Excellent Utilities: LanguageTool – style and grammar checker for 30+ languages

This is a series highlighting best-of-breed utilities. We are covering a wide range of utilities including tools that boost your productivity, help you manage your workflow, and lots more besides. The other utilities in this series are listed here.

LanguageTool is an open source proofreading software for English, French, German, Polish, Russian, and many other languages although some are not actively maintained.

What makes this software special? LanguageTool offers a variety of different ways to access its functionality. There’s a cross-platform Java desktop application for offline use. You can also use its grammar, style and spell checker in a web browser with both Firefox and Chrome add-ons. There’s also support for LanguageTool in Google Docs, LibreOffice, and community support has added other applications including Emacs, LyX, and vim.

And there’s even an add-on for Microsoft Word if you still live on the dark side. Or use the software from the project’s website.

LanguageTool comes with its own embedded HTTP/HTTPS server so you can send a text to LanguageTool via HTTP and get the detected errors back as JSON.


LanguageTool can be downloaded for offline use. The current version is a 162MB zipped file. It needs Java 8 or later installed on your system.

Extract the zipped file, and fire up the tool with the command:

$ java -jar languagetool.jar

As this is open source software, you can build the source code if you want. The developers provide instructions, so we won’t repeat them here.

Installing the extensions and plug-ins is straightforward. We didn’t experience any issues.

Next page: Page 2 – In Operation

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction / Installation
Page 2 – In Operation
Page 3 – Other Features
Page 4 – Summary

Complete list of articles in this series:

Excellent Utilities
tmuxA terminal multiplexer that offers a massive boost to your workflow
lnavAdvanced log file viewer for the small-scale; great for troubleshooting
PaperworkDesigned to simplify the management of your paperwork
AbricotineMarkdown editor with inline preview functionality
mdlessFormatted and highlighted view of Markdown files
fkillKill processes quick and easy
TuskAn unofficial Evernote client with bags of potential
UlauncherSublime application launcher
McFlyNavigate through your bash shell history
LanguageToolStyle and grammar checker for 30+ languages
pecoSimple interactive filtering tool that's remarkably useful
Liquid PromptAdaptive prompt for Bash & Zsh
AnanicyShell daemon created to manage processes’ IO and CPU priorities
cheat.shCommunity driven unified cheat sheet
ripgrepRecursively search directories for a regex pattern
exaA turbo-charged alternative to the venerable ls command
OCRmyPDFAdd OCR text layer to scanned PDFs
WatsonTrack the time spent on projects
fontpreviewQuickly search and preview fonts
fdWonderful alternative to the venerable find
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