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retext is a tool that transforms natural language with plugins. These plugins can inspect and change the natural language. You can use retext on the server, the client, deno, etc.


retext is an ecosystem of plugins that work with natural language as structured data, specifically CSTs (concrete syntax trees). Syntax trees make it easy for programs to deal with prose. We call those programs plugins. Plugins inspect and change trees. You can use the many existing plugins or you can make your own. Some example use cases are to check spelling, fix typography, or make sure text is readable.


What is this?

With this project and a plugin, you can turn simple punctuation:

He said, "A 'simple' english sentence. . .

…into smart punctuation:

He said, “A ‘simple’ english sentence…”
Show example code
import retextLatin from 'retext-latin'
import retextSmartyPants from 'retext-smartypants'
import retextStringify from 'retext-stringify'
import {unified} from 'unified'

const file = await unified()
  .process("He said, \"A 'simple' english sentence. . .")


With another plugin, you can check natural language:


Where can I find an ATM machine?


1:21-1:32 warning Unexpected redundant `ATM machine`, expected `ATM` atm retext-redundant-acronyms

⚠ 1 warning
Show example code
import retextEnglish from 'retext-english'
import retextRedundantAcronyms from 'retext-redundant-acronyms'
import retextStringify from 'retext-stringify'
import {unified} from 'unified'
import {reporter} from 'vfile-reporter'

const file = await unified()
  .process('Where can I find an ATM machine?')


…and you can make your own plugins.

You can use retext for many different things. unified is the core project that transforms content with ASTs. retext adds support for natural language to unified. nlcst is the natural language AST that retext uses.

This GitHub repository is a monorepo that contains the following packages:

When should I use this?

It is recommended to use unified with retext-english (or retext-dutch) and retext-stringify if your content is in English (or Dutch). Otherwise, if your content is in another Latin-script language, use retext.


retext plugins deal with natural language. You can choose from the many plugins that already exist. Here are three good ways to find plugins:

Some plugins are maintained by us here in the @retextjs organization while others are maintained by folks elsewhere. Anyone can make retext plugins, so as always when choosing whether to include dependencies in your project, make sure to carefully assess the quality of retext plugins too.


The retext organization and the unified collective as a whole is fully typed with TypeScript. Types for nlcst are available in @types/nlcst.

For TypeScript to work, it is important to type your plugins. For example:

 * @typedef {import('nlcst').Root} Root

 * @typedef Options
 *   Configuration (optional).
 * @property {boolean | null | undefined} [someField]
 *   Some option.

 * My plugin.
 * @param {Options | null | undefined} [options]
 *   Configuration (optional).
 * @returns
 *   Transform.
export function myRetextPluginAcceptingOptions(options) {
   * @param {Root} tree
   *   Tree.
   * @param {VFile} file
   *   File.
   * @returns {undefined}
   *   Nothing.
  return function (tree, file) {
    // Do things.


Projects maintained by the unified collective are compatible with maintained versions of Node.js.

When we cut a new major release, we drop support for unmaintained versions of Node. This means we try to keep the current release line compatible with Node.js 16.


See in retextjs/.github for ways to get started. See for ways to get help.

This project has a code of conduct. By interacting with this repository, organization, or community you agree to abide by its terms.

For info on how to submit a security report, see our security policy.


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MIT © Titus Wormer