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    MSWord Help
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Foreign Language Spell-Checker in Word 2007

Dave Mericle asked how to fix his copy of Microsoft Word 2007, whose spell-checker was functioning in French, but not in English.

Well, I don't know how Dave's dictionary got switched, but here's how to choose spell-checker options in Word 2007:

Click the Microsoft Office button MSOffice 2007 button and then click Word Options at the bottom of the column.  Next click Proofing, and then click the Language Settings button to the right of "Choose the languages you want to use with Microsoft Office."  You can have multiple languages in the list.

Finally, look for Primary Editing Language and make your choice in the drop-down menu.

You can also change your Microsoft Office settings to match the settings of a particular language in earlier versions of Word and Windows.

In Windows XP and Windows 2000 click Start>All Programs>Microsoft Office>Microsoft Office Tools>Microsoft Office 2003 Language Settings.

Click Enabled Languages and then choose your preferred language in the "Language that defines default behavior in Microsoft Office" box.  Finally, click OK.

A message appears describing the effects of the change.  Click Continue to see further prompts.

You may find minor differences in what's printed above and how various prompts appear, but you can always click on Help and type foreign languages into the Search box.  For even earlier versions of Word and Windows use Help to find these instructions.

Using different languages has become a lot easier in the most recent versions of Word.  I do quite a bit of writing in Spanish, and have found that in Word 2007 I can alternate between Spanish and English seamlessly, with the appropriate spell-checker kicking in as needed.

Furthermore, the Spanish checker has a large collection of commonly misspelled words that are instantly fixed via Word's "AutoCorrect" function, just as the English checker does.

If you are unfamiliar with this function, all versions of Word from 6 forward maintain a lengthy list of words that are often misspelled, and corrects them as you type (such as changing recieve to receive).

You can find the list in most versions of Word by going to Tools>AutoCorrect.  Here you will find additional "auto-corrections," such as :) being turned into J and (c) being changed to © (the copyright symbol).

You can also edit this list to add other words you may have trouble with.  For instance, I've always had trouble spelling Wednesday, so now I just type wds and it automatically changes to Wednesday.

Prior to Word 2007 and its amazing built-in foreign language features, I used to put a lot of frequently-used Spanish words into AutoCorrect, such as causing senorita to instantly become seņorita and ?? into ¿.

You can turn automatic spell-checking on and off by going to Tools>Options>Spelling & Grammar>Check Spelling As You Type.  It's also helpful to have "Always Suggest Corrections" checked.  This means that if you misspell a word that's not in Word's Standard Spell-Checker List, a red squiggly line will appear under the word, whereupon you can right-click it to see a list of suggested correct spellings.  Just left-click the one that applies.

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