Perl::Critic::Policy::Documentation::PodSpelling - Check your spelling.


This Policy is part of the core Perl::Critic distribution.


Did you write the documentation? Check.

Did you document all of the public methods? Check.

Is your documentation readable? Hmm...

Ideally, we'd like Perl::Critic to tell you when your documentation is inadequate. That's hard to code, though. So, inspired by Test::Spelling, this module checks the spelling of your POD. It does this by pulling the prose out of the code and passing it to an external spell checker. It skips over words you flagged to ignore. If the spell checker returns any misspelled words, this policy emits a violation.

If anything else goes wrong -- we can't locate the spell checking program or (gasp!) your module has no POD -- then this policy passes.

To add exceptions on a module-by-module basis, add "stopwords" as described in Pod::Spell. For example:

    =for stopwords gibbles

    =head1 Gibble::Manip -- manipulate your gibbles



This policy can be configured to tell which spell checker to use or to set a global list of spelling exceptions. To do this, put entries in a .perlcriticrc file like this:

    spell_command = aspell list
    stop_words = gibbles foobar
    stop_words_file = some/path/with/stop/words.txt

The default spell command is aspell list and it is interpreted as a shell command. We parse the individual arguments via Text::ParseWords so feel free to use quotes around your arguments. If the executable path is an absolute file name, it is used as-is. If it is a relative file name, we employ File::Which to convert it to an absolute path via the PATH environment variable. As described in Pod::Spell and Test::Spelling, the spell checker must accept text on STDIN and print misspelled words one per line on STDOUT.

You can specify global stop words via the stop_words and stop_words_file options. The former is simply split up on whitespace. The latter is looked at line by line, with anything after an octothorp ("#") removed and then leading and trailing whitespace removed. Silly example valid file contents:

    # It's a comment!

    arglbargl    # Some other comment.

The values from stop_words and stop_words_file are merged together into a single list of exemptions.


A spell checking program is not included with Perl::Critic.

The results of failures for this policy can be confusing when aspell complains about words containing punctuation such as hyphens and apostrophes. In this situation aspell will often only emit part of the word that it thinks is misspelled. For example, if you ask aspell to check "foobie-bletch", the output only complains about "foobie". Unfortunately, you'll have to look through your POD to figure out what the real word that aspell is complaining about is. One thing to try is looking at the output of perl -MPod::Spell -e 'print Pod::Spell->new()->parse_from_file("lib/Your/")' to see what is actually being checked for spelling.


This policy will disable itself if File::Which is not available.


Initial development of this policy was supported by a grant from the Perl Foundation.


Chris Dolan <>


Copyright (c) 2007-2023 Chris Dolan. Many rights reserved.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself. The full text of this license can be found in the LICENSE file included with this module