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alf fits the absorption line optical—NIR spectrum. Initially written to constrain the stellar IMF in old massive galaxies, the code now also offers theoretical age and metallicity-dependent response functions covering 19 elements, nuisance parameters to capture uncertainties in stellar evolution, and parameters to capture uncertainties in the data, including modeling telluric absorption and sky line residuals. alf can fit stellar populations with metallicities from approximately -2.0 to +0.3 and performs well when fitting stellar populations ranging from metal-poor globular clusters to brightest cluster galaxies. The software works in continuum-normalized space and so does not make any use of the shape of the continuum (nor of corresponding photometry). Fitting is handled with emcee (ascl:1303.002); the code is MPI parallelized and runs efficiently on many processors, though fitting data with alf is time intensive.