How to Proof Foreign Language Text in Word 2016

By Peter Weverka

In the interest of cosmopolitanism, Word 2016 gives you the opportunity to make foreign languages a part of documents. To enter and edit text in a foreign language, start by installing proofing tools for the language. With the tools installed, you tell Word where in your document a foreign language is used. After that, you can spell check text written in the language.

To spell check text written in Uzbek, Estonian, Afrikaans, and other languages apart from English, French, and Spanish, you have to obtain additional proofing tools from Microsoft. These can be obtained at the Microsoft Download Center (enter proofing tools in the Search box). Proofing tools include a spell checker, grammar checker, thesaurus, hyphenator, AutoCorrect list, and translation dictionary, but not all these tools are available for every language.

The status bar along the bottom of the screen lists the current language. Glance at the status bar if you aren’t sure which language Word is whispering in your ear.

Telling Office which languages you will use

Follow these steps to inform Word that you will use a language or languages besides English in your documents:

  1. On the Review tab, click the Language button and choose Language Preferences.

    The Word Options dialog box opens to the Language category.

  2. Open the Add Additional Editing Languages drop-down list, select a language, and click the Add button to make that language a part of your documents.

  3. Click OK.

Marking text as foreign language text

The next step is to tell Office where in your document you’re using a foreign language. After you mark the text as foreign language text, Office can spell check it with the proper dictionaries. Follow these steps to mark text so that Office knows in which language it was written:

  1. Select the text that you wrote in a foreign language.

  2. Go to the Review tab.

  3. Click the Language button and choose Set Proofing Language on the drop-down list.

    You see the Language dialog box, as shown.

  4. Select a language and click OK.

    Identifying foreign language words for spell-checking.

    Identifying foreign language words for spell-checking.