Emacs includes two spell-checking interfaces: to the Unix spell
spell, and to Ispell, which many people,
including us, prefer. We say
"interfaces" because Emacs does not
include the executables for either of these spell-checkers. Because
Ispell is superior and runs on a variety of platforms,
we'll cover only Ispell here. If you attempt to run
Ispell and it is not available, you'll have to
install it. Chapter 13 provides details on
installing Ispell on Windows and on Mac OS X.
A further enhancement to Ispell is Flyspell, a command that highlights misspelled words on the fly. If you have Ispell installed, you'll have Flyspell support as well.
Ispell includes options to
check a buffer, a region, the comments in
a program, or a single word. After you type the command telling
Ispell what area you want to check, it works the same way for all
these options. We'll describe ispell-buffer here. If all the words are
spelled correctly, Ispell displays the message,
Spell-checking done. If Ispell finds a misspelled word, a screen
like the following appears. Let's spell-check a
hastily typed passage from Homer's
Type: Esc x ispell-buffer Enter
Ispell finds the first unrecognized word in the buffer.
Ispell moves to the first unrecognized word, in this case a proper name correctly spelled (except for the proper accent marks). ...