Changing Language Settings

You can use a language in an Office application that is different from the current installation language by enabling other languages for applications to use, or by changing the installation language.

All Microsoft Office XP applications use the installation language setting to determine language-related default behavior. The installation language setting is the locale ID (LCID) assigned to the value entry InstallLanguage, which Office Setup creates in the following registry subkey:


For example, if the value of InstallLanguage is 1041 (Japanese), Microsoft Word creates its initial file based on Japanese settings and automatically enables commands for Asian text layout.

Enabling other languages through Microsoft Office language settings, instead of changing the installation language, is preferred because you will retain your custom settings. Some custom settings are lost when you change the installation language. For example, when you change the installation language, your file is replaced, and any customizations saved to are lost. Other settings are reset to default values as well.

For a complete list of how language settings are used by Office applications, see Managing Language Settings for Each Application.

 Note    If you change any language setting, including the installation language, you must restart applications before the updated language is available.

When you enable languages for editing, you turn on language-specific features in Office XP applications rather than changing the underlying installation language.

For example, Word automatically detects the language a user is typing based on the languages that the user enables for editing. If features for proofing tools are installed, Word uses the spelling checker, AutoCorrect list, and so on for the languages it detects.

Some Office XP applications also display commands and dialog box options based on enabled languages. For example, if you enable an Asian language in Word, you can configure Asian text layout in the Format menu.

To enable additional languages
  1. Click Start, Programs, Microsoft Office Tools.
  2. In the Microsoft Office Language Settings dialog, click the Enabled Languages tab.
  3. Click the check boxes for the languages you wish to enable, then click OK.

If you choose to change the installation language instead of enabling additional languages, you make that change on this tab as well.

To change the installation language value
  1. Click Start, Programs, Microsoft Office Tools.
  2. In the Microsoft Office Language Settings dialog, click the Enabled Languages tab.
  3. Change the value of Default version of Microsoft Office to the default language.
  4. Close any open Office applications, and start (or restart) the application you want to use.

You can establish new language settings for users throughout your organization by using the Custom Maintenance Wizard. To deploy new language settings, in the Custom Maintenance Wizard click Microsoft Office (User) on the Change Office User Settings page. Navigate the tree under Language Settings and update the settings. Then save the configuration maintenance file (CMW file) and deploy it to your users.

Note that when you set the Installed Version of Microsoft Office using the Custom Maintenance Wizard, some applications — Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Microsoft Outlook — will automatically update default settings (such as the default paper size) to correspond with the language you selected.

In addition to deploying new language settings to users, you can establish a required installation language value for users by setting a system policy.

To require a specific installation language for users
  1. In the System Policy Editor or Group Policy Editor, go to the User Configuration branch.
  2. Locate the policy Administrative Templates\Microsoft Office XP\Language Settings\Enabled Languages\Installed version of Microsoft Office.
  3. Double-click this policy to see a list of languages, and then select the language you want to enforce as the installation language on users' computers.

See also

You can deploy Office XP so that its default settings are based on a particular language. For more information about customizing language features when deploying Office XP with the Multilingual User Interface Pack, see Deploying Office with the Multilingual User Interface Pack.

You can customize language settings for your international deployment. For more information about setting language options, see Customizing Language Features.

In most situations, you can gain access to, or change, language settings by using the language name. However, in some cases, you need to know the locale ID of a language. A table of all locale IDs and their corresponding languages is in Deploying Office with the Multilingual User Interface Pack.

Applies to:
Deployment Center 2003