Spelling or grammar checker isn't checking words in a different language correctly

Checking spelling and grammar in multiple languages can present unique problems, such as text that seems to be correct but is flagged with grammar or spelling errors. Or words that are misspelled in a different language are not flagged as incorrect. This article helps you make sure that the text is identified with the correct language, that the correct language dictionary is used to check your spelling and grammar, and tell you how to use the automated language tools in Microsoft Office. You also find out what to do if the language that you want isn't available for spelling and grammar checking or the custom dictionary contains misspelled words.

If you want to type only a few characters in a different language, see Insert ¢, £, ¥, ®, and other characters not on the keyboard.

What is the problem?


English is not available in Outlook Express 6.0 as a spell check language

If you have Outlook Express 6.0 and installed Office but French is the only available spell check language, you have to use a third-party spelling checker. For more information, see Spell checking issues with Outlook Express 6.0.

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Obviously misspelled words are not marked as misspelled

Misspelled words not being identified as misspelled can happen for several reasons. Make sure that these most common issues are set correctly:

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Make sure the language that you want is enabled

To correctly check the spelling and grammar in a different language, the language must be enabled in Microsoft Office. If you need a language that isn't listed as an editing language in the Set the Office Language Preferences dialog box, you might need to obtain and install a language pack before you can check the spelling. For more information on how to enable languages in Microsoft Office, see Set the editing, display, or Help language preferences and Determine if you need a language pack, language interface pack, or proofing pack.

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Make sure that the correct language is applied to the text

If the spelling checker isn't checking words that you typed in a different language, or if it marks words in a different language that are spelled correctly as misspelled, the words might be identified with the wrong language.

To manually change the language of words or a section of text in Microsoft Word, do the following:

  1. On the Review tab, in the Language group, click Set Proofing Language.
  2. In the Language dialog box, select the language that you want.

 Important   If the language that you want is not shown above the double line, you must enable the language for it to be available to check spelling.

  1. Start typing.

 Note   To type characters, such as the umlaut in German (ö), the tilde in Spanish (ñ), the cedilla in Turkish (Ç), or even a symbol, such as a check mark, on the Insert tab, in the Symbols group, click Symbol, and then click the character that you want.

  1. To switch back to the original language, or to switch to a different language, repeat Steps 1-3. In Step 3, choose the next language.
  2. Optionally, check the spelling and grammar. For more information on where you can find the spelling checker in other Office pgorams, see Check spelling and grammar in a different language.

 Note   If your version of Office does not provide proofing tools, such as the spelling checker, for the language that you want to use, you might need to get a language pack. For more information, see Determine if you need a language pack or language interface pack.

For more information on manually setting the language of text in other Office programs, see Switch between different languages by setting the proofing language.

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Make sure that the correct language dictionary is being used

If you use a particular country/region for a language, such as English (South Africa) more than another, consider changing the country/region in Control Panel in Windows so that country/region's dictionary is used by default. For more information, see Change the default date, time, number or measurement format.

Make sure that the correct dictionary language location is selected, for example, English (United States) instead of English (United Kingdom).

To change the dictionary for a particular language in Word, do the following:

  1. On the Review tab, in the Language group, click Set Proofing Language .
  2. In the Language dialog box, select the language that you want.

 Important   If the language that you want is not shown above the double line, you must enable the language for it to be available to check spelling.

 Note   If your version of Office does not provide proofing tools, such as the spelling checker, for the language that you want to use, you might need to get a language pack. For more information, see Determine if you need a language pack or language interface pack.

To change the dictionary for a particular language, do the following:

  1. Open the spelling checker.
  2. Under Dictionary language, select the language and location that you want, for example English (New Zealand).
  3. Under Mark selected text as, click the language that you want the section of text to be identified as. If the languages that you use that are not shown above the double line, you must enable those languages (turn on the language-specific options) for them to be available.

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Make sure that the Detect language automatically check box is selected

To select the Detect language automatically check box in Word, do the following:

  1. On the Review tab, in the Language group, click Language, and then click Set Proofing Language.
  2. In the Language dialog box, select the Detect language automatically check box.
  3. Review the languages shown above the double line in the Mark selected text as list. Word can only detect those languages listed above the double line. If the languages that you need are not available, you must enable the editing language to have Word automatically detect them.

Language dialog box


 Notes 

  • Automatic language detection requires a sentence of text to accurately identify the correct language. Depending on the length of your sentences, you might need to type several sentences before Word has enough contextual information to automatically detect the language and apply the correct dictionary.
  • Words that are spelled the same way in a number of different languages, such as "centre" in English (United Kingdom) and French (France) might cause the Detect language automatically check box to incorrectly identify the language of text. To solve this problem, type more words in the language that you want, or clear the Detect language automatically check box.

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Make sure that the Automatically switch keyboard to match language of surrounding text check box is selected

The Automatically switch keyboard to match language of surrounding text check box might be turned on and causing typographical errors by changing your keyboard language as you type. Try typing more words in the language that you want or clear the Automatically switch keyboard to match language of surrounding text check box. For more information, see Turn on automatic language options.

To select the Automatically switch keyboard to match language of surrounding text check box:

  1. Open Word.
  2. Click the File tab.
  3. Click Options.
  4. Click Advanced.
  5. Under Editing options, select the Automatically switch keyboard to match language of surrounding text check box.

 Note   The Automatically switch keyboard to match language of surrounding text check box is only visible after you enable a keyboard layout for a language. If you do not see this option, enable a keyboard layout for the language that you want to use.

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Make sure that the Do not check spelling and grammar check box is cleared

If the Do not check spelling and grammar check box is selected, the spelling in your documents is not checked. If the check box is cleared, the spelling in your document is checked.

To clear the Detect language automatically check box in Word, do the following:

  1. On the Review tab, in the Language group, click Language, and then click Set Proofing Language.
  2. In the Language dialog box, clear the Do not check spelling or grammar check box.

Language dialog box

For information on checking spelling, see Check spelling and grammar. For more information on checking spelling in a different language, see Check spelling and grammar in a different language.

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Make sure that the misspelled word hasn't been inadvertently added to the custom dictionary

If a misspelled word was added to a custom dictionary, you need to find and delete the word. For information on how to check a custom dictionary for misspelled words, see Use custom dictionaries to add words to the spelling checker. For information on how to remove a word from a dictionary, see Can I remove a word from the speller dictionary in Office?

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The dictionary language that I want isn't listed in the Language dialog box

The most common reason for dictionary language not appearing in the Dictionary language list in the Language dialog box is that the language has not been enabled as an editing language or it is a language that isn't included in the installed version of Microsoft Office and a language pack for that language needs to be installed. For information on how to enable an editing language, see Set the editing, display, or Help language preferences.

Language dialog box

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I don't want the spelling checker's red wavy lines to show

Turning on the red wavy lines is the same thing as turning the spelling checker on. The wavy lines show words that are misspelled. If you don't want the red wavy lines to appear, turn the spelling checker off.

To turn on the spelling and grammar checker in Word, do the following:

  • On the Review tab, in the Language group, click Language, and then click Set Proofing Language.
  • In the Language dialog box, you can select the Check grammar check box if you want to check grammar at the same time that you check the spelling.

To turn the spelling checker off, in Word, do the following:

  1. On the Review tab, in the Language group, click Language, and then click Set Proofing Language.
  2. In the Language dialog box, select the Do not check spelling or grammar check box.

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