I prefer to use eclipse with texlipse plugin for writing latex documents. Texlipse also ships a spell checker plugin which easily makes use of aspell. In principle, the setup for the spell checker is not difficult, but you may run into difficulties the same way it occured to me. Hence, be aware of the following things:
- Don’t use UTF-8!!! To be safe, use isolatin-1 as input encoding of your latex documents. This frees you from many errors, in particular when you need country specific characters as I do in Germany. Go to the document’s preferences, select ‘Resources’ and in ‘Text file encoding’ choose ‘iso8859-1′
- Add to your document:
- In global preferences, go to Texlipse ->Spell Checker and add the following arguments:
-a -t –lang=en_GB –encoding=iso8859-1 –personal=<apsell-dir>en.pws
In this case I use the British English dictionary. The ‘personal’ option points to the personal dictionary file. By default, aspell will create a file en.pws in the aspell folder. You can change its entries manually. That’s what I do when eclipse does not offer the possibility. Of course, you can have several personal dictionaries, each for a project.
- In the ‘Latex’ menu you can start ‘Check Spelling’. If hinted for an unknown word move the cursor over the word and hit Ctrl+Space and you get a set of suggestions in a context menu. The last entry is ‘Add to personal dictionary’.
In my view, this is a good tool on Windows. Migrating from Linux, I also tried Emacs+ispell but this caused a system crash. I tried also some other free Windows specific tools, but they were not intuitive enough. And if you are a Java programmer and used to work with Eclipse anyway, then you won’z have much trouble with Texlipse. Have fun.