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Get Started with Vale Server for Mac

Vale Server is a standalone desktop application for Vale, a linter for prose that emphasizes performance, privacy, and extensibility.


Vale Server requires at least macOS Sierra 10.12.


Double-click Vale Server.dmg to open the installer, then drag the application to the Applications folder.

Vale Server

When you open the application, Vale Server will launch in the background at http://localhost:7777 (by default) and you will see its icon () in your menu bar:

Tray icons

Clicking this icon will open a menu that allows you to interact with the server.


Choose Preferences from the menu bar and configure the run-time options described below.


Vale Server Preferences (General)

The available options are:

  • Enter your License Key: In order to use Vale Server, you need to enter a valid license key. You'll receive this key in your purchase confirmation email. If your key is valid, you'll see the following pop-up dialog:

Key Dialog

  • Start Vale Server when you log in: Check this option if you want Vale Server to start when you log in to your Mac.


Projects allow you to manage multiple Vale configuration files in one place. Each project has a name (the left panel) and an associated configuration file (the right panel):

Vale Server Preferences (Projects)

To create a new Project, click "Add" and then double-click the new project to give it a name:

Vale Server Preferences (New Project)

You can now edit the configuration file on the right to customize the new project. To remove a project, click its name and then click the "Remove" button.

After you've created and configured your projects, you can quickly switch between them by selecting Select Project:

Vale Server Preferences (Select Project)

Additionally, each project has an associated Vocabulary that you can manage via the Dashboard.


The Styles page provides quick access to all of your installed styles. You can add your own styles by selecting Browse Styles... and then copying the relevant files.

Vale Server Preferences (Styles)

Vale Server ships with built-in styles for some of the most popular open-source writing tools and style guides:

  • Joblint [source, demo]:

    Test tech job posts for issues with sexism, culture, expectations, and recruiter fails.

    Writing a job post? Use Joblint to make your job attractive to a much broader range of candidates and ensure you're not being discriminatory.

    Getting swamped in job posts? Use Joblint to filter out the bad ones.

  • Microsoft [source, documentation]:

    A Vale-compatible implementation of the Microsoft Writing Style Guide.

  • Vale [source, documentation]:

    The Vale style implements a spell checker that respects your custom Vocabulary.

  • proselint [source, documentation]:

    proselint places the world’s greatest writers and editors by your side, where they whisper suggestions on how to improve your prose.

  • write-good [source]:

    Naive linter for English prose for developers who can't write good and wanna learn to do other stuff good too.


The Advanced page allows you to configured the port that Vale Server will listen on:

Vale Server Preferences (Advanced)


The Vale Dashboard allows you to manage a custom Vocabulary for each of your Projects. To open your dashboard, select Open Dashboard... from the menu bar.

Vale Server Preferences (Advanced)

A Vocabulary consists of terms and phrases that belong to one of two groups:

  • Preferred: Entries marked as Preferred will be enforced on as-entered basis—for example, if the term "JavaScript" is marked as Preferred, any variation that doesn't exactly match (e.g., Javascript, javascript, etc.) will raise an error. Additionally, any Preferred entries will automatically be added as exceptions to spelling, capitalization, and conditional rules.

  • Do not use: Any use of an entry marked as Do not use will raise an error.

To manually edit a Vocabulary file, choose Browse Styles... from the menu bar and then navigate to the /Vocab/<project name> directory.


Vale Server has the ability to check the contents of your clipboard against the current Project's configuration, allowing it to be used from any application or website. To check your clipboard, choose Check Clipboard as... from the menu bar:

Vale Server (Check Clipboard)


  1. Select Quit Vale Server:

    Vale Server Quit

  2. Open your Applications folder and drag the Vale Server application to the Trash.

  3. Empty the Trash (optional).