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Pod::Checker - check pod documents for syntax errors


use Pod::Checker;

$syntax_okay = podchecker($filepath, $outputpath, %options);

my $checker = Pod::Checker->new(%options);
$checker->parse_from_file($filepath, \*STDERR);


$filepath is the input POD to read and $outputpath is where to write POD syntax error messages. Either argument may be a scalar indicating a file-path, or else a reference to an open filehandle. If unspecified, the input-file it defaults to \*STDIN, and the output-file defaults to \*STDERR.


This function can take a hash of options:

-warnings => val

Turn warnings on/off. val is usually 1 for on, but higher values trigger additional warnings. See "Warnings".

-quiet => val

If val is true, do not print any errors/warnings.


podchecker will perform syntax checking of Perl5 POD format documentation.

Curious/ambitious users are welcome to propose additional features they wish to see in Pod::Checker and podchecker and verify that the checks are consistent with perlpod.

The following checks are currently performed:




These may not necessarily cause trouble, but indicate mediocre style.

There are some warnings with respect to malformed hyperlinks:

Note that the line number of the error/warning may refer to the line number of the start of the paragraph in which the error/warning exists, not the line number that the error/warning is on. This bug is present in errors/warnings related to formatting codes. This should be fixed.


podchecker returns the number of POD syntax errors found or -1 if there were no POD commands at all found in the file.




The podchecker script that comes with this distribution is a lean wrapper around this module. See the online manual with

podchecker -help
podchecker -man


While checking, this module collects document properties, e.g. the nodes for hyperlinks (=headX, =item) and index entries (X<>). POD translators can use this feature to syntax-check and get the nodes in a first pass before actually starting to convert. This is expensive in terms of execution time, but allows for very robust conversions.

Since v1.24 the Pod::Checker module uses only the poderror method to print errors and warnings. The summary output (e.g. "Pod syntax OK") has been dropped from the module and has been included in podchecker (the script). This allows users of Pod::Checker to control completely the output behavior. Users of podchecker (the script) get the well-known behavior.

v1.45 inherits from Pod::Simple as opposed to all previous versions inheriting from Pod::Parser. Do not use Pod::Simple's interface when using Pod::Checker unless it is documented somewhere on this page. I repeat, DO NOT USE POD::SIMPLE'S INTERFACE.

Pod::Checker->new( %options )

Return a reference to a new Pod::Checker object that inherits from Pod::Simple and is used for calling the required methods later. The following options are recognized:

-warnings => num Print warnings if num is true. The higher the value of num, the more warnings are printed. Currently there are only levels 1 and 2.

-quiet => num If num is true, do not print any errors/warnings. This is useful when Pod::Checker is used to munge POD code into plain text from within POD formatters.

$checker->poderror( @args )
$checker->poderror( {%opts}, @args )

Internal method for printing errors and warnings. If no options are given, simply prints "@_". The following options are recognized and used to form the output:


A message to print prior to @args.


The line number the error occurred in.


The file (name) the error occurred in. Defaults to the name of the current file being processed.


The error level, should be 'WARNING' or 'ERROR'.


Set (if argument specified) and retrieve the number of errors found.


Set (if argument specified) and retrieve the number of warnings found.


Set (if argument specified) and retrieve the canonical name of POD as found in the =head1 NAME section.


Add (if argument specified) and retrieve the nodes (as defined by =headX and =item) of the current POD. The nodes are returned in the order of their occurrence. They consist of plain text, each piece of whitespace is collapsed to a single blank.


Add (if argument specified) and retrieve the index entries (as defined by X<>) of the current POD. They consist of plain text, each piece of whitespace is collapsed to a single blank.


Retrieve an array containing the hyperlinks to things outside the current POD (as defined by L<>).

Each is an instance of a class with the following methods:


Returns the approximate line number in which the link was encountered


Returns the type of the link; one of: "url" for things like, "man" for man pages, or "pod".


Returns the linked-to page or url.


Returns the anchor or node within the linked-to page, or an empty string ("") if none appears in the link.


Please report bugs using

Brad Appleton <> (initial version), Marek Rouchal <>, Marc Green <> (port to Pod::Simple) Ricardo Signes <> (more porting to Pod::Simple) Karl Williamson <> (more porting to Pod::Simple)

Based on code for Pod::Text::pod2text() written by Tom Christiansen <>