by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 9, 2014)
Dessy needs to know how she can run a spellcheck on a document containing words from two different languages. She wonders if there is a way to make the dictionary ignore the text written in one of the languages while checking the other.
Actually, Word is very good at handling proofing in two (or more) languages. There is a key to making it work correctly, however: You need to make sure that the text in each language is formatted as being in that language.
To those not familiar with Word, that may sound rather confusing. Giving an example may help to shed light on how Word handles proofing your text. Follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Language dialog box.
That's it; when you do a spellcheck (or any other proofing task), Word uses the dictionaries and rules related to the language you specified in step 4.
If you have lots of text to configure in this manner, it makes more sense to design styles that utilize the appropriate languages. For instance, if you have a style named Body that is used for English text, you might develop another style called Body French which is based on Body but has the language configured for French. That way you can apply the appropriate styles to you text and Word will automatically adjust how it proofs that text.
One quick note: You might be tempted to rely on the "Detect Language Automatically" setting (see the Language dialog box). Don't. It doesn't work that great, and you will get better results if you explicitly specify the language that should be associated with the differing passages of text in your document.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13200) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013.
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