Troubleshoot multilingual text

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

Formatting

ShowI'm working in a different language, and lines of text break in the wrong places.

  • Try to use automatic hyphenation. On the Tools menu, point to Language, click Hyphenation, and set the options you want.
  • Make sure the languages you use are enabled for editing. Microsoft Word can automatically detect the language of text in your document when you enable languages for editing. When Word detects a language, it can use conventions particular to text in that language. For example, East Asian languages have word and line breaking conventions that are different from those used in European languages.
  • Make sure the default language format matches an enabled editing language. If you change the default language format for text in a document to a language that is not enabled for editing, Word cannot detect the language and therefore cannot hyphenate correctly.
  • Make sure the default language for the Normal style (Normal style: The default paragraph style used in documents based on the Normal template (Normal.dot).) is correct. If you change the default language for the Normal style, your Normal template (Normal template: A global template that you can use for any type of document. You can modify this template to change the default document formatting or content.) is updated to apply that language format to text in new documents styled with Normal or any other style based on the Normal style. Text you add to existing documents by using the updated styles is also affected.
  • Check the word wrap setting for Latin text. If your document contains both European and East Asian text, you can use different word wrap settings for European and East Asian text. On the Format menu, click Paragraph, and then click the Asian Typography tab. Select or clear the Allow Latin text to wrap in the middle of a word check box.

ShowMy document displays some text as boxes.

  • Editing might not be enabled for the language. If you see boxes instead of the correct characters in your document, you either don't have editing for that language enabled, or you don't have a font that supports that language. You need to enable editing for the language to display the characters.

For some languages, enabling editing installs the proper font for displaying the characters on your system. For others, you may need to obtain a font that is properly encoded for Unicode (Unicode: A character encoding standard developed by the Unicode Consortium. By using more than one byte to represent each character, Unicode enables almost all of the written languages in the world to be represented by using a single character set.).

  • You might have used a font that doesn't support that language. If there are still boxes in your Microsoft Office document after enabling editing for the language, try to format the text with a different font to make the characters appear correctly. Arial, Times New Roman, and a few other fonts have support for all European languages. Microsoft Office comes with several fonts for Asian text: MS Mincho (Japanese); PMingLiu (Traditional Chinese); Simsun (Simplified Chinese); and Batang.
  • You might be using a third-party font that Microsoft Office doesn't support. Try using one that comes with Office instead.

Spelling, grammar, and editing time

ShowThe spelling or grammar checker flags text that is correct.

Try the following solutions:

  • Add specialized terms or custom capitalizations to a custom dictionary. When you use the spelling checker, it compares the words in your document with those in its main dictionary. The main dictionary contains most common words, but it might not include proper names, technical terms, acronyms, and so on. In addition, some words might be capitalized differently in the main dictionary than in your document. Adding such words or capitalization to a custom dictionary prevents the spelling checker from flagging them.
  • Turn off rules for specific grammar or writing styles. Microsoft Word provides a "natural language" grammar checker that flags possible problems by performing a comprehensive analysis of the text. If the grammar checker can't determine the correct linguistic structure of a sentence, or if it comes across a questionable capitalization, it might incorrectly flag text or propose incorrect suggestions. If the grammar checker flags errors you don't want to fix, you can customize the grammar and writing style rules to be less restrictive.
  • Set up Word to check text in another language. If you want to check text in another language, you need to install the spelling and grammar tools for that language, and then enable the language for editing. Thereafter, Word can automatically detect the language in your documents, and will use the correct spelling and grammar tools.
  • To learn more about why Word flagged a grammar error, you can click Explain in the Spelling and Grammar dialog box. This option is available for some, but not all, language grammar checkers.

ShowWhen I try to check text in another language, Word can't find the dictionary or other proofing tools.

If you want to check text in another language, you need to install the spelling and grammar tools for that language, and make sure that language is enabled for editing. Thereafter, Microsoft Word will automatically detect the language in your documents and use the correct spelling and grammar tools.

ShowI modified a file, but the Total editing time setting stays at zero.

Some countries/regions, such as Germany, have laws that regulate automatic tracking of the time you spend working on a computer. If your location specified on your computer is a country/region that regulates automatic tracking of work, the Total editing time (File menu, Properties dialog box, Statistics tab) is turned off.

Keyboard layout

ShowThe keyboard layout automatically switched to another layout.

Microsoft Word may automatically switch to another keyboard layout in the following cases. For each language mentioned in the following table, automatic language detection must be turned on and the language must be enabled for editing.

Installed keyboards Current keyboard Language you type Keyboard Word switches to

English

Greek

Greek Any language Word can automatically detect that uses the Latin alphabet English

English

Greek

English Greek Greek

English

Russian

Russian Any language Word can automatically detect that uses the Latin alphabet English

English

Russian

English Any language Word can automatically detect that uses the Cyrillic alphabet Russian

English

Korean 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.)

Korean IME English English

Korean IME

English

English Korean Korean IME

To prevent Word from switching to another keyboard layout, you can turn off the option to have Word automatically correct the keyboard setting. On the Tools menu, click AutoCorrect Options, and then click the AutoCorrect tab. Clear the Correct keyboard setting check box.

 Note   Word waits until you type a sentence of several words before it switches the keyboard.

ShowWhen I use the Greek keyboard layout, the letter "s" is transposed to the letter "w."

When you use the Greek keyboard layout to type text, Microsoft Word automatically corrects words ending with the letter s to the correct sigma character. The Greek alphabet has two sigma characters: σ is used in the middle of a word and ς is used at the end of a word. If the text you typed was in a European language that uses the Latin alphabet, and automatic language detection was turned on, Word detected the language of that text and transposed Greek characters to Latin characters. Word transposes the sigma character σ to s and the sigma character ς to w. For example, if you typed This is an important test, the result is Thiw iw an important test.

To correct your text, you must read the text you typed and replace w with s in the appropriate places. To prevent letters from being transposed when you type text, first switch to the keyboard layout for the language you want to type in.

ShowText I typed was transposed to another alphabet.

When the Greek or Russian keyboard layout is available on your computer, and automatic language detection is turned on, Microsoft Word might misinterpret certain letter combinations that are rare in the language you are typing in and assume you are typing in a language that uses a different alphabet. (The language that contains the letter combinations must be enabled for editing.) For example, Word might interpret words of Greek origin that are spelled phonetically in English as being in the Greek language instead of English, and then transpose them to the Greek alphabet.

To prevent Word from transposing characters to another alphabet if this problem occurs with words you commonly type, you can turn off the option to have Word automatically correct the keyboard setting. On the Tools menu, click AutoCorrect Options, and then click the AutoCorrect tab. Clear the Correct keyboard setting check box.

ShowI changed the keyboard layout, and now my shortcut keys don't work.

Changing the keyboard layout can also change shortcut keys. After you change your keyboard layout, the characters on your screen might no longer correspond to the characters printed on your keyboard.

For example, you press different keys on the English (U.S.) and French keyboards to use the shortcut CTRL+Z for the Undo command. However, on a Greek keyboard, there is no "Z" character, so you must press the key that corresponds to a "Z" on the English (U.S.) keyboard to use the same shortcut.

Language formats

ShowI can't determine which language format is applied to text.

You can check the current language and change the language format by using the Language button on the Formatting 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.). (To add the Language box to the Formatting toolbar, click Toolbar Options Button image on the Formatting toolbar, point to Add or Remove Buttons, point to Formatting, and then click Language.)

ShowI applied a language format to a word, but Word changed the format.

  • You may have edited the sentence containing the word. If you have automatic language detection turned on, Microsoft Word may have replaced the language format you applied with the format for the language it detected. Word detects the language of entire sentences, not individual words or short phrases. When you edit a sentence that you have applied language formatting to, Word detects the language again based on the entire sentence including the new set of words, and applies the result to the whole sentence. To keep the language formats you apply to individual words or phrases, turn off automatic language detection. If you need to mix languages in a sentence, you can also add frequently used words to a custom dictionary for the dominant language so that those words aren't marked as spelling errors.
  • You may have applied a text style that includes a language format. When you apply a style (style: A combination of formatting characteristics, such as font, font size, and indentation, that you name and store as a set. When you apply a style, all of the formatting instructions in that style are applied at one time.) that includes a language format that is different from the language format already applied to the text, Word uses the language format in the style. To fix the text that changed, reapply the language format. To avoid changing the language format when you apply a style, use the default language format when you create the style.

User interface language

ShowI can't find the commands for the language I want to work with.

The commands and controls don't appear if you don't have editing enabled for the language that the commands and controls apply to. Make sure to enable editing for the language you want to work with.

ShowThere is no User Interface tab in the Microsoft Office Language Settings dialog box.

You must install Microsoft Office 2003 Multilingual User Interface Pack (MUI Pack) to view the User Interface tab. Office 2003 MUI Pack is on its own CD and has its own installer. To obtain the MUI Pack, see your system administrator.

ShowThe language I want isn't listed on the User Interface tab in the Microsoft Office Language Settings dialog box.

Your system administrator might have chosen not to allow installation of particular languages, or you might need an updated version of Microsoft Office 2003 Multilingual User Interface Pack (MUI Pack)—one that provides the global interface and translated Help in the language you want. For information about why a particular language isn't available or about how to obtain Office 2003 MUI Pack, see your system administrator.

ShowI changed the user interface language, and now I can't access menus or commands with the keyboard.

If you change the language of the user interface, the underlined letters for accessing menus, commands, and dialog box settings might also change. In rarer cases, the shortcut keys (for example, CTRL+G for Go To on the Edit menu, or CTRL+B to apply bold formatting) might also change. Look carefully at the menus and commands for the underlined letters and shortcut keys.

In cases where the shortcut key is not shown on a menu — for example, many of the CTRL key combinations for applying character formatting — install the language of Help that corresponds to the user interface language, and then search Help for a list of topics about keyboard shortcuts to find out what the shortcut keys are for that language.

ShowI changed the language of Help, and now I can't use the Answer Wizard.

Not all languages have Answer Wizard support.

ShowLanguages that have Answer Wizard support.

The following languages have Answer Wizard support; that is, you can find Help topics by asking questions in your own words.

  • Arabic
  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • Chinese (Traditional)
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • English
  • Finnish
  • French
  • German
  • Hebrew
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Norwegian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese (Brazil)
  • Portuguese (Portugal)
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
  • Thai (limited support)

ShowNone of my shortcut keys work.

When you set the language of Help, the language for the user interface is not changed automatically to match. Shortcut keys mentioned in Help topics refer to the shortcut keys for the corresponding user interface language. If the two languages don't match, instructions for shortcut keys used in Help might not match the ones you see in the user interface.

Input Method Editors (IMEs)

ShowThe IME I used in previous versions of Microsoft Word no longer works.

If you used a Global 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.) with a version of Microsoft Office previous to Office XP, it will not work with Microsoft Office 2003. You need to download the updated version from the Microsoft Office Online Web site.

 
 
Applies to:
Word 2003