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A vim plugin for the LanguageTool grammar checker
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This plugin integrates the LanguageTool grammar checker into Vim. LanguageTool is an Open Source style and grammar checker for English, French, German, etc. See for a complete list of supported languages.

LanguageTool detects grammar mistakes that a spelling checker cannot detect such as "it work" instead of "it works". LanguageTool can also detect spelling mistakes using Hunspell dictionaries bundled with LanguageTool for several languages or using morfologik for other languages. Vim builtin spelling checker can also of course be used along with LanguageTool. One advantage of the spelling checker of LanguageTool over Vim spelling checker, is that it uses the native Hunspell dictionary directly, so it works even with the latest Hunspell dictionaries containing features not supported by Vim. For example, the latest French Hunspell dictionaries from are not supported by Vim but they work well with LanguageTool. On the other hand, the Vim native spelling checker is faster and better integrated with Vim.

See for more information about LanguageTool.


These screenshots will give you an idea of what the LanguageTool plugin does: English




  • Use :LanguageToolCheck to check grammar in the current buffer. This will check for grammar mistakes and highlight grammar or spelling mistakes. It also opens a new scratch window with the list of errors with further explanations about each error. Pressing in an error in the scratch buffer will jump to that error in the text. The location list for the buffer being checked is also populated, so you can use location commands such as :lopen to open the location list window, :lne to jump to the next error, etc. The :LanguageToolCheck command accepts a range. You can for example check grammar between lines 100 and 200 in buffer with :100,200LanguageToolCheck, or check grammar in the visual selection with :<',>'LanguageToolCheck. The default range is 1,$ (whole buffer).

  • Use :LanguageToolClear to remove highlighting of grammar mistakes, close the scratch window containing the list of errors, clear and close the location list.

  • Use :help LanguageTool to get more details on various commands and configuration information.

The two commands are also available from the menu in gvim:

Plugin -> LanguageTool -> Check
                       -> Clear

Installing the Vim plugin

Installing vim-LanguageTool with a plugin manager

You can use any popular plugin manager according to your preference. For example, with Vundle, add this line in your .vimrc:

Plugin 'dpelle/vim-LanguageTool'

Installing vim-LanguageTool without a plugin manager

If you don't use a plugin manager, copy those files in your $HOME/.vim/ directory:


And run vim -c 'helptags ~/.vim/doc'.

Download LanguageTool

To use this plugin, you need to install the Java LanguageTool grammar checker. You can chose to:

Recent versions of LanguageTool require Java-8.

Download the stand-alone version of LanguageTool

Download the stand-alone version of LanguageTool (LanguageTool-*.zip) from, click on "LanguageTool stand-alone for your desktop" to download it. Unzip it:

  $ unzip

This should extract the file LanguageTool-3.6/languagetool-commandline.jar among several other files.

Build LanguageTool from sources in git

If you prefer to build LanguageTool yourself from sources, you first need to install the pre-requisite packages. On Ubuntu, you need to install the following packages:

  $ sudo apt-get install openjdk-8-jdk mvn git

LanguageTool can then be downloaded and built with Maven as follows:

  $ git clone
  $ cd languagetool
  $ mvn clean package

After the build, the command line version of LanguageTool can be found in:


The version number in the path can vary.


LanguageTool plugin uses the character encoding from the 'fenc' option or from the 'enc' option if 'fenc' is empty.

Several global variables can be set in your .vimrc to configure the behavior of the LanguageTool plugin.


This variable specifies the location of the LanguageTool java grammar checker program. Default is empty. Example:

:let g:languagetool_jar='$HOME/languagetool/languagetool-standalone/target/LanguageTool-3.7-SNAPSHOT/LanguageTool-3.7-SNAPSHOT/languagetool-commandline.jar'


This variable specifies the language code to use for the language tool checker. If undefined, plugin tries to guess the language of the Vim spelling checker 'spelllang' or v:lang. If neither works, plugin defaults to English US (en-US). For languages with variants (currently English German and Portuguese), it is necessary to specify the variant in order for LanguageTool to signal spelling errors. In other words, with :set spelllang=en LanguageTool only signals grammar mistakes whereas with :set spellllang=en_us LanguageTool signals spelling mistakes and grammar mistakes. The valid language codes are:

ast    Asturian
be     Belarusian
br     Breton
ca     Catalan
cs     Czech
da     Danish
de     German
de-AT  German  (Austria)
de-CH  German  (Switzerland)
de-DE  German  (Germany)
el     Greek
en     English
en-AU  English (Australia)
en-CA  English (Canada)
en-GB  English (Great Britain)
en-NZ  English (New Zealand)
en-US  English (US)
en-ZA  English (South Africa)
eo     Esperanto
es     Spanish
fa     Persian
fr     French
gl     Galician
is     Icelandic
it     Italian
ja     Japanese
km     Khmer
lt     Lithuanian
ml     Malayalam
nl     Dutch
pl     Polish
pt     Portuguese
pt-BR  Portuguese (Brazil)
pt-PT  Portuguese (Portugal)
ro     Romanian
ru     Russian
sk     Slovak
sl     Slovenian
sv     Swedish
ta     Tamil
tl     Tagalog
uk     Ukrainian
zh     Chinese


This variable specifies checker rules which are disabled. Each disabled rule must be comma separated.

Default value set by plugin is: WHITESPACE_RULE,EN_QUOTES


This variable specifies checker rules which are enabled.


This variable specifies checker rule-categories which are disabled.


This variable specifies checker rule-categories which are enabled.


This variable specifies the height of the scratch window which contains all grammatical mistakes with some explanations. You can use a negative value to disable opening the scratch window. You can also make it empty '' to let Vim pick a default size. Default is: 14


You can customize the following syntax highlighting groups:


For example, to highlight grammar mistakes in blue, and spelling mistakes in red, with a curly underline in vim GUIs that support it, add this into your colorscheme:

hi LanguageToolGrammarError  guisp=blue gui=undercurl guifg=NONE guibg=NONE ctermfg=white ctermbg=blue term=underline cterm=none
hi LanguageToolSpellingError guisp=red  gui=undercurl guifg=NONE guibg=NONE ctermfg=white ctermbg=red  term=underline cterm=none


The VIM LICENSE applies to the LanguageTool.vim plugin (see :help copyright but replace "LanguageTool.vim with "Vim").

LanguageTool is freely available under LGPL.

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