Spell checking in Vim
I have come to find spell checking in Vim to be very useful when writing
documentation or commit messages. I had previously enabled spell checking for
certain file types but I have now set it globally in my
set spell spelllang=en_au
spelllang=en_au marks the language and region to use as English and
Using spell check
With spell check enabled, words are highlighted using the colour scheme currently used in Vim. As an example, misspelt words may appear as red, spelling suggestions as green, and so on.
The ]s and [s keys can be used to navigate forward and backward through misspelled words respectively.
Type z= when the cursor is on a highlighted word to open up a list of suggestions. Type the number corresponding with the replacement word and press Enter to make the correction.
1z= can be used to insert the first suggestion without opening the list.
Marking words as correct or incorrect
Words like "JSON" are usually marked as spelling errors. Typing zg when the cursor is on a highlighted word will add it to Vim's dictionary.
If Vim marks a word as correct when it isn't, typing zw will remove it from the dictionary.
Setting a dictionary
Vim's internal dictionary is not perfect and may not align with your writing style. The dictionary can fortunately be overridden with a local dictionary. A local dictionary is automatically created whenever a word is added or ignored.
The location of this file is in
~/.vim/spell/, and is named based on the
defined language, e.g.
A custom dictionary can be created and defined like so:
set spell spelllang=custom-file.spl
custom-file.spl is the path to the custom dictionary.
It should be noted that the
*.spl extension is a compressed format. To
*.spl file, the mkspell command can be used like
The mkspell command converts an
.add format to a
format for Vim. More information on the mkspell command can be
found within the Vim
"Using Spell Checking in Vim." Linux.com | The source for Linux information, 1 Sep. 2010, https://www.linux.com/learn/using-spell-checking-vim/. Accessed 17 December 2017.
"Vim Documentation: Spell." Vim Documentation, 1 Feb. 2011, http://vimdoc.sourceforge.net/htmldoc/spell.html. Accessed 23 December 2017.
A list of language codes can be found on the Library of Congress' website. Specifically, the ISO 639-1 language code should be used. ↩