CascadiaPHP 2024


(PHP 4 >= 4.0.2, PHP 5, PHP 7, PHP 8)

pspell_newLoad a new dictionary


    string $language,
    string $spelling = "",
    string $jargon = "",
    string $encoding = "",
    int $mode = 0
): PSpell\Dictionary|false

pspell_new() opens up a new dictionary and returns an PSpell\Dictionary instance for use in other pspell functions.

For more information and examples, check out inline manual pspell website:»



The language parameter is the language code which consists of the two letter ISO 639 language code and an optional two letter ISO 3166 country code after a dash or underscore.


The spelling parameter is the requested spelling for languages with more than one spelling such as English. Known values are 'american', 'british', and 'canadian'.


The jargon parameter contains extra information to distinguish two different words lists that have the same language and spelling parameters.


The encoding parameter is the encoding that words are expected to be in. Valid values are 'utf-8', 'iso8859-*', 'koi8-r', 'viscii', 'cp1252', 'machine unsigned 16', 'machine unsigned 32'. This parameter is largely untested, so be careful when using.


The mode parameter is the mode in which spellchecker will work. There are several modes available:

Mode is a bitmask constructed from different constants listed above. However, PSPELL_FAST, PSPELL_NORMAL and PSPELL_BAD_SPELLERS are mutually exclusive, so you should select only one of them.

Return Values

Returns an PSpell\Dictionary instance on success, or false on failure.


Version Description
8.1.0 Returns an PSpell\Dictionary instance now; previously, a resource was returned.


Example #1 pspell_new()

= pspell_new("en", "", "", "",

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User Contributed Notes 2 notes

15 years ago
Just as a small tip, I noticed that when you call pspell_new multiple times, php does not free memory usage when the resource is destroyed, but only when your entire script has completely finished. So if you create a pspell_link resource and you intend to use it again somewhere else, instead of calling pspell_new again, keep track of your original pspell_link resource instantiation, and use it again, your script will run much more efficiently.

I was switching between 16 dictionaries by just calling a new pspell_new everytime, my memory usage on the server grew until i hit a failure/php core dump. :-/ So i stored each pspell resource in an array keyed by language, and checked if the resource existed first, before creating one if needed.

I hope that helps someone.
allan at wagawaga dot dk
15 years ago
I think the language and spelling parameters differs on different PHP versions and/or aspell/UNIX distributions.

My PHP 5.2.6 Debian ignores the spelling parameter.


For Americans use en_US as language.
For British use en_GB (not en_UK)
For Canadian use en_CA
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