How to Enable Sequence Checking and Type and Replace for Thai, Hindi and Vietnamese

Hello, my name is Sirirat Reinikka, and I am a Tester on the GXP team. My previous blog articles include Changing Numeral Shapes in Excel and 5 Access Settings for the Right-to-Left Languages. With the help from my teammate, Wirote Petchdenlarp, we will show you how to enable Sequence Checking and Type and Replace in Microsoft Office products to prevent the display of invalid typing order characters in Thai, Hindi and Vietnamese languages.

If you have ever typed Thai, Hindi or Vietnamese text in a document or in any text controls in websites, you may have noticed a dotted circle on the screen along with the character that you just typed. Here are examples as shown in the Facebook update status text control and in the Bing Search box:

What is the dotted circle? Why does this happen? 

The dotted circle is the character that displays when the order of the characters you typed is incorrect. For example, when an upper vowel is typed after a leading vowel, or a vowel is typed alone without any base character, you will see the dotted circle. If your internet browser doesn't have a typing order rule implemented, the dotted circle may be displayed.

In Microsoft Office, the typing order rule is called Sequence Checking. It allows you to type a valid sequence of independent characters to form valid character clusters. Closely related to this is another rule called Type and Replace. This rule deletes the previous character and replaces it with a new character within the same group of characters. For example, if you enter a vowel that can replace the previous vowel according to the Sequence Checking rule, Type and Replace will delete the previous vowel and replace it with the new vowel.


The Sequence Checking and Type and Replace rules only apply to Thai, Hindi and Vietnamese text. 


Most Microsoft Office applications (e.g., Access, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, etc.) have Sequence Checking and Type and Replace rules automatically set after setting the default language to Thai, Hindi or Vietnamese. This helps prevent dotted circles from ever appearing in your documents. Some of these applications (Word, Publisher and Outlook) also give you the flexibility to turn these rules on or off to give you full control of how you want your text to look.

As an example, let's walk through how to enable these options for Thai. You must first make sure that you have the Thai language enabled in Office Language Preferences. Go to Start à All Programs à Microsoft Office à Microsoft Office 2010 Tools à Microsoft Office 2010 Language Preferences.

Once the Microsoft Office 2010 Language Preferences dialog appears, under the Choose Editing Languages section:

  1. Select Thai from the language drop down list.
  2. Click the Add button and then OK.


These steps are really important because the language that you select determines the features available in the application. You can find more information at How To Find My Language Preferences and My Language Preferences: Office Editing Languages.


In Word and Publisher, the Use sequence checking and Type and replace options are located in Options dialog. Go to File menu tab, select Options, and thenselect Advanced in the Options dialog.





For Outlook, there is an extra step:

  1. Go to the menu File –> Options and select Mail.
  2. In the Outlook Options dialog, click Editor Options button.
  3. Click Advanced in Editor Options dialog.
  4. The Use sequence checking and Type and replace settings are under the Editing Options section.




To understand more about this, you can do some practice:


  • Turn on and off Sequence Checking and Type and Replace in Word, Publisher and Outlook
  • Then type any Thai, Hindi or Vietnamese text in the document and compare the result.


Happy Sequence Checking!

Sirirat Reinikka