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Spell checking LaTeX documents

I have a LaTeX file which I use to generate a PDF. Is there any tool which I can use to detect spelling mistakes, either directly in the .tex file or in the pdf file ?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Aug 4 '11 at 4:29

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

marked as duplicate by Caramdir, lockstep, Jake, Martin Scharrer Aug 4 '11 at 9:06

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

What editor are you using? Winedt has a spellchecker that ignores TeX syntax. – Usagi Aug 3 '11 at 19:55
I think Prakashkumar is looking for a "latex" answer, i.e. some kind of package that will 'typeset' that certain words are misspelled in the produced PDF. Some time ago I did something like that just for fun but using an external program that generated an auxiliary tex source file marking (e.g. with red) misspelled words and even giving suggestions as a PDF-ballon-comment. The script was using hunspell or aspell internally but was not integrated with LaTeX at all. I would be interested in something like that also. Interpreted in this way I think this question is not a duplicate. – alfC Aug 4 '11 at 7:17
I think apsell does the trick for me. I use VI to edit my LaTeX documents. So, I wanted a tool to check for spelling mistakes rather than going through the entire document manually. – prakashkut Aug 4 '11 at 12:46
The vim-latex plugin allows you to use vim's spell checking in a latex document. – Caramdir Aug 4 '11 at 16:24
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Aspell has a special mode to check TeX and so also LaTeX files.

$ aspell -c -t some.tex

Also, your LaTeX editor might already include a special spell checking mode for LaTeX sources, e.g emacs' flyspell comes with options to check LaTeX sources. Emacs is the framework (haha) behind the excellent AucTeX TeX environment.

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When I try aspell -t temp.tex , it gives me Error: Unknown Action: temp.tex . Any obvious mistake I am making ? – prakashkut Aug 3 '11 at 20:11
@Prakashkumar Thiagarajan - You need to specify an action, e.g. aspell -t -c temp.tex to "check" a file. – ire_and_curses Aug 3 '11 at 21:14
@ire: Thanks, updated the answer. – Benjamin Bannier Aug 3 '11 at 21:25

Three basic options:

  1. You can use aspell or ispell, which are LaTeX aware spell-checkers.
  2. Use an editor like LyX, which has built in spell-checking.
  3. Output your text to plain-text using detex, and then spell-check that with whatever you like (e.g. OpenOffice).
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