# Can anyone recommend a spell checker for tex files?

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Fri Aug 16 01:16:56 CEST 2019

On 2019-08-15 at 17:34:46 +0000, Taylor, P wrote:

> Peter Flynn wrote:
>
> > detex on CTAN should run under Windows. This strips TeX commands, and
> > leaves you with the plain text.  Or use Pandoc.
>
> Given that TeX's output need not be in 1:1 correspondence with its
> input, would it not be better to apply spell-checking to the typeset
> output rather than the raw input ?
> For example :
>
>      \def \reorder #1#2#3 {#1#3#2}
>      \reorder Nwo
>      \end
>
> Stripping out the markup would yield "Nwo", which would not occur in a
> British English dictionary; however, the DVI/PDF output will contain
> "Now", which would.

This is a quite interesting approach if you just want to _detect_
typos.  But usually you want them to be corrected by your editor and
this can only be done within the source document.

Well, if someone makes pdftotext aware of synctex your approach might
be feasable.  It's still difficult because the spell checker still has
to consult the source file in order to skip verbatim environments
which in most cases contain computer code.

On the other hand it's quite unlikely that poeple use macros like
\reorder, hence the benefit is quite small.  Spell-checking in
Emacs/AUCTeX works quite well already and I assume that TeXworks
provides similar features.

Regards,
Reinhard

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