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I'd like to see a spell checker. I'm notoriously bad at spelling and any help would be appreciated. I have noticed that Ward Cunningham's Wiki has a spell checking feature which lists all the words that the checker had a problem with. Would this be doable with TWiki?

-- JamalWills - 10 May 2000

Certainly that would be doable, and would be a nice fit for the TWiki mission as described in ReadmeFirst.

For people who have not seen Ward's spelling checker:

  • Documented at Wiki:SpellingChecker.
  • The "Thank you" page shown after you save a topic shows a list of words the spell checker noticed.
  • Each word has a check box. Checked words are added to the dictionary. (currently disabled due to a bug)

We could do something similar and split it up into two phases:

  1. Initial Implementation
    • Use a fixed list of words, not extendible.
    • The preview page shows words that the spelling checker noticed in a different text color (or back ground color?) or with an icon, like this mispeledsuggestions: muzzled misspelled missive word. Note: Care must be taken not to spell words inside HTML tags or variables.
    • Can be turned off by user preference variable %NOSPELLCHECK% .

  2. Full Implementation
    • Allow words to be added to the list: The preview page has a list of check boxes with words you can add to the dictionary
    • Idea: Show tool tip (using Java Script) to show suggested words. [or they could simply appear in the "alt" tag for the icon - mouse over the one above for a demo. --SteveKeay]

Showing suggested words is a whole new issue. Are there any free perl based spell checkers that do that?

-- PeterThoeny - 10 May 2000

I was looking around for other web based tools that have spelling checkers.

  • Mason Content Management system, http://www.masonhq.com/Mason-CM/
    • Based on Gnu's "ispell" package 3.1.x. ( ispell = '/usr/bin/ispell', main_dict = '/usr/lib/ispell/english.hash' )
    • Supports a supplemental dictionary (text file with one line per word)

Searched CPAN at http://search.cpan.org/ for 'spell':

Probably better to choose one that is native Perl.

-- PeterThoeny - 12 May 2000

Perl module String::Approx could be used for fuzzy matching, as pointed out by JonUdell at http://www.byte.com/nntp/programming?comment_id=6783#thread

-- PeterThoeny - 18 May 2000

13 months have passed since this was last discussed. Was this ever added or considered further? Should it be a plugin?

-- DavidWeller - 15 Jun 2001

I'd like to see a spell checker as well, as long as it's easy to add correct spellings and weed out the ones added incorrectly (i.e. have a separate file for the added words). Someone just needs to leap in and code one - basing it on ispell initially might not be a bad idea, just to get something working (Wiki:DoTheSimplestThingThatCouldPossiblyWork).

-- RichardDonkin - 16 Jun 2001

Good that you bring up that point, this is a strong request at my work place (WindRiver).

The core team will not work on this before the pending production release. Anyone interested to work on this as a plugin? We probably need to provide new plugin hooks for that.

-- PeterThoeny - 16 Jun 2001

I suggest we add a beforePreview hook, this could be used both for spellcheck and for my AutomaticLinkSuggestionPlugin ...

Moreover, the file for words should be a topic.

-- AndreaSterbini - 28 Jun 2001

Refactored discussion of web services implementation of spell checker to SpellCheckerUsingWebServices, since this would not meet security or availability requirements for most intranet implementations of TWiki. I would really like to see a spell checker plugin - are there suitable hooks in TWiki as of the production release?

-- RichardDonkin - 21 Sep 2001

For those of you using a UNIX server, you can quickly and easily wrap /bin/spell. For Dec2000 release:

  1. Copy bin/view to bin/spellview
  2. Edit spellview and insert the following immediately before the line reading $tmpl =~ s/%TEXT%/$text/go;
     my $wl = `/bin/spell $wiki::dataDir/$webName/$topic.txt`;
     my @wl = split /\s+/,$wl;
     my $word;
     foreach $word (@wl) {
       if ($word =~ m/^\w+$/) {
           $text =~ s/(\s+$word\s+)/<u><b><font color=red>\1<\/font><\/b><\/u>/gs;
Topics can be spell-checked by changing the URL to 'spellview' instead of view, or you can easily add a link on the view topic. A spellchecker plugin based on this technique would be trivial to implement for Sep2001.

-- CrawfordCurrie - 24 Sep 2001

Ok -- Again this topic hasn't been addressed in a while. This too is a often-requested feature at my workplace.

Thanks Crawford for contributing the quick code change above. I have installed in on our TWiki installation as part of the Preview script. The results have been favorable.

I'm ready to beging working on a Plugins.SpellCheckerPlugin. Anyone want to join me in the implementation work?

I've surveyed a number of spell check programs on-line, listed the basic requirements, and have some ideas for the implementation.

Refer to Plugins.SpellCheckerPlugin and Plugins.SpellCheckerPluginDev.

-- MikeBarton - 17 Jan 2002

A functioning prototype for a TWiki spell checker is now at Plugins.SpellCheckerPlugin.

-- MikeBarton - 28 Mar 2002

See also related Plugins.SpellCheckAddOn and Plugins.SpellCheckAddOnDev

-- PeterThoeny - 23 Dec 2002

see also SpellBound

-- WillNorris - 07 Jul 2005

It seems that all the spell checking plugins are not maintained and really old.

Does anyone have a good suggestion as to something workable?

-- MartinCleaver - 10 Oct 2008


For me, it makes more sense to do it on the browser, and it's more flexible, as the user can choose the language.

-- OlivierRaginel - 10 Oct 2008

I agree with Olivier. Note that an intersting approach would be to use more sophisticated spelling checkers like the one of OpenOffice with http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/project/wikipublisher

-- ColasNahaboo - 10 Oct 2008

I agree its useful to spellcheck in the browser.

How do you propose, though, being able to bulk spell check, in quality assurance, prior to release?

-- MartinCleaver - 12 Oct 2008

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GIFgif spell.gif   manage 0.1 K 2000-05-11 - 01:04 UnknownUser (SP?) icon
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Topic revision: r29 - 2008-10-12 - MartinCleaver
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