Type or edit text in a different language

When you need to type documents in different languages, you can change your keyboard layout language, the language-specific characters typed when keyboard keys are pressed, so that you can type the special characters for each language.

If you only need to add a small amount of text in a different language, rather than changing the keyboard language, you can either type the text and then use automatic language detection to identify the language, or manually set the language so that you can use that language's proofing tools to check the spelling or grammar of the text. For information about these features and how to use them, see Turn on automatic language options.

Before working with text in different languages in Microsoft Office, you can customize both Microsoft Windows and Office with the language settings that you prefer.

What do you want to do?


Set or change the keyboard layout language

When you first set up your computer, you can enable the keyboard layouts for the languages that you will be using. If you need to type in additional languages, you can enable more keyboard languages. For more information on how to add a keyboard input language in Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP, see Add an input language or Set up Windows XP for multiple languages.

ShowWhere can I find more information about using Windows keyboard layouts?

Windows Help provides information about using keyboard layouts.

  1. Click Start and then click Help and Support.
  2. Type keyboard layouts in the Search box, and then press ENTER.
  3. Click a topic in the Suggested Topics list.

Set the default keyboard layout language

You can enable the keyboard layout languages in the Set the Office Language Preferences dialog box when you enable the editing language.

  1. Open a Microsoft Office program, such as Word.
  2. Click the File tab.
  3. Click Options.
  4. Click Language.
  5. In the Set the Office Language Preferences dialog box, under Choose Editing Language, click the Add additional Editing Language arrow, select the language to add, and then click Add.
  6. Click Not enabled to enable the keyboard language. For more information about enabling a keyboard layout, see Enable keyboard layouts for different languages and Set the editing, display, or Help language preferences.

Change the keyboard layout language

If you have the Language bar turned on so it appears in your taskbar, you can quickly switch between keyboard languages so you can type special characters for each language. For more information on how to turn on the Language bar, see Switch between different languages using the Language bar.

If you know the ASCII characters codes for special characters, you can type the codes instead of changing the keyboard language. For more information, see Insert ¢, £, ¥, ®, and other characters not on the keyboard.

  • You can switch between keyboard layouts for separate languages by clicking the Language bar icon English keyboard indicator on the Language bar, and then clicking the keyboard input language that you want to use.

Keyboard shortcut  To switch between keyboard layouts, press ALT+SHIFT.

 Note   The English keyboard indicator icon is an example, and is shown when English is the active keyboard layout. The actual icon shown changes depending on the active keyboard layout.

  • If you set up more than one keyboard layout for a single language, you can switch between layouts by clicking the Language bar icon English keyboard indicator on the Language bar, and then clicking the keyboard layout that you want to use. The letters on the indicator change to reflect the language of the keyboard.

To type characters, such as the umlaut in German (ö), the tilde in Spanish (ñ), the cedilla in Turkish (Ç), or certain symbols, such as a check mark do one of the following:

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Set the proofing language of text

Setting the language of text sets the language-specific features, including dictionaries, bullets, sorting, and any language-specific buttons such as Enclose Characters and Hangul Hanja Conversion.

To set the dictionary language for text that you want, do the following:

  1. Select the text that you want to set the language for.
  2. On the Review tab, in the Language group, click Language, and then click Set Proofing Language.
  3. In the Language dialog box, select the language to associate with the text.

ShowWhy is there a double line in the PowerPoint and Word Language dialog box language list?

The languages that appear above the double line are enabled for editing in Microsoft Office. For more information, see Set the editing, display, or Help language preferences and Remove languages and fonts that you don't use.

For information about how to set the proofing languages, see Switch between different languages by setting the proofing language.


 Notes 

  • Text in an Access database, Excel worksheet, or InfoPath form can be identified with only one language. However, if you have a database or worksheet that contains more than one language, you can check the spelling of text in one language, and then change the spell checker dictionary language to the second language that you want to check. Repeat this process for each additional language in your database or worksheet. For information on how to set the language of text in Microsoft Office programs, see Switch between different languages by setting the proofing language.
  • If a text selection spans several pieces of text, and the pieces of text are marked as being in different languages, no language appears as selected. To see the language of each piece of text, select a smaller text block, and then try again.

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Applies to:
Access 2013, Excel 2013, Office 2013, OneNote 2013, Outlook 2013, PowerPoint 2013, Project Professional 2013, Project Standard 2013, Publisher 2013, Visio 2013, Visio Professional 2013, Word 2013, Access 2010, Excel 2010, Office 2010, OneNote 2010, Outlook 2010, PowerPoint 2010, Project 2010, Publisher 2010, Visio 2010, Word 2010