Usually I use Microsoft Word 2010 to write English documents

Now I'm editing a document of another language, and want to change the spelling check language of this document

This change should not affect other documents (means does not saved by default) so I can work with English documents in the future

Any clue? Thanks in advance.

8 Answers 8


In Word 2010:

  1. Select the text you want to affect. You can use Ctrl + A to select all the text in the document.
  2. Review tab > Language group > Language button > Set Proofing Language
  3. In the Language dialog, select the language you want to use for spell checking.

In Word 2007, Review tab > Proofing group > Set Language will accomplish the same thing.


Instead of selecting all the text, you can change the language for a specific style. Most styles are based on Normal, so you usually only need to change the Normal style.

In the Home ribbon, right-click on the Normal style and click Modify. Then click Format -> Language, and select the language. A blog post with screenshots is also available here.

This should also affect headers and footers.

This works in Office 2007 and 2010. In earlier versions it is also possible, but the process is slightly different.

  • This answer is a better way than selecting all the text; I wrote a blog posting on this here that screenshots it.
    – Geoff
    Jan 9, 2013 at 21:53
  • This works unless you have a style which adds language. I had a table style which set the language to French. Finally the only thing that worked for me was from wordbanter.com/… is to use a simple macro: ActiveDocument.Styles("Table Grid").LanguageID = wdEnglishUS
    – pppeater
    May 9, 2016 at 16:01

The language is determine by the paragraphs language setting (i.e. an English paragraph followed by one in French will each use the right spelling checker).

To change the body of the document, select all and then change the paragraph language, but this will not update headers, footers and footnotes (this other answer for details).

Unless you change template content (or update a style with a language and save that change to the template) other documents will not be affected.

  • Can you give more details of changing language of a paragraph? Apr 13, 2010 at 9:35
  • @hvtuananh: the accepted answer covers this
    – Richard
    Apr 14, 2010 at 8:38

In Word 2007 and 2010, the status bar at the bottom left shows the current paragraph language.

To change the whole document select all (Ctrl + A) then click on the language to change it.


Office usually comes with a set of three languages, e.g. English, Spanish and French for the Canadian version. If the language you want to check is not one of the three languages in your copy of Office, you need to download a language pack.


At the bottom where it says your normal language e.g. English (U.K.) click on that and it will let you change the language


In case you also come here because you're annoyed by having to change the language for all "track changes" comments individually, there's a shortcut:

  1. In Word 2011 on Mac, you can choose View>Sidebar>Reviewing Pane. There'll be corresponding ways to access this pane in other versions.
  2. Now you can select the text for all comments (and headers and footers too) and change their language.

Unfortunately, new comments still use the default language.


in word 2011 mac, you can:

  1. select all the text (command + a)
  2. then from the menu go to Tools -> language
  3. in the newly opened window, click on English (or any other language you want)

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