GNU Aspell

This article is about the software. For the jockey, see Leighton Aspell.
GNU Aspell
Developer(s) GNU Aspell developers
Stable release / 4 July 2011 (2011-07-04)
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Spell checker
License GNU LGPL

GNU Aspell, usually called just Aspell, is a free software spell checker designed to replace Ispell. It is the standard spell checker for the GNU operating system. It also compiles for other Unix-like operating systems and Windows. The main program is licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License (GNU LGPL), the documentation under the GNU Free Documentation License (GNU FDL). Dictionaries for it are available for about 70 languages.[1] The primary maintainer is Kevin Atkinson.

Comparison to Ispell

Unlike Ispell, Aspell can easily check UTF-8 documents without having to use a special dictionary. Aspell will also do its best to respect the current locale setting. Other advantages over Ispell include support for using multiple dictionaries at once and intelligently handling personal dictionaries when more than one Aspell process is open at once. However, Ispell follows the Unix convention of being a command applied to a file, e.g., ispell text-file-with-spelling-errors, whereas Aspell requires other command-line options, and the "--help" option is more comprehensive. Sample uses include:

Windows ports

As of August 2014, the latest official Windows port of GNU Aspell was still 32-bit version 0.50.3 (Dec 2002), with dictionaries of similar age.[2] The developer says he has "no time and very little interest in maintaining a Windows port", and has been looking for somebody to maintain it.[3] However, the LyX project maintains a separate fork of Aspell for Windows and dictionaries, and say "the LyX project has long solved the Windows packaging problem by forking Aspell", although as of October 2011 the latest versions were dated 2009.[4][5]

The regularly updated Cygwin port of aspell can also be used in Windows.


Aspell has been integrated into software such as Gajim,[6] LyX, Notepad++, Claws Mail and previously Pidgin,[7] Opera,[8][9] gedit and AbiWord.

See also

Notes and references

  1. GNU Aspell supported languages
  2. Aspell Windows port page
  3. "Need Someone to Maintain Aspell Windows Port". Retrieved 2008-07-06.
  4. "Re: aspell 0.60.6 on Windows and using libaspell with SciTE". Retrieved 2009-12-01.
  5. Lyx FTP site for Aspell for Windows
  6. Gajim and Aspell: "Gajim SpellerHelp". Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  7. "Versions older than 2.7.0 use Aspell". Retrieved 2012-09-29.
  8. Opera 10 now uses Hunspell: "Opera Desktop Team Blog". Archived from the original on 2011-10-12. Retrieved 2009-04-20.
  9. "Spell-checking With Opera". Archived from the original on 2008-05-15. Retrieved 2006-02-06.

External links

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