Turn on automatic language detection

The Detect language automatically option, available in Word and Outlook, detects the language that you are typing and automatically enables the proofing tools for that language.

Note: If you want to learn how to automatically switch the keyboard language, see Automatically switch keyboard to match language of surrounding text.

Detect language automatically

In 2010, 2013, and 2016 versions of Word and Outlook

  1. Open a new document or email message.

  2. On the Review tab, in the Language group, click Language.

  3. Click Set Proofing Language.

  4. In the Language dialog box, select the Detect language automatically check box.

  5. Review the languages shown above the double line in the Mark selected text as list. Office can detect only those languages listed above the double line. If the languages that you use are not shown above the double line, you must enable the editing language (turn on the language-specific options) so that Office can automatically detect them.

In Word 2007

  1. On the Review tab, in the Proofing group, click Set Language Button image .

  2. Select the Detect language automatically check box.

  3. Review the languages shown above the double line in the Mark selected text as list. Word can detect only those languages listed above the double line. If the languages that you use are not shown above the double line, you must enable the editing language (turn on the language-specific options) so that Word can automatically detect them.

In Outlook 2007

  1. Open a new email message.

  2. On the Message tab, in the Proofing group, click the arrow under Spelling.

  3. Click Set Language Button image .

  4. Select the Detect language automatically check box.

  5. Review the languages shown above the double line in the Mark selected text as list. Outlook can detect only those languages listed above the double line. If the languages that you use are not shown above the double line, you must enable the editing language (turn on the language-specific options) so that Outlook can automatically detect them.

Notes: 

  • Automatic language detection requires a sentence of text to accurately identify the correct language. Depending on the length of your sentences, you might need to type several sentences before Office has enough contextual information to detect the language and apply the correct dictionary.

  • Words that are spelled the same way in several languages, such as "centre" in English (United Kingdom) and French (France), might cause incorrect language identification. To solve this problem, type more words in the language that you want, or clear the Detect language automatically check box.

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See also

Automatically switch keyboard to match language of surrounding text

Check spelling and grammar in a different language

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