The London Perl and Raku Workshop takes place on 26th Oct 2024. If your company depends on Perl, please consider sponsoring and/or attending.


Pod::Spell - a formatter for spellchecking Pod


version 1.26


    use Pod::Spell;
    Pod::Spell->new->parse_from_file( '' );

    Pod::Spell->new->parse_from_filehandle( $infile, $outfile );

Also look at podspell

    % perl -MPod::Spell -e "Pod::Spell->new->parse_from_file(shift)" |spell |fmt

...or instead of piping to spell or ispell, use >temp.txt, and open temp.txt in your word processor for spell-checking.


Pod::Spell is a Pod formatter whose output is good for spellchecking. Pod::Spell is rather like Pod::Text, except that it doesn't put much effort into actual formatting, and it suppresses things that look like Perl symbols or Perl jargon (so that your spellchecking program won't complain about mystery words like "$thing" or "Foo::Bar" or "hashref").

This class works by filtering out words that look like Perl or any form of computerese (like "$thing" or "N>7" or "@{$foo}{'bar','baz'}", anything in C<...> or F<...> codes, anything in verbatim paragraphs (code blocks), and anything in the stopword list. The default stopword list for a document starts out from the stopword list defined by Pod::Wordlist, and can be supplemented (on a per-document basis) by having "=for stopwords" / "=for :stopwords" region(s) in a document.




Creates a new Pod::Spell instance. Accepts several options:


When set to a true value, will output debugging messages about how the Pod is being processed.

Defaults to false.


Can be specified to use an alternate wordlist instance.

Defaults to a new Pod::Wordlist instance.


Will be passed to Pod::Wordlist when creating a new instance. Causes all words with characters outside the Latin-1 range to be stripped from the output.


    $self->stopwords->isa('Pod::WordList'); # true


This method takes an input filehandle (which is assumed to already be opened for reading) and reads the entire input stream looking for blocks (paragraphs) of POD documentation to be processed. If no first argument is given the default input filehandle STDIN is used.

The $in_fh parameter may be any object that provides a getline() method to retrieve a single line of input text (hence, an appropriate wrapper object could be used to parse PODs from a single string or an array of strings).


This method takes a filename and does the following:

  • opens the input and output files for reading (creating the appropriate filehandles)

  • invokes the parse_from_filehandle() method passing it the corresponding input and output filehandles.

  • closes the input and output files.

If the special input filename "", "-" or "<&STDIN" is given then the STDIN filehandle is used for input (and no open or close is performed). If no input filename is specified then "-" is implied. Filehandle references, or objects that support the regular IO operations (like <$fh> or $fh-<Egtgetline>) are also accepted; the handles must already be opened.

If a second argument is given then it should be the name of the desired output file. If the special output filename "-" or ">&STDOUT" is given then the STDOUT filehandle is used for output (and no open or close is performed). If the special output filename ">&STDERR" is given then the STDERR filehandle is used for output (and no open or close is performed). If no output filehandle is currently in use and no output filename is specified, then "-" is implied. Alternatively, filehandle references or objects that support the regular IO operations (like print, e.g. IO::String) are also accepted; the object must already be opened.


If your Pod is encoded in something other than Latin-1, it should declare an encoding using the "=encoding encodingname" in perlpod directive.


You can add stopwords on a per-document basis with "=for stopwords" / "=for :stopwords" regions, like so:

    =for stopwords  plok Pringe zorch   snik !qux
    foo bar baz quux quuux

This adds every word in that paragraph after "stopwords" to the stopword list, effective for the rest of the document. In such a list, words are whitespace-separated. (The amount of whitespace doesn't matter, as long as there's no blank lines in the middle of the paragraph.) Plural forms are added automatically using Lingua::EN::Inflect. Words beginning with "!" are deleted from the stopword list -- so "!qux" deletes "qux" from the stopword list, if it was in there in the first place. Note that if a stopword is all-lowercase, then it means that it's okay in any case; but if the word has any capital letters, then it means that it's okay only with that case. So a Wordlist entry of "perl" would permit "perl", "Perl", and (less interestingly) "PERL", "pERL", "PerL", et cetera. However, a Wordlist entry of "Perl" catches only "Perl", not "perl". So if you wanted to make sure you said only "Perl", never "perl", you could add this to the top of your document:

    =for stopwords !perl Perl

Then all instances of the word "Perl" would be weeded out of the Pod::Spell-formatted version of your document, but any instances of the word "perl" would be left in (unless they were in a C<...> or F<...> style).

You can have several "=for stopwords" regions in your document. You can even express them like so:

    =begin stopwords

    plok Pringe zorch

    snik !qux

    foo bar
    baz quux quuux

    =end stopwords

If you want to use E<...> sequences in a "stopwords" region, you have to use ":stopwords", as here:

    =for :stopwords

...meaning that you're adding a stopword of "virtù". If you left the ":" out, that would mean you were adding a stopword of "virtE<ugrave>" (with a literal E, a literal <, etc), which will have no effect, since any occurrences of virtE<ugrave> don't look like a normal human-language word anyway, and so would be screened out before the stopword list is consulted anyway.


finding stopwords defined with =for

Pod::Spell makes a single pass over the POD. Stopwords must be added before they show up in the POD.


If you feed output of Pod::Spell into your word processor and run a spell-check, make sure you're not also running a grammar-check -- because Pod::Spell drops words that it thinks are Perl symbols, jargon, or stopwords, this means you'll have ungrammatical sentences, what with words being missing and all. And you don't need a grammar checker to tell you that.



Please report any bugs or feature requests on the bugtracker website or by email to

When submitting a bug or request, please include a test-file or a patch to an existing test-file that illustrates the bug or desired feature.


  • David Golden <>

  • Graham Knop <>

  • Kent Fredric <>

  • Mohammad S Anwar <>

  • Olivier Mengué <>

  • Paulo Custodio <>


  • Sean M. Burke <>

  • Caleb Cushing <>


This software is Copyright (c) 2023 by Olivier Mengué.

This is free software, licensed under:

  The Artistic License 2.0 (GPL Compatible)