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Test::Spelling(3pm) User Contributed Perl Documentation Test::Spelling(3pm)


Test::Spelling - Check for spelling errors in POD files


Place a file, "pod-spell.t" in your distribution's "xt/author" directory:

    use strict;
    use warnings;
    use Test::More;
    use Test::Spelling;
    use Pod::Wordlist;
    all_pod_files_spelling_ok( qw( bin lib ) );

Or, you can gate the spelling test with the environment variable "AUTHOR_TESTING":

    use strict;
    use warnings;
    use Test::More;
    BEGIN {
        plan skip_all => "Spelling tests only for authors"
            unless $ENV{AUTHOR_TESTING};
    use Test::Spelling;
    use Pod::Wordlist;


Test::Spelling lets you check the spelling of a "POD" file, and report its results in standard Test::More fashion. This module requires a spellcheck program such as Hunspell <>, aspell, spell, or, ispell. We suggest using Hunspell.

    use Test::Spelling;
    pod_file_spelling_ok('lib/Foo/', 'POD file spelling OK');

Note that it is a bad idea to run spelling tests during an ordinary CPAN distribution install, or in a package that will run in an uncontrolled environment. There is no way of predicting whether the word list or spellcheck program used will give the same results. You can include the test in your distribution, but be sure to run it only for authors of the module by guarding it in a "skip_all unless $ENV{AUTHOR_TESTING}" clause, or by putting the test in your distribution's xt/author directory. Anyway, people installing your module really do not need to run such tests, as it is unlikely that the documentation will acquire typos while in transit.

You can add your own stop words, which are words that should be ignored by the spell check, like so:

    add_stopwords(qw(asdf thiswordiscorrect));

Adding stop words in this fashion affects all files checked for the remainder of the test script. See Pod::Spell (which this module is built upon) for a variety of ways to add per-file stop words to each .pm file.

If you have a lot of stop words, it's useful to put them in your test file's "DATA" section like so:

    use strict;
    use warnings;
    use Test::More;
    use Test::Spelling;
    use Pod::Wordlist;

To maintain backwards compatibility, comment markers and some whitespace are ignored. In the near future, the preprocessing we do on the arguments to "add_stopwords" in Test::Spelling will be changed and documented properly.


Test::Spelling makes the following methods available.


  add_stopwords(<DATA>); # pull in stop words from the DATA section

Add words that should be skipped by the spell checker. Note that Pod::Spell already skips words believed to be code, such as everything in verbatim (indented) blocks and code marked up with ""..."", as well as some common Perl jargon.



Returns a list of all the Perl files in each directory and its subdirectories, recursively. If no directories are passed, it defaults to blib if blib exists, or else lib if not. Skips any files in CVS or .svn directories.

A Perl file is:

  • Any file that ends in .PL, .pl, .plx, .pm, .pod or .t.
  • Any file that has a first line with a shebang and "perl" on it.

Furthermore, files for which the filter set by "set_pod_file_filter" return false are skipped. By default, this filter passes everything through.

The order of the files returned is machine-dependent. If you want them sorted, you'll have to sort them yourself.



Checks all the files for "POD" spelling. It gathers "all_pod_files" in Test::Spelling on each file/directory, and declares a "plan" in Test::More for you (one test for each file), so you must not call "plan" yourself.

If @files is empty, the function finds all "POD" files in the blib directory if it exists, or the lib directory if it does not. A "POD" file is one that ends with .pod, .pl, .plx, or .pm; or any file where the first line looks like a perl shebang line.

If there is no working spellchecker (determined by <Test:Spelling/"has_working_spellchecker">), this test will issue a "skip all" directive.

If you're testing a distribution, just create an xt/author/pod-spell.t with the code in the "SYNOPSIS".

Returns true if every "POD" file has correct spelling, or false if any of them fail. This function will show any spelling errors as diagnostics.

* NOTE: This only tests using bytes. This is not decoded content, etc. Do not expect this to work with Unicode content, for example. This uses an open with no layers and no decoding.


  # a Pod::Spell -like object
  my $object = get_pod_parser();

Get the object we're using to parse the "POD". A new Pod::Spell object should be used for every file. People providing custom parsers will have to do this themselves.


  my $cmd = has_working_spellchecker;

"has_working_spellchecker" will return "undef" if there is no working spellchecker, or a true value (the spellchecker command itself) if there is. The module performs a dry-run to determine whether any of the spellcheckers it can will use work on the current system. You can use this to skip tests if there is no spellchecker. Note that "all_pod_files_spelling_ok" will do this for you.

A full list of spellcheckers which this method might test can be found in the source of the "spellchecker_candidates" method.


  pod_file_spelling_ok('/path/to/', 'Foo is well spelled!');

"pod_file_spelling_ok" will test that the given "POD" file has no spelling errors.

When it fails, "pod_file_spelling_ok" will show any spelling errors as diagnostics.

The optional second argument is the name of the test. If it is omitted, "pod_file_spelling_ok" chooses a default test name "POD spelling for $filename".

* NOTE: This only tests using bytes. This is not decoded content, etc. Do not expect this to work with Unicode content, for example. This uses an open with no layers and no decoding.


    # code ref
    set_pod_file_filter(sub {
        my $filename = shift;
        return 0 if $filename =~ /_ja.pod$/; # skip Japanese translations
        return 1;

If your project has "POD" documents written in languages other than English, then obviously you don't want to be running a spellchecker on every Perl file. "set_pod_file_filter" lets you filter out files returned from "all_pod_files" (and hence, the documents tested by "all_pod_files_spelling_ok").


  my $object = Pod::Spell->new();

By default Pod::Spell is used to generate text suitable for spellchecking from the input POD. If you want to use a different parser, perhaps a customized subclass of Pod::Spell, call "set_pod_parser" with an object that is-a Pod::Parser. Be sure to create a fresh parser object for each file (don't use this with "all_pod_files_spelling_ok").


  set_spell_cmd('hunspell -l'); # current preferred
  set_spell_cmd('aspell list');
  set_spell_cmd('ispell -l');

If you want to force this module to use a particular spellchecker, then you can specify which one with "set_spell_cmd". This is useful to ensure a more consistent lexicon between developers, or if you have an unusual environment. Any command that takes text from standard input and prints a list of misspelled words, one per line, to standard output will do.




Ivan Tubert-Brohman "<>"

Heavily based on Test::Pod by Andy Lester and brian d foy.


Copyright 2005, Ivan Tubert-Brohman, All Rights Reserved.

You may use, modify, and distribute this package under the same terms as Perl itself.

2019-07-15 perl v5.28.1