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Project Status: Active - The project has reached a stable, usable state and is being actively developed.

JNA based Java API for Hunspell

This package contains the JNA based Java bindings for the Hunspell, see: and for details on how these work.

This java wrapper lives at:

See this page for dictionaries:

Included native binaries

I'm in the process of obtaining the binaries for new versions of hunspell, at the moment these are the versions included:




  • hunspell-darwin-ppc-32.jnilib
  • hunspell-win-x86-32.dll
  • hunspell-win-x86-64.dll
  • libhunspell-darwin-x86-32.dylib
  • libhunspell-darwin-x86-64.dylib

Building the native binaries

Before using the java API you must build some native binaries to include in the jar, to make things easy I've included the binaries from the platforms that I care about in native-lib.

The binaries in native-lib were built on the various platforms using the script, the source for the native libs is in native-src and consists of an unmodified hunspell source tar ball and any needed diffs.

I've included a script called which might help to build on at least Linux and 32 bit OSX/windows, for 64 bit OSX/windows you can take it as a hint of what to do.

Compiling libhunspell for 64 bit OSX is a pain, see readme-darwin-64bit.txt for the changes that are needed to make it work.

Compiling libhunspell for 64 bit windows means having to change the vc project to compile for the x64 platform.

Building the Java API

To build hunspell.jar simply run ant. This will produce build/jar/hunspell.jar which contains everything a standalone application could want (aside from jna.jar which can be found on the JNA page or in lib)

Building the Java API for use via webstart

If you plan on using hunspell.jar from a webstart application run: ant webstart.

This will produce two native jar files per supported platform (one for JNA and one for hunspell) as well as pure java jna-jws.jar and hunspell-jws.jar in build/jar.

Include jna-jws.jar and hunspell-jws.jar in the common resources section in normal jar tags, the platform specific binaries must go into platform specific resource sections as nativelib entries.

Working around a bug in nativelib handling of webstart

I had great trouble getting nativelib with more than one jar file to work on osx and linux (it worked fine on windows), there are two workarounds:

  1. Use plain <jar/> tags in stead of <nativelib/>. This will cause both JNA and hunspell to search the classpath for the needed binaries and they will then extract the binaries and load them as usual. This approach might leak a binary each run on windows because of the mandatory file locking used on that platform.

  2. Consolidate all your nativelib files for each platform into one. This looks slightly less pretty, but it works and is slightly faster during download as well.


The output of ant is one large jar file containing binaries for all the supported platforms, it's about 800k, so it's not very nice for folks who have to download it though:

Name Description
hunspell.jar the Java API + all binaries
hunspell-jws.jar just the Java API, for use in webstart
hunspell-darwin-i386.jar binaries for use as OS specific resources

I've parted out the lib/jna.jar file in the same manner, also for use in webstart:

Name Description
jna-jws.jar the Java API for JNA


See for a very simple example of how to use the API, it boils down to:

Hunspell.Dictionary dict = 

if (dict.misspelled("wrod")) {
	ArrayList<String> suggestions = dict.suggest("wrod");

IOW: The application must also supply the two dictionary files (.dic and .aff) found in the zip file unzipped on disk and point at them using the full path, plus the part of the file name before .dic.

Hunspell.getInstance() caches the loaded hunspell library, so there is no overhead in calling it more than once.

getDictionary() is also internally cached, so it costs no more than a hash lookup when calling the second time.


For a quick test of the JNA interface run

java -cp lib/jna.jar:build/jar/hunspell.jar\ 
-Droot=/path/to/your/dicts/ -Dlang=en_GB dk.dren.hunspell.HunspellMain


getDictionary() doesn't re-load the files once they are loaded, it should probably do that automagically if it notices that the files have changed on disk.


Although this code doesn't contain any, it's very much inspired by the JNA bindings in OmegaT, so thank you to the OmegaT developers.

Andrzej Zydron figured out how to build libhunspell for 64 bit OSX.


At the moment the package contains copies of:

  • jna.jar version 3.4.0
  • Hunspell version 1.3.2

Patches and suggestions are welcome.

Flemming Frandsen ( /


Hunspell library for Java based on JNA







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