I would like to turn off spell checking in Atom in one file. I cannot find any shortcut or option for that.

When I open a file with some non-programming stuff I get a red flood from the spell checker.

Text with many words underlined as typos.

  • I've updated the answer. Now it covers most of the things you might want to do with the spell-check plugin: superuser.com/a/1003636/442991 Apr 14, 2016 at 13:32
  • Ctrl + Shift + P, type "spell", select the option "Spell Check: Toggle". Unfortunately Atom doesn't remember this an after reopening Atom or even after saving the file, it's enabled again...
    – Jesper
    Jul 17, 2017 at 12:32

5 Answers 5


For temporary solution or for someone like me permanent solution:

  1. go to "File / Settings / Packages"
  2. search "spell-check"
  3. click to button "Disable"
  • 1
    As of today, Atom spell check is still buggy and doesn't save between sessions. Disabling the package does work.
    – DPM
    Jul 16, 2017 at 11:29

Disable the spell-check plugin

  1. Go to Settings > Packages > Spell Check.
  2. Click the Disable button. Disable

Toggle spell check for the current file

  1. Open up the Command Pallette (++p).
  2. Type in Spell Check: Toggle.
  3. Hit enter.

Create a shortcut to toggle spell checking

  1. Go to Atom > Keymap...
  2. Add those lines at the bottom of the keymap.cson file:

      'cmd-alt-s': 'spell-check:toggle'
  3. Restart Atom.

Disable spell check for certain file types

There is a default list of scopes which triggers spell checking. You have to define your own list if you want to modify it.

  1. Go to Settings > Packages > Spell Check.
  2. Enter your modified list of scopes into the Settings > Grammars. Spell Check package settings

How to define my own list of scopes?

The default list of scopes includes: source.asciidoc, source.gfm, text.git-commit, text.plain, text.plain.null-grammar

If you don't know which scope applies to your currently opened file:

  1. Open up the Command Pallette (++p).
  2. Type in Editor: Log Cursor Scope.
  3. Hit enter.

  4. A notification like this should pop up: notification

  5. The first item on the list is the scope which applies to your file.

Further reading

You can read more on the GitHub page of this package: https://github.com/atom/spell-check#spell-check-package.

  • brilliant answer
    – Greg Flynn
    Jan 27, 2017 at 2:05

I would like to turn off spell checking in Atom in one file

There is a feature request (Add feature: toggle on/off) for this:

I added the feature 'Toggle' to the 'Packages -> Spell Check' menu.

Update 08/01/2016:

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I tried to open a very large non-English file, and the spell checker caused Atom to completely freeze. Worse, even after I kill Atom and try to relaunch it, it tries to open the same file immediately.

Eventually I had to run apm disable spell-check in the command line. This is the solution when you can't even launch Atom.

  • thank you for the solution to these kind of issues!
    – user855443
    May 12, 2020 at 18:15

Disabling spell-check plugin itself is not recommended. Instead you should remove that cursor scope from included ones in spell-check plugin.

Steps for removing cursor scope from spell-check:

  1. Open the file that you want to be excluded from spell check.
  2. Open command pallete (Ctrl+Shift+P) and run the Editor: Log Cursor Scope command. This will trigger a notification which will contain a list of scopes.
  3. Remove the scopes listed in the pop up from spell-check included scopes in settings. Included scopes can be found in Grammers section of spell-check settings(Settings > Packages > Spell Check > Grammers).

This should disable spell check for that particular kind of file only.

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