Vim Spell Check
I recently came across an embarrassing typo on my own website. Buried deep in a paragraph of HTML inside a Rails HAML template, there was a glaring spelling mistake. I quickly raced back to Vim and opened the template and spell checked the whole file. How? With
:set spell, Vim spell check.
Many novice Vim users are unaware that spell checking is built in and as easy as enabling with
:set spell. As a veteran Vim user, I was aware of spell checking and how to turn it on, but I frequently forget the full complement of commands. So for anyone that needs reminding, here are the basics for getting the most out of Vim’s spell checker:
:set spell– Turn on spell checking
:set nospell– Turn off spell checking
]s– Jump to the next misspelled word
[s– Jump to the previous misspelled word
z=– Bring up the suggested replacements
zg– Good word: Add the word under the cursor to the dictionary
zw– Woops! Undo and remove the word from the dictionary
In the screencast below, I’ve demonstrated a few of these. With the file open,
:set spell has already been enabled. I find the first misspelled word with
]s. It’s actually correctly spelled, it’s the name of my status page monitoring service, StatusGator. So I add the word to the dictionary with
zg. Then I find the next misspelling with
]s and press
z= to pull up the suggestion list. Finally, I press
2 to choose the replacement.
How do I turn on Vim spell check?
:set spell to enable spell check in Vim.
How do I turn off Vim spell check?
You can disable spell checking in Vim with
How do I find misspelled words in Vim?
:set spell enabled in Vim, you can navigate to the next misspelled word using
]s and to navigate to the previous misspelled word, use
How do I see spelling suggestions in Vim?
:set spell enabled in Vim, put your cursor on a misspelled word and press
z= to see a list of suggestions for the misspelled word.
How do I add a word to the Vim dictionary?
To add a word to Vim spell check dictionary, first enable spell check with
:set spell then put your cursor on a misspelled word. Press
zg (think of it as "g" for "good") and Vim will add it to the local dictionary.
How do I remove a word from the Vim dictionary?
You can remove a word from the Vim dictionary by putting your cursor on a misspelled word and pressing
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