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How to Change the Language in Microsoft Word

The language settings In Microsoft Word 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2019 have improved significantly over time.

You may need to change the language in your Microsoft Word document if you happen to work in a multilingual environment. By the way, you have to restart Word before the language change can take effect.

In this article, you’ll learn how to change the display and help languages in Word. You’ll also learn how to change the editing and tooltip language.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

Before you can change a language in Word, you must add it first

Windows didn’t come with all the languages pre-installed. If you want to use a particular language in your application like Microsoft Word, you need to, first of all, add or install it into the windows language list.

Therefore, before you can change the language in Word, obey the instructions below to add or install that language into your windows environment. We’ll use Chinese as an example.

  • Go to Start and click on Settings.
Go to Start>Settings
  • The Settings dialog box will appear with various setting categories. Select Time & Language.
Select Time & Languages
  • Another window will appear. Select the Language category.
  • Click on the Add a preferred language button.
Select Language on the left pane and then clcik on Add a preferred language
  • The list of all languages available will appear. Type in the language you want to install in the search box.
  • Click to select the language in the search results.
  • Click on the Next button.
Select the language you wish to add and click on next
  • The Install language features dialog will appear. Check the Install language pack.
  • Click on the Install button.
Click the Install button
  • Wait for it to download and install. You can add as many languages as you wish.
The language pack is now installed

We now have the Chinese language installed. The remaining section of this guide will show you how to change the language in Microsoft Word.

Changing the language in Word

To change the language in Microsoft Word:

  • Click on the File tab to switch Word to the back
  • On the left column, click on Options
Go to File>Options
  • The Word Options dialog will appear. Choose the Language category.
Chose the language category from the left pane
  • Under Choose editing languages, Select the language you installed. In this example it is Chinese. If the language pack supports proofing tools for that language, the Proofing columns will show Installed. Therefore, in the screenshot below, if yours doesn’t show the Installed status, it means the language you are changing to doesn’t support Proofing.
Select the language you want to change to
  • Click on the Set as Default button.
click on the Set as default button

A confirmation box will pop-up. Confirm the change and restart Word before the changes can take effect.

If you want to change the Display Language too:

  • Under Choose Display Language, Select the language you installed.

Note: If your language pack doesn’t support display and help for that language, you won’t see that language under the Display and Help languages boxes.

change the display language too

This is how you may change the language in Microsoft Word and the other office apps.