I have an init file that loads two files: one from customization done from within emacs and other from my custom settings file - better-defaults.el.

I have tried various options like ispell-local-dictionary "en_US", ispell-dictionary "american" and a few other flycheck declarations with setq-default inside better-defaults.el, but spell check is not working.

How do I enable spellcheck with American dictionary on the fly?

I'm using Emacs 26 on Windows 10.

  • 1
    Did you install an external spellchecker like aspell.exe? Emacs does not have its own spellchecker per se -- the Lisp files that come with Emacs rely upon the presence of an external program to do the actual spell checking. The Lisp files just search for a word, but they do not know whether the word is wrong or right ....
    – lawlist
    Jul 20, 2019 at 15:21
  • I dont have an external spellchecker installed. Is it possible to use the default Windows 10 dictionary in Emacs?
    – Saurabh
    Jul 20, 2019 at 16:04
  • 1
    Here is a link to a thread describing some problems with aspell and perhaps problems also with hunspell on Windows 10 when using Emacs: emacs.stackexchange.com/questions/41892/… The thread contains some other suggestions you may wish to explore. I have never read anything about native spellchecker support for Emacs on Windows (any version) .... I would guess that this does not exist.
    – lawlist
    Jul 20, 2019 at 18:39


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