I'm looking for a way to integrate something like After the Deadline or a similarly sophisticated spell checking tool into writing LaTeX documents. I don't mind it hitting the network each time. I already use flyspell-mode in AucTeX.

Edit

After the deadline is a webapp service which checks text for spell checking, grammar and style. In some ways it is similar to Microsfot Word spell-checking, more specifically green underline suggestions. After the deadline is used on wordpress.com and there are firefox/chromium/openoffice plugins for it. I was wondering if anyone managed to get this or any other similar spell checker to work with LaTeX documents to check grammar and style. I'm asking for something which will parse the whole sentences, and not just words.

  • 4
    possible duplicate of Spell checking LaTeX documents – Loop Space Jul 27 '10 at 15:17
  • I too suggest merging this question into the other one on spell-checking (possibly broadening its scope). It's basically "how to spell-check using an external program/library". – ShreevatsaR Jul 27 '10 at 16:38
  • You can simply import your latex document into Word, and spell check it there. There's an issue: telling Word that macros don't need checking, which is in principle solveable (you can tell Word that certain parts of the Word document aren't in a human language), but in practice requires programming. – Charles Stewart Jul 28 '10 at 9:45
  • And the fact that Word is not available on Linux.... I have tried achieving something like that with OpenOffice but it is a pain so sync the changes back =( – Dima Jul 28 '10 at 11:10
  • @Dima: Didn't see your response at the time! Virtualisation makes Word an option on Linux. It's not too expensive: the download options for Windows 7 Home Premium and Office Home & Student are about $200 together; there are plenty of free software virtualisation options for Linux. Or rather, I should say it's not too expensive if you think you'll use it enough: I guess I'm fairly unusual here for needing Word a lot. – Charles Stewart May 4 '11 at 6:46
up vote 13 down vote accepted

You can use the detex tool to strip LaTeX commands. If you do detex file.tex, it will output to stdout. Then, you can use the diction tool to analyse your text, and suggest improvements. Putting it all together:

detex file.tex | diction -bs

This will strip the LaTeX, and pipe it into diction with suggestions and "beginner mistakes" enabled.

For Debian/Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install diction texlive-extra-utils

This will install detex and diction, as well as several other useful tools.

Since you mentioned that you're using Emacs, there is also diction.el which provides diction integration with Emacs. You can do M-x diction-buffer, and it will take care of detexing/dehtmling and show the diction results in a separate buffer. You can even hit enter on the individual results to be taken to approximately where the phrase is.

(If you do use diction.el, my version of detex didn't have the -C flag. I'm not sure of what it was meant to do, but if you search for 'detex -C' in the file, you can add other command line options if you want. Also, I recommend replacing 'diction -L' with 'diction -bsL')

  • Just a heads up. The diction.el link is down. – Malabarba Feb 24 '14 at 12:06
  • languagetool may be a better alternative to diction – xuhdev Apr 11 '16 at 10:45
aspell -t -c <filename>

where < filename > is the name of the tex file you would like to spell check will also do the job if aspell (http://aspell.net/) is installed on your system. Here -t filters the tex keywords and the symbols and -c asks aspell to spellcheck.

(This is a repeat of my post on a different thread.)

I've just finished writing a new tool for checking spelling and grammar directly on LaTeX files, called TeXtidote:

https://sylvainhalle.github.io/textidote

The program can remove markup from the file and send it to the Language Tool library, which performs a verification of both spelling and grammar in a dozen languages. What is unique to TeXtidote is that it keeps track of the relative position of words between the original and the "clean" text. This means that it can translate the messages from Language Tool back to their proper location directly in your source file. By default, TeXtidote produces an HTML report that shows your original sources, with the errors found by Language Tool highlighted at the correct location:

enter image description here

The tool is free and easy to install (OS-independent, requires Java). I encourage you to give it a try and tell me what you think! (More information about download/install/use can be found on the Readme page of the GitHub repository; click on the "Download" button on the web site to get there.)

I have found great success with using detex to strip my document to the basic text detex file.tex > output.txt and then copying and pasting the text into the Grammarly (free) extension for Chrome.

I like this method because the only new application I need is detex and I can use the same method on my Windows and Linux machines.

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