How do I use proofing tools in Microsoft Word for languages other than English?

2015-02-09 16:32

If all or part of your document in MS Word is in a language other than English, it will flag all or most of those foreign words as spelling errors.  The solution is to indicate to MS Word what language you are using for that portion of your document.  This can have the added benefit of spell-checking your document and providing other proofing tools in the target language.  To do this in MS Word 2013, follow these instructions:

  1. Highlight the portion of your text that is in the “other language.”  If this is the whole document, you can press Ctrl-A or click three times in the left margin to highlight the entire document. 
  2. Click the Review tab at the top of the screen.
  3. Click the Language button to the upper left of the screen.
  4. Click Set Proofing Language.  This will bring up a list of languages.
  5. Look for the language you want and click on its name.  You will notice that a few languages (French and Spanish) have a check mark icon before them.  These are the languages that have proofing tools (spell check, thesaurus, etc.) already built in.  If you are choosing one of those, you can skip to step # 17.
  6. Click the OK button.
  7. In a thin yellow bar above your document, you should see the message “MISSING PROOFING TOOLS.” This document contains text in [language name] that isn’t being proofed.  You may be able to get proofing tools for this language.”  Click the Download button to the right of that. 
  8. This will take you to a Microsoft web site that will display various options.   Scroll down to the Proofing Tool section.  This is a free set of tools.  Click the green Download button.
  9. The next screen will have forgotten completely what language you wanted and default to English.  Before you select your language, however, take a good look at the various options and button names to be sure you know what you want to do next.  Now select your language from the drop-down.  ALL of the items on the screen – including the button labels – will change to that language! 
  10. Click the Download button – which is now labelled in the new language (e.g. Herunterladen in German or Scarica in Italian)
  11. A few downloadable files will then be shown.  Select the one you want by clicking in the box to its left. (One will likely be a 64 bit version, which will work better for a newer computer.) 
  12. Click the Next button (which is curiously in English.)
  13. The downloaded file will show up at the lower left of your browser window.  Click on it to begin installation.
  14. A dialog box will be displayed in the target language.  Click in the box to accept the licensing agreement, then click the Next button (which is in the target language.)
  15. You will then be instructed to close and re-open (restart) MS Word.  Be sure to save any unfinished work first.
  16. When you re-open your document, again highlight the text in the alternate language, repeating steps #1 through 5, above.  This time, the language you just downloaded should have the checkmark and abc next to it.  Click that language.
  17. Click the OK button below the language list.  If the words had been flagged as spelling errors before, they should not be any more.

Once you have the proofing tools installed and the language set as explained above, you can use the spell check and thesaurus for that language.  These are on the Review tab at the left.  For example, if you have the word “Eingang” (German) in your document and you set the language to German, you can highlight it and click the Thesaurus icon, and it will suggest words like Eintritt, Einlass, Tür, etc.  If you do a spell check on a document that contains several different languages, it will use the languages you have flagged to check for spelling, including appropriate diacriticals and capitalization.

Tags: Microsoft Office
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