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Gutcheck is a command line program, written in C, whose purpose is to scan a book text file looking for many common proofreading errors. If you run Gutcheck from the command line, its output is a voluminous text file listing many possible errors by line number.

You can run Gutcheck from within Guiguts. Guiguts saves the current document; calls Gutcheck to read the saved file; collects its output; and displays the Gutcheck output in a report window. You inspect the diagnostics in the report window, and click on them to jump to the referenced point in the document window.

Gutcheck Options

To use Gutcheck, first use Tools>BookLoupe/Gutcheck... options. This will run Bookloupe/Gutcheck immediately with the default options.

Old version, needs update

At the top of the popped up window there are ways to adjust the Run Options and View Options.

The default option set (all un-checked except for the first, "-v") is the recommended set. If the output is overwhelmed with reports on incorrect newlines, set option "-l Do not report non DOS newlines." Setting options "-p" and "-s" to report on unbalanced quotes may or may not produce too much output to be useful. Click OK to accept the options.

Running Gutcheck

After setting the options, use Fixup>Run Gutcheck to initiate a run. The document is saved at this time. Then Gutcheck runs, which takes a few seconds, after which the report window opens:

Guiguts GC report.png

The first few lines (not shown here) are a summary. The line-by-line diagnostics follow. To see an error in context, double-click the line in the report window. The document window scrolls to that line. (Note: using X-windows under Mac OS X, you may have to click at least three possibly four times. Remove this note if this gets fixed.) The insertion point moves to the diagnosed point in the line, if a specific column is mentioned. The document window becomes the active keyboard focus.

Using the Diagnostics

Many of the diagnostics are not relevant, at least after you have first inspected them. For example, every use of an accented or Latin-1 character is diagnosed. (And Gutcheck is not designed to process Unicode characters at all; if the document has more than a few characters beyond Latin-1, the output may be unusable.) You can reduce the clutter of the report window in two ways.

When you have dealt with a diagnostic, or have decided that it does not represent a problem, you can right-click that line (Mac: control-click). The line disappears from the report and the document scrolls to the location of the following diagnostic line. You can run quickly through irrelevant diagnostics by right-clicking one after another without moving the mouse.

Gutcheck View Options

Sometimes a whole class of diagnostics is not relevant, or not helpful at this stage of editing. For example in the window above, all messages like "Query digit in 016.png" are not helpful just now because page separator lines have not been removed from the file. Also, diagnostics about long and short lines aren't very relevant until after you have rewrapped the document. You can hide all lines of any class at once. Click the View Options button to open this palette of options:

Guiguts GC viewopt.png

To hide every one of the "Query digit in..." diagnostics, set the switch half-way down the middle column.

The Hide all and See all buttons set or clear all switches. The Toggle View button inverts all switches: ons become offs and vice-versa. Use the Save My View button to save the present set of switches. The switch settings are "saved" in memory; however, when you next save the document, the switch settings are written into the .bin file and will be available next time you load the document. Use the Load My View button to return to the last-saved setup.

Usage hint: If you find the Gutcheck output overwhelming and tiring, try this way of working:

  • Click Hide all to clear all messages.
  • Click the first (Asterisk) option.
  • Deal with those messages, if any.
  • Turn that option off and turn on the next one.

Proceed in this fashion, one message type at a time. You may find it easier to focus on and deal with the issues in this way.


The Jeebies program examines an English text trying to find scanning errors that have replaced be with he or vice versa. Such "scannos" are both common and hard to find. For more about Jeebies including how to install it, see this page.

When you have installed Jeebies and told Guiguts where to find it (see the Setup page) you can select Fixup>Run Jeebies to apply Jeebies to the current document.

Guiguts saves the document, then invokes Jeebies to read the saved file. Jeebies is CPU-intensive and may take many seconds to complete its scan of the program.

When Jeebies completes, Guiguts displays its report in a separate window. The report identifies lines where the use of he and be suggest possible errors. As with the Gutcheck report, you can double-click any line of the report to make the document scroll to that line. Right-click any line to hide it in the report.

See also

For command-line versions: