Check spelling and grammar in a different language in Office 2010 and later

If you create documents in Latin languages such as English, French, Spanish, or German and you do not need to change the keyboard layout language, you can set the proofing language of text to check the spelling of different languages within a single document. To learn how to change the language to check spelling, click the Office product that you're using below.

Note: If you want to type in a non-Latin-based language, such as Arabic or Chinese, you can switch the keyboard layout with the Language bar. When you change the keyboard layout, Office changes the spelling and grammar language for you. For more information, see Enable or change the keyboard layout language.

  • This article covers Office 2010, Office 2013, and Office 2016. For Office 2007 instructions, see Check spelling and grammar in a different language in Office 2007.

  • To type international characters, such as the German umlaut (ö), the Spanish tilde (ñ), the Turkish cedilla (Ç), or even a symbol such as a check mark, do one of the following:

    • Use the Symbol gallery. To learn more, see Insert symbols.

    • If you know the ASCII codes for the special characters that are not in the keyboard layout, you can type the character or symbol that you want using the ASCII code.

  1. Place your cursor in the document where you want to start typing text in a different language. Or, if you have already typed the text, select the text.

  2. On the Review tab, in the Language group, click Language, and then click Set Proofing Language.

    Set Proofing Language

  3. In the Language dialog box or the Proofing Language pane, scroll to the language you want to use and look for the Check Spelling & Grammar icon in front of the language. The Check Spelling & Grammar icon in Word 2013

    The icon lets you know you have proofing tools installed for that language. If you don't see the icon, that's okay; see the notes in step 6.

  4. Start typing.

  5. To switch back to the original language, or to switch to a different language, repeat Steps 1-3. In Step 3, choose the next language.

  6. The next time you check the spelling, you can change the dictionary language in the Spelling pane or dialog box, and then check the document for each language you used. Repeat this step for each language in the document.

    Notes: 

    • If nothing happens or you get an error message, you might not have the proofing tools installed for this language. Follow the prompts in the message to add the language, or see Add a language or set language preferences in Office to find out how to add the language you need.

    • If the spell checker isn't correctly identifying errors after following these steps, try clearing the Detect language automatically check box in the Language dialog box.

To change the language while checking the spelling of a database or workbook, change the dictionary language during the spell-check process:

  1. On the Review tab in Excel or the Home tab in Access, click Spelling.

  2. In the Spelling pane or dialog box, choose the language you want in the Dictionary language list.

If the language you want is not available, you might need an Office language pack. For more information, see Determine if you need a language pack or language interface pack for Office 2013 or Language Accessory Pack for Office 2016.

If you want to change the default editing language to check the spelling, see Add a language or set language preferences in Office.

In the InfoPath Designer, Set Proofing Language applies to the current form view. Forms with multiple views can have different proofing languages for each view. In InfoPath Editor, Set Proofing Language applies to the entire form. The proofing language applies to the entire view. All text in the view is marked as the same language.

To change the language of a form, do the following:

  1. On the Home tab, click the arrow under Spelling, and then click Set Proofing Language.

  2. In the Language dialog box, click the language that you want.

  3. Start typing, or check the spelling.

Set the proofing language when creating a new document

  1. In your new document, click where you want to start writing in a different language.

  2. On the Review tab, click Spelling, and Set Proofing Language.

    On the Review tab, click Spelling > Set Proofing Language

  3. Scroll through the list to select the language you want, and click OK.

    Image of the Set Proofing Language list in Word Web App.

  4. Begin typing in the language you've selected.

  5. To switch back to the original language, repeat steps 3 and 4.

Set the proofing language when editing an existing document

  1. Open the existing document that you want to change the language for.

  2. Click Edit Document, and then click Word Online.

    Edit in Word Online

  3. Select and right-click the text, and click Set Proofing Language.

    Right-click and click Set Proofing Language

  4. Scroll through the list to select the language you want, and click OK.

    Image of the Set Proofing Language list in Word Web App.

  5. Begin typing in the language you've selected.

  6. To switch back to the original language, repeat steps 3 and 4.

See also

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