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SPELL(1) General Commands Manual SPELL(1)


spell - GNU spell, a Unix spell emulator


spell [options] files ...


This manual page documents briefly the spell command. This manual page was written for the Debian GNU/Linux distribution (but may be used by others), because the original program does not have a manual page. Instead, it has documentation in the GNU Info format; see below.

spell is a program that emulates the traditional Unix spell command by calling the Ispell utility.

It is a spell checking program which prints each misspelled word on a line of its own.


The programs follow the usual GNU command line syntax, with long options starting with two dashes (`-'). A summary of options are included below. For a complete description, see the Info files.

Print Ispell's version.
Print the version number.
Use the British dictionary.
Use FILE to look up words.
Print a summary of the options.
Calls PROGRAM as Ispell.
Use the named DICTIONARY to look up words.
Ignored; for compatibility.
Print line numbers before lines.
Print file names before lines.
Ignored; for compatibility.
Print words not literally found.
Ignored; for compatibility.


The programs are documented fully by GNU Spell, a clone of Unix `spell', available via the Info system.


This manual page was written by Dominik Kubla <>, for the Debian GNU/Linux system.