Check spelling and grammar in a different language

If you are working on a document and need to add text that is in a language other than the one you normally use, Office can check spelling and grammar of that text for you. 

If you're looking for information on how to use the proofing tools or turn spelling or grammar checking on or off see: Check spelling and grammar in Office 2010 and later.

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.

To check spelling and grammar accurately, Office needs to know the language that text is in.

  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. Note that if you don't place the cursor on, or among, the text you want to check that Step 2 may be unavailable.

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

    Set Proofing Language

  3. Scroll to the language you want to use and select it.

  4. Click OK to close 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.

    Tip: If the spell check doesn't find any errors, you won't get a Spelling dialog box. If that happens when you're trying to change the dictionary language consider intentionally misspelling a word to force the dialog box to appear.

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

If you want to change the default editing language to check the spelling, see Change the language Office uses in its menus and proofing tools.

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.

See also

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.

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