Check the spelling and grammar of text in another language

Some of the content in this topic may not be applicable to some languages.

The feature described in this Help topic is only available if support for the language you want to use is enabled through Microsoft Office Language Settings.

  1. Install the spelling and grammar tools for the language you want.

If you check spelling or grammar in another language, and the correct files aren't available on your computer, then Microsoft Word will try to automatically install them. If Word can't install the correct files, you may need to obtain Microsoft Office 2003 Proofing Tools.

  1. Turn on automatic language detection.


If you're working in more than one language within a document, Microsoft Word can automatically detect each language as you type it.

  1. On the Tools menu, point to Language, and then click Set Language.
  2. Select the Detect language automatically check box.


  • To turn off automatic language detection in your document, clear the Detect language automatically check box.
  • To turn off the automatic detection of a particular language, remove it from the list of enabled languages in the Microsoft Office Language Settings tool. Remove the language only if you don't want to use features particular to that language (for example, date formats) in Word and other Microsoft Office programs.
  1. Set spelling and grammar options for the language you want to work in.


  1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Spelling & Grammar tab.
  2. Set the options you want.
  1. Check spelling or grammar as usual.


By default, Microsoft Word checks spelling and grammar automatically as you type, using wavy red underlines to indicate possible spelling problems and wavy green underlines to indicate possible grammatical problems.

You can also check spelling and grammar all at once.

ShowCheck spelling and grammar automatically as you type

  1. Make sure automatic spelling and grammar checking are turned on.


  1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Spelling & Grammar tab.
  2. Select the Check spelling as you type and Check grammar as you type check boxes.
  1. Type in the document.
  2. Right-click a word with a wavy red or green underline, and then select the command or the spelling alternative you want.


  • You can use AutoCorrect to automatically correct spelling as you type, without having to confirm each correction. For example, if you type definately and then type a space or other punctuation, AutoCorrect automatically replaces it with "definitely."
  • If Word finds a lowercase word, for example "london," that is listed in the main dictionary with a different capitalization ("London"), the capitalization may be flagged or corrected automatically as you type. To prevent this, add the lowercase form of the word to a custom dictionary.

ShowCheck spelling and grammar all at once

This method is useful if you want to postpone proofing a document until after you finish editing it. You can check for possible spelling and grammatical problems, and then confirm each correction.

 Note    By default, Word checks both spelling and grammar. If you want to check spelling only, click Options on the Tools menu, click the Spelling & Grammar tab, clear the Check grammar with spelling check box, and then click OK.

  1. On the Standard toolbar (toolbar: A bar with buttons and options that you use to carry out commands. To display a toolbar, press ALT and then SHIFT+F10.), click Spelling and Grammar Button image.
  2. When Word finds a possible spelling or grammatical problem, make your changes in the Spelling and Grammar dialog box.


  • You can correct spelling and grammar directly in the document while the Spelling and Grammar dialog box is still displayed. Type your correction in the document, and then click Resume in the Spelling and Grammar dialog box.
  • For a detailed explanation of a grammar flag, right-click the flag, click Grammar, and then click Explain in the Grammar dialog box.

 Note   If you mistype a word but the result is not a misspelling (for example, typing "from" instead of "form" or "there" instead of "their"), the spelling checker will not flag the word. To catch those types of problems, use the grammar checker.

Applies to:
Word 2003