My Language Preferences: Office Editing Languages

Hello, my name is Kate Kelly, and I am a Program Manager on the GXP team. My previous blog articles include How to: Find my Language Preferences? and How do I check spelling and grammar in a different language in Office 2007?. With the help from my teammates: Jimmy Fang, Atin Bansal, Tom Moore, Vyom Munshi, Gwyneth Marshall and Paul Suurs, we will go through the updated Office 2010 Language Preferences experience over the coming months. These articles will try to cover all the functionality contained in the dialog. We will start by exploring the Editing Languages section of Language Preferences.

One way to launch Language Preferences is Start à All Programs à Microsoft Office à Microsoft Office 2010 Tools à Microsoft Office 2010 Language Preferences. There are also some other ways to get to this dialog which are detailed in my earlier blog post.

The Editing Languages list is at the top of the Language Preferences dialog. For many customers based in the United States, this screen shot is the default view for Language Preferences.

In the Editing Languages section you can add new editing languages, delete existing editing languages, and set an editing language as the default. You can also check the status of spellers, grammar checkers, and other proofing tools, and keyboards for your enabled editing languages.


Add Editing Languages and Set a Default Language

To add a new editing language, select the language of your choice from the dropdown. By default, it shows [Add additional editing languages]. Then click on Add button to add the language to your list of editing languages:

Language Specific Features

Some features will be enabled for Office applications after an editing language is added. For example, if a right-to-left language, such as Arabic or Hebrew, is added to the Editing Language list, the Right-to-Left and Left-to-Right Text Direction buttons will be added to the Word ribbon. If Chinese (PRC) is included in the Editing Language list, the Enclose Characters button will appear in the Word ribbon.

To remove an editing language, you can select an Editing Language and then click the Remove button. However, you cannot remove the default editing language directly. To remove an editing language that is set as <default> , you must first set another language in the Editing Language list as the new default language, and then remove the previous default editing language by clicking the Remove button.

You may click on one of the editing languages and then click the Set as Default button to set this language as default editing language. By setting one language as the default editing language, you will observe that some language-specific defaults change in your Office programs. For example, if Arabic is selected as the default editing language in Language Preferences, the typing order of a Word document will be from right-to-left and the first column in an Excel spreadsheet (column A) is located on the right side of the screen.


See If You Have the Proofing Tools You Need!  

What are Proofing Tools?

Proofing Tools are features that help the user create and edit documents. There are a wide variety of Proofing Tools available. The type depends on the language you are using. Some examples are spell checkers, grammar checkers, thesaurus, auto-correct lists, style checkers, hyphenators, and translation dictionaries. More information may be found here.

When you add another editing language, the Office 2010 Language Preferences quickly lets you know if you already have the Proofing Tools installed. If one language is in the editing language list and a speller exists on your computer for this language, the column, Proofing (Spelling, Grammar…), will be marked as Installed for the corresponding language. Otherwise it will be marked Not installed. The Not installed status is a hyperlink which will take you to the Web to get more Proofing Tools.



How Does Language Preferences Help with Keyboard Layouts?

Language Preferences contains the Windows' keyboard status for Editing Languages. If you have more than one keyboard enabled, you will see the Language Bar in your Task Pane. The Language Bar allows you to toggle between keyboard layouts.

If the editing language you added to your list does not have a keyboard enabled, a Not enabled link will appear which directs you to the Windows Control Panel to add additional keyboards. You can find more information about enabling a keyboard in a previous article.


Check out different keyboard layouts with this neat tool!

You can also see your keyboard layout on-screen with the On-Screen Keyboard (Start à All Programs à Accessories à Ease of Access à On-Screen Keyboard).


Make sure you click the OK button at the end to apply your changes. You may be asked to restart your Office applications before the changes take effect.

If you have any questions, please leave a note in the comments!

Where are the illumicons?

If you were wondering where the illumicons are, they have returned to their home planet and left the blog duty for the GXP team. Their decision to take this action was based on the feedback from the reader survey recently done here.  This will give the GXP team members the opportunity to directly talk to our readers.

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