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WeCantSpell: Hunspell

A port of Hunspell v1 for .NET, .NET Standard, and .NET Core.


Download and install with NuGet: WeCantSpell.Hunspell

Build status NuGet version


  • Reads Hunspell DIC and AFF file formats
  • Supports checking and suggesting words
  • Ported to fully managed C#
  • Can be queried concurrently
  • Confusing LGPL, GPL, MPL tri-license
  • Compatible with .NET Core and .NET Standard
  • Compatible with multiple .NET framework versions
  • Uses .NET to handle cultures and encodings


"It's complicated"

Read the license: LICENSE

This library was ported from the original Hunspell source and as a result is licensed under an MPL, LGPL, and GPL tri-license. Read the LICENSE file to be sure you can use this library.

Quick Start Example

using WeCantSpell.Hunspell;

public class Program
    static void Main(string[] args)
        var dictionary = WordList.CreateFromFiles(@"English (British).dic");
        bool notOk = dictionary.Check("teh");
        var suggestions = dictionary.Suggest("teh");
        bool ok = dictionary.Check("the");


To know how up to date this port is, check the hunspell-origin submodule.


"Good enough I guess"

The performance of this port while not fantastic relative to the original binaries and NHunspell is definitely acceptable. If you need better performance you should check out NHunspell.

Benchmark WeCantSpell.Hunspell netcore2.1 WeCantSpell.Hunspell net471 NHunspell
Dictionary Loads /s 🐌 3.51 🐌 3.07 🐇 14.49
Words Checked /s 🐢 636,598 🐢 554,200 🐇 973,043

Note: Measurements taken on a Intel 6700K.

Specialized Examples

Construct from a list:

static void Main(string[] args)
    var words = "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog".Split(' ');
    var dictionary = WordList.CreateFromWords(words);
    bool notOk = dictionary.Check("teh");

Construct from streams:

static void Main(string[] args)
    using(var dictionaryStream = File.OpenRead(@"English (British).dic"))
    using(var affixStream = File.OpenRead(@"English (British).aff"))
        var dictionary = WordList.CreateFromStreams(dictionaryStream, affixStream);
        bool notOk = dictionary.Check("teh");

Encoding Issues

The .NET Framework contains many encodings that can be handy when opening some dictionary or affix files that do not use a UTF8 encoding or were incorrectly given a UTF BOM. On a full framework platform this works out great but when using .NET Core or .NET Standard those encodings may be missing. If you suspect that there is an issue when loading dictionary and affix files you can check the dictionary.Affix.Warnings collection to see if there was a failure when parsing the encoding specified in the file, such as "Failed to get encoding: ISO-8859-15" or "Failed to parse line: SET ISO-8859-15". To enable these encodings, reference the System.Text.Encoding.CodePages package and then use Encoding.RegisterProvider(CodePagesEncodingProvider.Instance) to register them before loading files.

using System.Text;
using WeCantSpell.Hunspell;

class Program
    static Program() => Encoding.RegisterProvider(CodePagesEncodingProvider.Instance);

    static void Main(string[] args)
        var dictionary = WordList.CreateFromFiles(@"encoding.dic");
        bool notOk = dictionary.Check("teh");
        var warnings = dictionary.Affix.Warnings;
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