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Pod::Spell -- a formatter for spellchecking Pod


  % podspell | ispell
 or if you don't have a podspell:
  % perl -MPod::Spell -e "Pod::Spell->new->parse_from_file(shift)" |spell |fmt

  % perl -MPod::Spell -e "Pod::Spell->new->parse_from_filehandle"
  ...which takes POD on STDIN and sends formatted text to STDOUT

...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 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 provides no new public methods. All methods of interest are inherited from Pod::Parser (which see). The especially interesting ones are parse_from_filehandle (which without arguments takes from STDIN and sends to STDOUT) and parse_from_file. But you can probably just make do with the examples in the synopsis though.

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 (codeblocks), 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.


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.) 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'd 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.

USING Pod::Spell

My personal advice:

  • Write your documentation in Pod. Pod is described in perlpod. And perlmodstyle has some advice on content. This is the stage where you want to make sure you say everything you should, have good and working examples, and have coherent grammar.

  • Run it through podchecker. This will report all sorts of problems with your Pod; you may choose to ignore some of these problems. Some, like "*** WARNING: Unknown entity E<qacute>...", you should pay attention to.

  • Once podchecker errors have been tended to, spellcheck the pod by running it through podspell / Pod::Spell. For any misspellings that are reported in the Pod::Spell-formatted text, fix them in the original. Repeat until there's no complaints.

  • Run it through podchecker again just for good measure.




podchecker also known as Pod::Checker

perlpod, perlpodspec


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.


Copyright (c) 2001 Sean M. Burke. All rights reserved.

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.

The programs and documentation in this dist are distributed in the hope that they will be useful, but without any warranty; without even the implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.


Sean M. Burke