Changing Default Languages

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 3, 2016)

Word is a program that is sold all over the world. In fact, you can get an idea of the far reach of Word by looking at the Language option from the Tools menu. Here you can see dozens of languages that Word can be configured to use.

So how do you get Word to use a different language as its default? Oddly enough, you don't do it in Word. Instead, you must change your Windows configuration by following these steps:

  1. Choose the Settings option from the Start menu. Windows displays the Settings menu.
  2. Select the Control Panel option from the Settings menu. Windows displays the Control Panel.
  3. Double-click on the Regional Settings applet. Windows displays the Regional Settings Properties dialog box.
  4. Make sure the desired language is set on the Regional Settings tab. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Regional Settings tab of the Regional Settings Properties dialog box.

  6. Make sure the proper keyboard configuration is set on the Input Locales tab. (See Figure 2.)
  7. Figure 2. The Input Locales tab of the Regional Settings Properties dialog box.

  8. Click on OK.
  9. Restart your computer.

Now, when you use Word, you should have no problem having the default language be exactly want you want on any new documents. You should realize, however, that the grammar and spelling tools may still not work properly even though your default language has changed. This is because those tools are not installed for all languages. Instead, you may need to purchase foreign language tools from Alki Software (this is where Microsoft would send you, as well). You can visit their Web site at http://www.alki.com.

For additional information on this topic, make sure you view this tip.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (888) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Resetting Toolbars to Their Default

Customize Word enough, and you may at some point want to set the toolbars back to their original condition. Here's how to do ...

Discover More

Changing between English Variants

What is the easiest way to switch between English spelling variants in a document? This tip examines a couple of ways you can ...

Discover More

Stopping Help from Using Online Resources

Excel relies upon the Internet to grab help information. If you don't want Excel to seek help online, you can configure the ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

Changing Default Languages, Revisited

Further information on modifying the default language used by Word.

Discover More

Word Operates Backwards

What is someone to do when all of a sudden Word starts displaying text from right to left instead of left to right? The ...

Discover More

Changing to UK English

Understanding how Word uses the Language settings.

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is seven minus 1?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.