means "cat" is a correct word) and
a line with corrections:
$ hunspell -d en_US
& exsample 4 0: example, examples, ex sample, ex-sample
Correct words signed with an ’*’, ’+’ or ’-’, unrecognized words signed
with ’#’ or ’&’ in output lines (see later). (Close the standard input
with Ctrl-d on Unix/Linux and Ctrl-Z Enter or Ctrl-C on Windows.)
With filename parameters, hunspell will display each word of the files
which does not appear in the dictionary at the top of the screen and
allow you to change it. If there are "near misses" in the dictionary,
then they are also displayed on following lines. Finally, the line
containing the word and the previous line are printed at the bottom of
the screen. If your terminal can display in reverse video, the word
itself is highlighted. You have the option of replacing the word
completely, or choosing one of the suggested words. Commands are single
characters as follows (case is ignored):
R Replace the misspelled word completely.
Space Accept the word this time only.
A Accept the word for the rest of this hunspell session.
I Accept the word, capitalized as it is in the file, and
update private dictionary.
U Accept the word, and add an uncapitalized (actually, all
lower-case) version to the private dictionary.
S Ask a stem and a model word and store them in the private
dictionary. The stem will be accepted also with the
affixes of the model word.
0-n Replace with one of the suggested words.
X Write the rest of this file, ignoring misspellings, and
start next file.
Q Exit immediately and leave the file unchanged.
^Z Suspend hunspell.
? Give help screen.
-1 Check only first field in lines (delimiter = tabulator).
-a The -a option is intended to be used from other programs through
a pipe. In this mode, hunspell prints a one-line version
identification message, and then begins reading lines of input.
For each input line, a single line is written to the standard
output for each word checked for spelling on the line. If the
word was found in the main dictionary, or your personal
dictionary, then the line contains only a ’*’. If the word was
found through affix removal, then the line contains a ’+’, a
space, and the root word. If the word was found through
compound formation (concatenation of two words, then the line
contains only a ’-’.
If the word is not in the dictionary, but there are near misses,
then the line contains an ’&’, a space, the misspelled word, a
space, the number of near misses, the number of characters
between the beginning of the line and the beginning of the
misspelled word, a colon, another space, and a list of the near
misses separated by commas and spaces.
Also, each near miss or guess is capitalized the same as the
input word unless such capitalization is illegal; in the latter
case each near miss is capitalized correctly according to the
Finally, if the word does not appear in the dictionary, and
there are no near misses, then the line contains a ’#’, a space,
the misspelled word, a space, and the character offset from the
beginning of the line. Each sentence of text input is
terminated with an additional blank line, indicating that
hunspell has completed processing the input line.
These output lines can be summarized as follows:
Root: + <root>
Miss: & <original> <count> <offset>: <miss>, <miss>, ...
None: # <original> <offset>
For example, a dummy dictionary containing the words "fray",
"Frey", "fry", and "refried" might produce the following
response to the command "echo ’frqy refries | hunspell -a":
(#) Hunspell 0.4.1 (beta), 2005-05-26
& frqy 3 0: fray, Frey, fry
& refries 1 5: refried
This mode is also suitable for interactive use when you want to
figure out the spelling of a single word (but this is the
default behavior of hunspell without -a, too).
When in the -a mode, hunspell will also accept lines of single
words prefixed with any of ’*’, ’&’, ’@’, ’+’, ’-’, ’~’, ’#’,
’!’, ’%’, ’‘’, or ’^’. A line starting with ’*’ tells hunspell
to insert the word into the user’s dictionary (similar to the I
command). A line starting with ’&’ tells hunspell to insert an
all-lowercase version of the word into the user’s dictionary
(similar to the U command). A line starting with ’@’ causes
hunspell to accept this word in the future (similar to the A
command). A line starting with ’+’, followed immediately by tex
or nroff will cause hunspell to parse future input according the
syntax of that formatter. A line consisting solely of a ’+’
will place hunspell in TeX/LaTeX mode (similar to the -t option)
and ’-’ returns hunspell to nroff/troff mode (but these commands
are obsolete). However, the string character type is not
changed; the ’~’ command must be used to do this. A line
starting with ’~’ causes hunspell to set internal parameters (in
particular, the default string character type) based on the
filename given in the rest of the line. (A file suffix is
sufficient, but the period must be included. Instead of a file
name or suffix, a unique name, as listed in the language affix
file, may be specified.) However, the formatter parsing is not
changed; the ’+’ command must be used to change the formatter.
A line prefixed with ’#’ will cause the personal dictionary to
be saved. A line prefixed with ’!’ will turn on terse mode (see
below), and a line prefixed with ’%’ will return hunspell to
normal (non-terse) mode. A line prefixed with ’‘’ will turn on
verbose-correction mode (see below); this mode can only be
disabled by turning on terse mode with ’%’.
Any input following the prefix characters ’+’, ’-’, ’#’, ’!’,
’%’, or ’‘’ is ignored, as is any input following the filename
on a ’~’ line. To allow spell-checking of lines beginning with
these characters, a line starting with ’^’ has that character
removed before it is passed to the spell-checking code. It is
recommended that programmatic interfaces prefix every data line
with an uparrow to protect themselves against future changes in
To summarize these:
* Add to personal dictionary
@ Accept word, but leave out of dictionary
# Save current personal dictionary
~ Set parameters based on filename
+ Enter TeX mode
- Exit TeX mode
! Enter terse mode
% Exit terse mode
‘ Enter verbose-correction mode
^ Spell-check rest of line
In terse mode, hunspell will not print lines beginning with ’*’,
’+’, or ’-’, all of which indicate correct words. This
significantly improves running speed when the driving program is
going to ignore correct words anyway.
In verbose-correction mode, hunspell includes the original word
immediately after the indicator character in output lines
beginning with ’*’, ’+’, and ’-’, which simplifies interaction
for some programs.
Check URLs, e-mail addresses and directory paths.
-D Show detected path of the loaded dictionary, and list of the
search path and the available dictionaries.
Set dictionaries by their base names with or without paths.
Example of the syntax:
en_US and de_DE are base dictionaries, they consist of aff and dic file
pairs: en_US.aff, en_US.dic and de_DE.aff, de_DE.dic. En_geo, en_med,
de_med are special dictionaries: dictionaries without affix file.
Special dictionaries are optional extension of the base dictionaries
usually with special (medical, law etc.) terms. There is no naming
convention for special dictionaries, only the ".dic" extension:
dictionaries without affix file will be an extension of the preceding
base dictionary (right order of the parameter list needs for good
suggestions). First item of -d parameter list must be a base
-G Print only correct words or lines.
-H The input file is in SGML/HTML format.
-i enc Set input encoding.
-L Print lines with misspelled words.
-l The "list" option is used to produce a list of misspelled words
from the standard input.
-m Analyze the words of the input text (see also hunspell(4) about
morphological analysis). Without dictionary morphological data,
signs the flags of the affixes of the word forms for dictionary
-n The input file is in nroff/troff format.
Set password for encrypted dictionaries.
Set path of personal dictionary. The default dictionary depends
on the locale settings. The following environment variables are
searched: LC_ALL, LC_MESSAGES, and LANG. If none are set then
the default personal dictionary is $HOME/.hunspell_default.
Setting -d or the DICTIONARY environmental variable, personal
dictionary will be $HOME/.hunspell_dicname
-s Stem the words of the input text (see also hunspell(4) about
stemming). It depends from the dictionary data.
-t The input file is in TeX or LaTeX format.
Print version number.
-vv Print ispell(1) compatible version number.
-w Print misspelled words (= lines) from one word/line input.
hunspell -d en_US english.html
hunspell -d en_US,en_US_med medical.txt
hunspell -d ~/openoffice.org2.4/share/dict/ooo/de_DE
hunspell -l text.html
Similar to -d.
Equivalent to -p.
The default dictionary depends on the locale settings. The following
environment variables are searched: LC_ALL, LC_MESSAGES, and LANG. If
none are set then the following fallbacks are used:
/usr/share/myspell/default.aff Path of default affix file. See
/usr/share/myspell/default.dic Path of default dictionary file. See
$HOME/.hunspell_default. Default path to personal dictionary.
hunspell (3), hunspell(4)
Author of Hunspell executable is László Németh. For Hunspell library,
This manual based on Ispell’s manual. See ispell(1).
There are some layout problems with long lines.