[OS X Emacs] How to get flyspell to check spelling as I type?

Stephen Anderson sra at yale.edu
Tue Jun 8 16:56:20 EDT 2021

Different (key)strokes for different folks, I guess. I’ve been using various versions of emacs for nearly 40 years, and I rather like the flyspell interface. What I found was that it didn’t play nicely (for me) with NSSpellChecker as the engine. I got it to work with aspell by (a) downloading, configuring and installing current versions of aspell and the dictionaries for languages that concern me (English, French and German: there are many, many others); and (b) adding the following lines to my .emacs:

(setq ispell-program-name "aspell")
(setq ispell-is-really-aspell t)

It’s pretty good about not flagging LaTeX commands (although it does spell-check cite-keys, labels and references).

I haven’t gotten flyspell-babel to do what I think it should (change dictionaries locally on the basis of a guess about the language in a section of text), but flyspell itself works as it should, and I can change the dictionary manually (with M-x ispell-change-dictonary or the Menubar Edit>Spelling>Change Dictionary). Probably I’m overly optimistic about what it’s capable of.


> On 8 Jun, 2021, at 1:43 PM, Mark Bestley <gnus at bestley.co.uk> wrote:
> Stephen Anderson <sra at yale.edu> writes:
>> For some time I have been having a good deal of frustration with flyspell in Aquamacs. I’m a poor typist, and I rely on having dynamic spell correction to avoid masses of hard-to-recover typos. When I type text in Aquamacs (3.5), the mode line identifies modes “LaTeX/FPS Fly (Default) BCite Ref Abbrev Fill”, but typing things that shouldn’t appear in the default dictionary (“en”) almost never results in a flag (underlining). Frustratingly, this does very occasionally happen, but I have no idea of what’s going on.
> I don't use LaTex, and I only write in English  so don't know the details.
> But a main reason I use Aquamacs is that it integrates with Apple's
> spell checking infrastructure at the C level and that is turned on in Aquamacs
> So for a first attempt I would remove all references to flyspell in your init.
> The look at the Menu and under Edit there is a submenu Spelling. Choosing things there should set things up.
> -- 
> Mark
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