December 15, 2014

Aspell on a Mac

Aspell is a handy-dandy tool for the command line for spell checking text documents. When you're editing Tex documents, Aspell is something you really want to have. However, as a German, installing Aspell on a Mac has one big pitfall: it won't install German per default.

What I (foolishly) did up to now is

brew install aspell --all

which installs all languages Aspell knows. This is quite a lot. So installation takes days. OK, a couple of minutes. But chances are rare that I need to spell check a document in Farsi or even more exotic languages such as French.

So better execute

brew install aspell --with-lang-de --with-lang-en

In order to receive the list of all installable languages execute

brew options aspell

Now you can check documents in German with

aspell --lang="de_DE" -c FILENAME

A list of your installed languages can be retrieved with

aspell dump dicts

Unfortunately, it seems to be impossible to add a dictionary after having installed Aspell plus your first dictionaries. To add the dictionary you have to uninstall Aspell and install it again together with the needed language.

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