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spellchecker: A computer program (or portion thereof) which checks the spelling of words in a document. Some spellcheckers are built into other programs (like word processors) some are stand alone.

Within a word processor, a spell checker can be invoked after you've finished a document to check the spelling throughout, or be set up to check your spelling as you type. When the spellchecker thinks you've misspelled a word, it typically underlines it with a red wavy line. It may suggest alternative spellings (words).

Spellcheckers are not perfect. For example, baud is a word -- but many spellchecker dictionaries do not include baud in their built-in dictionary and will mark it as misspelled. In most cases there is a way to add it to either the built in dictionary or a custom personalized dictionary. If you do, now it will accept band or baud as correctly spelled, even if they are the wrong word in the given context.

Two common spellcheckers in the Linux world are ispell and aspell. These are used standalone and in other programs (like AbiWord). Dictionaries are available for these spelling programs in many languages. In addition to picking the right language for a spell checking dictionary, you must also make sure that the dictionary is in the right format -- big endian or little endian.


  • RandyKramer - 06 Feb 2002
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Topic revision: r3 - 2003-09-07 - AnitaLewis
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