Configure Git Gui spell checker on Windows

By default the  msysGit (GIT GUI) spell checker is disabled.  To be exact, if GIT GUI can’t find a pre-installed spell checker it quietly disables interactive spell checking for commit messages.

There is a “Spelling Dictionary” setting in the options, but its default value is “none” with no alternatives available.  The user manual explains the behaviour, but does not give a clue about how to configure it.

gui.spellingdictionary
Specifies the dictionary used for spell checking commit messages in the git-gui(1). When set to "none" spell checking is turned off.

A quick google  identified Aspell as an external spell checker supported by GIT GUI. I have also discovered that when Aspell is not detected the default behaviour is to quietly consume the error and disable spell checking.

Fortunately Aspell has an implementation for  Windows that comes with a number of pre-compiled dictionaries, available as separate installs.

Follow these step to configure interactive spell checker for msysGit GIT GUI:

  1. Download and install Aspell (http://aspell.net/win32/). Also download and install any dictionaries you may need.
  2. Add the Aspell binaries folder (a folder where the installer places aspell.exe) to the PATH environment variable. For more information on how to do this have a look at (http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000549.htm).
  3. If you had GIT GUI open, re-start it and open options (Edit -> Options…).
  4. Pick a dictionary to use from “Spelling Dictionary” drop down list (this time it should have more choices available).

Done.

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