Change a keyboard language to send an email message while traveling

Roxanne is traveling abroad without her own computer, but sending email using a computer in a foreign Internet cafe can be difficult. Fortunately, Roxanne knows the two steps to change a computer's display and keyboard language, so she can send an email from anywhere in the world.

Depending on where she is traveling, what proofing tools that she wants to use, such as the spelling checker, and what software is installed on the computer that she is using, Roxanne may need to install additional software. Find out what language packs or proofing packs are installed.


 Notes 

What are the steps?


See what language packs or proofing packs are installed

If you want to use proofing tools, such as the spelling checker or the grammar checker on a computer, the proofing tools for that language must be installed on the computer first.

If the computer you are using doesn't have any languages other than the local language installed, you can still change the keyboard language and type your email message, but you won't be able to check the spelling, grammar, or hyphenation of your text. If you try to use the proofing tools for a language that is not installed on the computer, a message similar to the following is displayed. Language Pack error message

Check which language packs are installed

  1. Click Start, and then click Uninstall a program.
  2. Scroll to see which languages are available under Microsoft Office Language Pack- language name.

Check which proofing packs are installed

  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 Languages, in the Proofing (Spelling, Grammar) list, if the Spelling & Grammar icon Spelling command is next to the language that you want, that language's proofing tools are installed.

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Step 1: Add a keyboard language

ShowIn Windows 7

  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Under Clock, Language, and Region, under Region and Language, click Change keyboards or other input methods.
  3. In the Region and Language dialog box, on the Keyboards and Languages tab, click Change keyboards.
  4. In the Text Services and Input Languages dialog box, under Default input language, click the language that you want to use as the default language, and then go to Change the keyboard language with the Language bar.

    Text Services and Input Languages dialog box

If the language that you want to use as the default input language is not listed, complete Steps 5 through 8.

  1. Under Installed services, click Add.
  2. Expand the language that you want to use as the default input language, and then expand Keyboard.
  3. Select the check box for the keyboard or Input Method Editor (IME) (IME: A program that enters East Asian text (Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, or Korean) into programs by converting keystrokes into complex East Asian characters. The IME is treated as an alternate type of keyboard layout.) that you want to use, and then click OK. The language is added to the Default input language list.

To preview the keyboard layout, click Preview
Add Input Language dialog box with Russian keyboard.

  1. Under Default input language, click the language that you want to use as the default language.

ShowIn Windows Vista

  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Under Clock, Language, and Region, click Change keyboards or other input methods.

 Note    In Classic View, double-click Regional and Language Options, and then click the Keyboards and Languages tab.

  1. In the Regional and Language dialog box, on the Keyboards and Languages tab, click Change keyboards.
  2. In the Text Services and Input Languages dialog box, under Default input language, click the language that you want to use as the default language, and then go to Change the keyboard language with the Language bar.

    Text Services and Input Languages dialog box

If the language that you want to use as the default input language is not listed, complete Steps 5 through 8.

  1. Under Installed services, click Add.
  2. Expand the language that you want to use as the default input language, and then expand Keyboard.
  3. Select the check box for the keyboard or Input Method Editor (IME) (IME: A program that enters East Asian text (Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, or Korean) into programs by converting keystrokes into complex East Asian characters. The IME is treated as an alternate type of keyboard layout.) that you want to use, and then click OK. The language is added to the Default input language list.

To preview the keyboard layout, click Preview
Add Input Language dialog box with Russian keyboard.

  1. Under Default input language, click the language that you want to use as the default language, and then go to Change the keyboard language with the Language bar.

ShowIn Windows XP

 Important    To enable keyboards for languages such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, you must first install the East Asian language files. For languages that are read from right to left or that require contextual shaping to appear, you must install the complex scripts to support these languages. For information about how to install the East Asian Language files and complex scripts, see Enable keyboard layouts for different languages.

  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Click Date, Time, Language, and Regional Options, and then click Regional and Language Options.

 Note    In Classic View, double-click Regional and Language Options.

  1. In the Regional and Language Options dialog box, click the Languages tab, and then under Text services and input languages, click Details.
  2. In the Text Services and Input Languages dialog box, under Default input language, click the language that you want to use as the default language, and then go to Change the keyboard language with the Language bar.

    Text Services and Input Languages dialog box

If the language that you want to use as the default input language is not listed, complete Steps 5 through 7.

 Note    The default language that you select is applied to all programs on the computer that use this setting, including programs from other companies.

  1. Under Installed services, click Add.
  2. In the Add Input Language dialog box, click the language that you want from the Input language list, and then click OK.
  3. Under Default input language, click the language that you want to use as the default language.

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Step 2: Change a keyboard language

After you add a keyboard language, you can type text in a different language using several different tools:

You can also automatically switch the keyboard language to match the language of the surrounding text.

ShowUse ASCII or Unicode character codes to type characters

With character codes, you can type the codes for the character that you want, for example, ALT+164 enters an ñ character.

For more information, see ASCII character codes or Insert special characters for lists of special characters and how to insert them.

ShowUse the Character Map to enter characters

With the Character Map, you can select a font, and then click the character that you want. For more information, see Open the character map or Using special characters (Character Map).

  1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Character Map.
  2. Select a font, and then click the character that you want.

 Important    The disadvantage of using Character Map to select characters is that they may not be recognized as being a symbol for a particular language, and the spelling checker may flag it as incorrect

ShowChange the keyboard language with the Language bar

If you add the languages that you want and also enabled the Language bar so that it displays on your desktop or in your taskbar, you can change languages by clicking the Language bar, and then selecting the keyboard language that you want, for example, German (Germany).

Language bar

If the Language bar isn’t visible on your desktop or in your taskbar, you need to display the Language bar by doing the following:

To set up more than one keyboard layout for a single language, for example, Japanese, you can switch between layouts by clicking the keyboard layout indicator Sample Language bar keyboard indicators on the Language bar, and then clicking the keyboard layout that you want to use. The name on the indicator changes to reflect the active keyboard layout.

For more information on using the Language bar, see Switch between different languages using the Language bar.

ShowDisplay the Language bar in Windows 7

  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Under Clock, Language and Region, click Change keyboards or other input methods.
  3. In the Region and Language dialog box, under the Keyboards and Languages tab, click Change keyboards .
  4. In the Text Services and Input Languages dialog box, click the Language Bar tab, and then select Docked in the taskbar. This displays the Language bar with the current keyboard language in the taskbar.

Text Services and Input Languages dialog box

After the German (Germany) input language is selected, the taskbar shows DE as input language instead of the local language. To change the language, click the Language bar in the taskbar, and select the desired language.

ShowDisplay the Language bar in Windows Vista (Category View)

  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Under Clock, Language and Region, click Change keyboards or other input methods.

 Note    In Classic View, double-click Regional and Language Options.

  1. In the Regional and Language Options dialog box, under the Keyboards and Languages tab, click Change keyboards.
  2. In the Text Services and Input Languages dialog box, click the Language Bar tab, and then select Docked in the taskbar. This displays the Language bar with the current keyboard language in the taskbar.

Text Services and Input Languages dialog box

After the German (Germany) input language is selected, the taskbar shows DE as input language instead of the local language. To change the language, click the Language bar in the taskbar, and select the desired language.

ShowDisplay the Language bar in Windows XP (Category View)

  1. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then click Date, Time, Language, and Regional Options.

 Note    In Classic View, double-click Regional and Language Options.

  1. In the Date, Time, Language, and Regional Options dialog box, under Pick a task, click Add other languages.
  2. In the Regional and Language Options dialog box, on the Languages tab, click Details.
  3. In the Text Services and Input Languages dialog box, click Language Bar.
  4. In the Language Bar Settings dialog box, check if the Show the Language bar in the taskbar is selected. The Language bar displays in the taskbar.

Text Services and Input Languages dialog box

ShowUse the On-Screen Keyboard (OSK) to type characters

After you add an input language, you can type without using the keyboard with the On-Screen Keyboard (OSK).

  1. Click Start, Run, and then type osk in the text box.
  2. Click the on screen “keys” on the OSK to enter text, accents, or special characters.

On-Screen Keyboard

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Optional: Change the display language

  1. Open an Office file, such as a workbook in Excel.
  2. Click the File tab.
  3. Click Options.
  4. Click Language.
  5. In the Set the Office Language Preferences dialog box, under Choose Editing Languages, in the Editing Language list, select the editing language, and then click Default.

 Note    This changes the default editing language for all the Microsoft Office programs.

You must have another language installed and enabled before you can change the display to another language, see What language or proofing packs are installed? and Set the editing, display, or Help language preferences.

For more information on changing the display language, see Change the default language for Office programs and Set the editing, display, or Help language preferences.

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Applies to:
Office 2013, Office 2010