Set a language to a style in Word

When you enter non-English text into your Word document, chances are Word will not recognize it and interpret it as misspelled. Mary Ann Richardson brings a certain je ne sais quoi to the issue.

If your work requires typing blocks of non-English text within your English-language Word documents, then you know how annoying it can be when Word continues to proofread the non-English text using its English dictionary.

Word automatically proofreads your document for the language version installed on your system. So, if you purchased your copy of Word in the United States, it will mark all the text as English (U.S.) and will proof the non-English text against the English (U.S.) dictionary. When you add a block of foreign phrases, Word's spelling and grammar checker will flag them as incorrect rather than proof them against the appropriate foreign language dictionary. You could set up Automatic Language Detection; however, this method is not foolproof for smaller blocks of text.

To let Word know which dictionary to use to proof the text, you should mark it for proofing in its own language by assigning a language style. Follow these steps:

  1. Type the foreign language text.
  2. Select the text.
  3. Go to Tools | Language | Set Language.
  4. Scroll to and select the language from the Mark Selected Text As list.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Go to View | Task Pane.
  7. Click the Getting Started arrow and select Styles And Formatting from the list.
  8. With the text still selected, click New Style.
  9. Enter a name for the style (such as French) in the Name box.
  10. Click OK.

Now when you want Word to proof your text in French, highlight the text and select French from the drop-down Style box in the Formatting toolbar. This new style will be available to the current document only. If you want it to be available to the template the document is based on, click the Add To Template check box in the New Style dialog box after step 9 and before clicking OK.

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