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Vim Text Editor tricks : Spell Checking

Category: vim

Date: March 2023
Views: 609

vim is a great text editor. I use it most of the time, And most of the time I write in English. But sometimes I need to write in french. And I had to always keep reading And re-reading my text document to check for spelling mistakes. This is when I got to search if vim can deal with this. And it does

I found out that Vim comes with built-in spell checking capabilities that can be customized to meet specific language requirements. In this article, we will focus on spell checking in Vim for French text. But it should be the same for any other language

Before we begin, it is important to note that spell checking in Vim relies on external dictionaries. In the case of French spell checking, we will use the French dictionary provided by the system's spell checking library. On most Linux systems, this library is called Hunspell.

To enable spell checking in Vim for French text, we need to follow these steps:

Ensure that Hunspell is installed on your system. On most Linux distributions, Hunspell can be installed using the package manager. For example, on Ubuntu, you can install Hunspell by running the following command in the terminal:

sudo apt install hunspell

Set the spell checking language in Vim to French. This can be done by adding the following line to your .vimrc file:

set spelllang=fr
" or
set spelllang+=fr

Enable spell checking in Vim by adding the following line to your .vimrc file:

set spell

With these settings in place, Vim will highlight any spelling mistakes in your text as you type. To correct a spelling mistake, move the cursor to the misspelled word And type the z= command. Vim will display a list of suggested corrections, And you can choose the correct spelling by typing the corresponding number.

If you encounter a word that is not recognized by the French dictionary, you can add it to Vim's custom dictionary. To do this, move the cursor to the word And type the zg command. Vim will add the word to the custom dictionary, And it will no longer be flagged as a spelling mistake.

In addition to the z= And zg commands, Vim provides other useful commands for spell checking. For example, you can use the ]s command to jump to the next spelling mistake, or the [s command to jump to the previous spelling mistake.

Here is the relevant parts of my vimrc file about the spell checking

" Switch to English - function
function! EngType()
  set spell
  set spelllang=en

function! FrType()
  set spell
  set spelllang=fr

" highlighting colors
hi SpellBad cterm=underline ctermfg=black ctermbg=red
hi SpellLocal cterm=underline ctermfg=black ctermbg=red
hi SpellRare cterm=underline ctermfg=black ctermbg=red
hi SpellCap cterm=underline ctermfg=black ctermbg=green

Here is an example of the highlighting

Spell checking in vim text editor
Spell checking in vim text editor

In conclusion, spell checking in Vim for French text is easy to set up And use. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your French text is free from spelling mistakes, And you can improve your writing skills in the process.


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