GNU Aspell is a spell checker designed to eventually replace Ispell. It
can either be used as a library or as an independent spell checker. Its
main feature is that it does a much better job of suggesting possible
replacements for a misspelled word than just about any other spell
checker out there for the English language. Unlike Ispell, Aspell can
also easily check documents in UTF-8 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.
The latest version of Aspell can always be found at
1.1 Comparison to other spell checker engines
Aspell Ispell Netscape Microsoft
4.0 Word 97
Open Source x x
Suggestion 88-98 54 55-70? 71
Personal part x x x
Alternate Dictionaries x x ? ?
International Support x x ? ?
The Suggestion Intelligence is based on a small test kernel of
misspelled/correct word pairs. Go to `http://aspell.net/test' for more
info and how you can help contribute to the test kernel. The current
scores for Aspell are 88 in _fast_ mode, 93 in _normal_ mode, and 98 in
_bad spellers_ mode: for more information about the various suggestion
modes Notes on the Different Suggestion Modes.
If you have any other information you would like to add to this chart
please contact me at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
1.1.1 Comparison to Ispell
184.108.40.206 Features that only Aspell has
* Is an actual library that other programs can link to instead of
having to use it through a pipe.
* Does a much better job of suggesting possible replacements for a
misspelled word than Ispell does or for that matter many other
spell checkers I have seen. If you know a spell checker that does
a better job please let me know.
* Can learn from user's misspellings.
* Can easily check documents in UTF-8 without having to use a special
* Has support for using multiple dictionaries at once.
* Is multiprocess intelligent. When a personal dictionary (or
replacement list) is saved, it will now first update the list
against the dictionary on disk in case another process modified it.
* Can share the memory used in the main word list between processes.
* A better, more complete word list for the English language. Word
lists are provided for American, British, and Canadian spelling.
Special care has been taken to only include one spelling for each
word in any particular word list. The word list included in
Ispell by contrast only included support for American and British
and also tends to included multiple spellings for a word which can
mask some spelling errors.
220.127.116.11 Things that, currently, only Ispell has
* Lower memory footprint
* Ability to deal with arbitrary multi-character letters such as old
ASCII encodings of accented letters.
* Perhaps better support for spell checking (La)TeX files.
For a detailed description of how Aspell differs from Ispell,
Differences From Ispell.
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