I have this in my Vim configuration file:

set spell
set spelllang=fr

When I start Vim, I get an error:

Warning: Cannot find word list "fr.utf-8.spl" or "fr.ascii.spl"
Press ENTER or type command to continue

Notice that Vim does not offer to download the missing spellfiles. It is only when I manually type :set spelllang=fr, does Vim offer to download the missing spellfile(s):

Cannot find spell file for "fr" in utf-8
Do you want me to try downloading it?
(Y)es, [N]o:

Is there a way to make Vim prompt the user to download missing spellfiles when starting Vim, instead of making it necesaary to manually type :set spelllang=... to make Vim ask?

(Vim version: 8.1.2269 on Ubuntu 20.04).

  • I wonder if this question got to HNQ due to the reading of "spellfiles" as "spellbooks" by the visitors :)
    – Ruslan
    Jan 25 at 22:05

Well, the point is SpellFileMissing event is captured by a plugin, but all plugins are loaded after your vimrc has been processed.

In principle, we can delay options setting until :h VimEnter

if !v:vim_did_enter
    autocmd VimEnter * ++once ++nested set spell spelllang=fr

But, in fact, it's much cleaner and simpler only set spelllang=fr in your vimrc, but not set spell. You can switch it on later manually or per ftplugin(s) as needed.

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