Use different languages on your computer at home

Luis is attending graduate school in Germany but wants to keep in touch with his family in Spain by sending letters and e-mail messages to them in Spanish. Depending on how he wants to customize his computer and what software he has installed, he can change the language of his keyboard, change his computer display, or check the spelling or grammar in another language.

Note:  If your computer is customized but you sometimes need to insert special characters, such as check marks or the umlaut in German (ö), you can use the Symbol gallery to insert characters and symbols.

Check what languages are installed on your computer

For procedural information, see

Step 1    

Before customizing your computer, check what languages are installed. See Do I need a language pack or language interface pack?

By having different languages installed on your computer, you can:

  • Use proofing tools, such as the spelling checker or the grammar checker, in another language.

  • Change your computer display language.

Step 2    

If you want to use the proofing tools, you might need to install a language pack. See Buy Office 2010 language packs or Buy Office 2013 language packs.

Type in another language

For procedural information, see

Change a keyboard language    

If you want to switch keyboard languages, you can do this in two steps:

  1. Enable keyboard layouts for different languages in Windows 7, Windows Vista (only for Office 2010), and Windows XP (only for Office 2010).

  2. Switch between different languages using the Language bar.

Type special characters    

If you want to type a few specific characters, such as the tilde (ñ), or a few symbols, such as a check mark, and you don’t want to use proofing tools or change the language of your keyboard, you can:

Optional actions

For procedural information, see

Check spelling or grammar    

You can check spelling or grammar in a different language by following this two-step process:

  1. Check what languages are installed on your computer.

  2. Check spelling and grammar in a different language.

Set the language of a section of text or a whole document    

If you want to include a section of text in a language different than the rest of your file, you can set the proofing language of the different text so the spelling checker does not mark it as misspelled. See Switch between different languages by setting the proofing language. If you want the whole document to be in a different language than you normally use, you can set the language at the beginning of the document.

You should set your default Microsoft Office language as the language that you use most often and then change the proofing language when you are using other languages.

Change the display or Help language    

You can change the language that your computer displays in two steps:

  1. Check what languages are installed on the computer.

  2. Set the editing, display, or Help language preferences.

Translate text    

Translate text in a different language.

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See Also

Do I need a language pack or language interface pack?

Buy Office 2010 language packs

Buy Office 2013 language packs

Buy, install, configure, or uninstall an Office language pack

Download, install, configure or uninstall an Office language interface pack

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