Introduction to Aspell

The Aspell package contains an interactive spell checking program and the Aspell libraries. Aspell can either be used as a library or as an independent spell checker.

Package Information

Additional Downloads

You'll need to download at least one dictionary. The link below will take you to a page containing links to dictionaries in many languages.

Aspell Dependencies





User Notes:

Installation of Aspell

Install Aspell by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr &&

Pre-built HTML documentation is included in the package. If you have teTeX installed and you wish to build additional formats of the documentation, issue any or all of the following commands:

make -C manual pdf &&
make -C manual pdf &&
make -C manual ps &&
cd manual &&
makeinfo --plaintext -o aspell.txt aspell.texi &&
makeinfo --plaintext -o aspell-dev.txt aspell-dev.texi &&
cd ..

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make install &&
install -v -m755 -d /usr/share/doc/aspell-0.60.4/aspell{,-dev}.html &&
install -v -m644 manual/aspell.html/* \
    /usr/share/doc/aspell-0.60.4/aspell.html &&
install -v -m644 manual/aspell-dev.html/* \

If you built additional formats of the documentation, install them by issuing the following command as the root user:

install -v -m644 manual/aspell{,-dev}.{ps,pdf,dvi,txt} \

If you do not plan to install Ispell, then copy the wrapper script ispell:

install -v -m 755 scripts/ispell /usr/bin/

If you do not plan to install Spell, then copy the wrapper script spell:

install -v -m 755 scripts/spell /usr/bin/

Command Explanations

make -C manual pdf: This command is listed twice as the first time it runs it will display an error and abort, although it creates the requested file. Running the command again ensures the other file is also created.

Configuring Aspell

Configuration Information

After Aspell is installed, you must set up at least one dictionary. Install one or more dictionaries by running the following commands:

./configure &&

Now, as the root user:

make install


Installed Programs: aspell, aspell-import, precat, preunzip, prezip, prezip-bin, pspell-config, run-with-aspell, word-list-compress and optionally, ispell and spell
Installed Libraries: and
Installed Directories: /usr/include/pspell and /usr/lib/aspell-0.60

Short Descriptions


is a utility that can function as an ispell -a replacement, as an independent spell checker, as a test utility to test out Aspell features, and as a utility for managing dictionaries.


is a wrapper around aspell to invoke it in ispell compatible mode.


is a wrapper around aspell to invoke it in spell compatible mode.


imports old personal dictionaries into Aspell.


decompresses a prezipped file to stdout.


decompresses a prezipped file.


is a prefix delta compressor, used to compress sorted word lists or other similar text files.


is called by the various wrapper scripts to perform the actual compressing and decompressing.


displays information about the libpspell installation, mostly for use in build scripts.


is a script to help use Aspell as an ispell replacement.


compresses or decompresses sorted word lists for use with the Aspell spell checker.

contains spell checking API functions.

is an interface to the libaspell library. All the spell checking functionality is now in libaspell but this library is included for backward compatibility.

Last updated on 2006-06-21 11:26:07 -0500