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7 command-line instruments for writers

For most individuals (particularly non-techies), the act of writing means tapping out phrases utilizing LibreOffice Writer or one other GUI phrase processing software. But there are numerous different choices out there to assist anybody talk their message in writing, particularly for the rising variety of writers embracing plaintext.

There’s additionally room in a GUI author’s world for command line instruments that may assist them write, test their writing, and extra—no matter whether or not they’re banging out an article, weblog publish, or story; writing a README; or prepping technical documentation.

Here’s a take a look at some command-line instruments that any author will discover helpful.

Editors

Yes, you can do precise writing on the command line. I do know writers who do their work utilizing editors like Nano, Vim, Emacs, and Jove in a terminal window. And these editors aren’t the only games in town. Text editors are nice as a result of they (at a primary degree, anyway) are straightforward to make use of and distraction free. They’re good for tapping out a primary draft of something and even finishing a protracted and sophisticated writing venture.

If you need a extra phrase processor-like expertise on the command line, check out WordGrinder. WordGrinder is a bare-bones phrase processor, but it surely has greater than sufficient options for writing and publishing your work. It helps primary formatting and types, and you may export your writing to codecs like Markdown, ODT, LaTeX, and HTML.

Spell checkers

Every author does (or not less than ought to do) a spelling test on their work not less than as soon as. Why? An immutable legislation of the writing universe states that, regardless of what number of instances you look over your manuscript, a spelling mistake or typo will creep in.

My favourite command-line spelling checker is GNU Aspell, which I beforehand looked at intimately. Aspell checks plaintext paperwork interactively and never solely highlights errors however typically places one of the best correction on the high of its checklist of solutions. Aspell additionally ignores many markup languages whereas doing its factor.

A a lot older however nonetheless helpful various is Ispell. It’s a bit slower than Aspell, however each utilities work the identical approach. As you work together together with your textual content file, Ispell suggests corrections. Ispell additionally has good help for overseas languages.

Prose linters

Software builders use linters to test their code for errors or bugs. There are additionally linters for prose that test for fashion and syntax errors; consider them because the Elements of Style for the command line. While any author can (and doubtless ought to) use one, a prose linter is particularly helpful for workforce documentation tasks that require a constant voice and magnificence.

Proselint is a complete instrument for checking what you are writing. It appears for jargon, hyperbole, incorrect date and time format, misused phrases, and much more. It’s additionally straightforward to run and ignores markup in a plaintext file.

Alex is an easy but highly effective prose linter. Run it in opposition to a plaintext doc or one formatted with Markdown or HTML. Alex pumps out warnings of “gender favouring, polarising, race related, religion inconsiderate, or other unequal phrasing in text.” If you wish to give Alex a take a look at drive, there’s an online demo.

Other instruments

Sometimes you simply cannot discover the appropriate synonym for a phrase. But you need not seize a “dead tree” thesaurus or go to a devoted web site to good your phrase alternative. Just run Aiksaurus in opposition to the phrase you wish to substitute, and it does the be just right for you. This utility’s most important downside, although, is that it helps English solely.

Even writers with few (if any) technical expertise are embracing Markdown to rapidly and simply format their work. Sometimes, although, it’s essential convert recordsdata formatted with Markdown to one thing else. That’s the place Pandoc is available in. You can use it to transform your paperwork to HTML, Word, LibreOffice Writer, LaTeX, EPUB, and different codecs. You may even use Pandoc to provide books and research papers


Do you’ve a favourite command-line instrument for writing? Share it with the Opensource.com group by leaving a remark.

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