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WORD-LIST-COMPRESS(1) Aspell Abbreviated User's Manual WORD-LIST-COMPRESS(1)


word-list-compress - word list compressor/decompressor for GNU Aspell


word-list-compress c[ompress] | d[ecompress]


word-list-compress compresses or decompresses sorted word lists for use with the GNU Aspell spell checker.


compress the plain text word list read from standard input.
decompress the compressed word list read from standard input.


Here are a few examples of how you can use word-list-compress

Decompress file wordlist.cwl to text file wordlist.txt
Compress wordlist.wl to wordlist.cwl and send any error messages to a text file named errors.txt
Sort a word list, then pipe it to word-list-compress to create a compressed binary wordlist.cwl file.
Decompress a wordlist, then pipe it to aspell(1) to create a spelling list. Please check the aspell(1) info manual for proper usage and options.


Word-list-compress is best used with sorted word list type files. It is not a general purpose compression program since the resulting files may actually increase in size.

Word-list-compress accepts up to 255 text characters in the range of {0x21...0xFF}. If your word list requires a larger character set for certain languages or longer length for multi-word, scientific, medical, technical or other use, then it is recommended that you compress your word list using prezip-bin(1)


Word-list-compress normally exits with a return code of 0. If it encounters an error, a message is sent to standard error output (stderr), and word-list-compress exits with a non-zero return value. Error messages are listed below:

(display help/usage message)
Unknown command given on the command line so word-list-compress displays a usage message to standard error output.
This is only for the decompression command d. The input file is of an unknown format or the input file/stream is corrupted. You may have some valid output, but word-list-compress could not complete the process. If the input file is a compressed wordlist but you have no output file, then it may be a newer prezip-bin(1) version of compressed file, if so, try decompressing the file with prezip-bin(1) instead.
The output is full, write protected, or has an error and can no longer be written to.


aspell(1), aspell-import(1), prezip-bin(1), run-with-aspell(1)

Aspell is fully documented in its Texinfo manual. See the `aspell' entry in info for more complete documentation.


For help, see the Aspell homepage at <> and send bug reports/comments to the Aspell user list at the above address.


This manual page was written by Aaron Lehmann <>, Brian Nelson <> and Jose Da Silva <>.

2005-09-05 GNU