Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Changing between English Variants.

Changing between English Variants

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 1, 2017)

English is English, right? No, it is not. Ask anyone who works with international documents; they know that there are many variations of English. For instance, in US English words that are spelled one way (organize, catalog, behavior, etc.) are spelled differently in UK English (organise, catalogue, behaviour, etc.). The upshot of these variations is that you may also need to produce different versions of your documents for audiences that use the different language variations.

The traditional way of doing the conversion from one variation to another is straightforward:

  1. Select the text to be converted. (For instance, select the entire document.)
  2. Choose Language from the Tools menu, then choose Set Language from the resulting submenu. Word displays the Language dialog box.
  3. Select the variation to which you want to convert.
  4. Click on OK. Word examines the text and marks spellings and grammar differences according to the language that you selected.
  5. Press F7. Word starts the spelling and grammar checking utility.
  6. Make corrections, as appropriate, when prompted.

If you do a lot of textual conversions, going through these steps can become very routine, to the point of tedium. It would seem to be a simple thing to simply change the spellings from one English variation to another, without the need for manual review in this manner. Unfortunately, Word doesn't provide such a feature. You can, however, create a macro that would do the conversions for you. Follow these general steps:

  1. Identify a list of words whose spelling you want to convert.
  2. Turn on the macro recorder.
  3. Use the Replace feature to replace the spellings.
  4. Turn off the macro recorder.

You now have a macro that will do a conversion from one variation to the other. Later, as you become aware of more words that need to be automatically replaced, you can edit the macro and add those words.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1591) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Changing between English Variants.

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

Where Is that Name?

Want to easily see the location of named ranges in your worksheet? It's easy; all you need to do is use the familiar Zoom ...

Discover More

Preventing Changes to Styles in Documents

Have you ever created a template only to have the styles within it changed as they were used within a document? Here are ...

Discover More

Replacing Cell Formats

Need to replace the formats applied to some cells with a different format? You can use Excel's Find and Replace tool to ...

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)

Spelling Errors on Internet Addresses

Tired of Word marking Internet addresses as spelling errors? You can turn off this check by applying the steps in this tip.

Discover More

Getting Rid of Fragment Warnings

Word provides a wide variety of tools that ostensibly help make you a better writer. One of those tools is the grammar ...

Discover More

Checking for Sentences Beginning with Conjunctions

In my English classes in junior high, I would get marked down if I started sentences with a conjunction. ("There's a ...

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. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 2?

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.