Spell Checking Text in Foreign Languages

By default, Word is installed with spelling and grammar dictionaries for three languages: English, Spanish, and French. You can spell check text in any of these three languages, or in any other language whose proofing files you install.

To proof in a foreign language, first mark the text you want to proofread to specify the language it is written in?or ask Word to attempt to identify the language automatically. (Doing so is covered in the following section.) After the text has been properly identified, use the spell checker and grammar checker as you normally do.


By default, Word attempts to identify the language associated with each paragraph automatically; however, in our experience, it often fails.

To tell Word not to attempt to identify languages, clear the Detect Language Automatically check box in the Language dialog box.

For more information about working with foreign languages in Word, see Chapter 35, "Using Word's Multilingual and Accessibility Features," p. 1131.

Identifying Text in a Foreign Language

To mark text in the language it has been written in, first select the text. Then, choose Tools, Language, Set Language. The Language dialog box opens (see Figure 8.9).

Figure 8.9. Marking selected text with the language it has been written in.


In the Mark Selected Text As scroll box, scroll to and select the language you want Word to use for proofing. Then click OK.

    Part I: Word Basics: Get Productive Fast
    Part II: Building Slicker Documents Faster
    Part III: The Visual Word: Making Documents Look Great
    Part IV: Industrial-Strength Document Production Techniques
    Part VI: The Corporate Word