Command-Line Program


To install the Lytspel converter locally, two steps are needed:

  1. Make sure you have pip3 (sometimes just called pip), the Python package installer for Python 3, on your system.
  2. Use it to install Lytspel itself.

If you have Python 3.5 or newer on your system, pip3 should already be included with it. Otherwise, please download and install the latest Python version.

Once you have Python and pip3 available, simply type

pip3 install lytspel

to install the Lytspel converter.

In some installations, the command may be named pip instead of pip3. In that case you’ll have to adjust the invocation accordingly. But please make sure that the used pip supports Python 3 rather than 2 (check the output of pip --version).


Once installed, you should have lytspel in your path, and lytspel -h should print a fairly informative help text.

The most typical usage will likely be to convert one or several files:

lytspel FILE [FILE ...]

Supported file formats are plain text, HTML, and epub. In case of text and HTML files, the converted file will be printed to standard output (stdout) by default. In case of epub files, a suitable file name will be generated (if the input file is called “mytext.epub”, the output file will be called “mytext-lytspel.epub”).

In all cases, you can specify a different output file name by using the -o (or --outfile) option:


This only works for a single file at a time, though.

You can specify “-” instead of a file name to convert text read from standard input (stdin). However, this only works for plain text, not for HTML or epub. It allows converting the output of other programs by piping them to lytspel:

cat FILE | lytspel -

(Not very useful in this case, but might be useful in others.)

If you invoke lytspel - without piping anything to stdin, the converter switches into interactive mode: type a line, then press return to see the converted output. To leave interactive mode and quit the converter, press Ctrl-D (or the local equivalent on your system) to close stdin.

You can also specify any text you want to convert directly on the command line by using the -c (or --convert) option:

lytspel -c "This is the text that should be converted to Lytspel."

In all cases, if you specify the -u (or --unknown) option, the converter will also print a list of any unknown words it encountered during conversion (words not listed in its dictionary). These are often proper names or typos, but might also indicate words that should be added to the dictionary. Repeat the option several times to list only words that occur at least that often (eliminating typos or very rare names) – e.g. if you specify -uuu, only unknown words that occurred at least 3 times in the converted texts will be printed.

Finally, if you just want to see the program’s version number, type lytspel -v or lytspel --version.