Overview of deploying languages in Office 365 ProPlus

If you purchased an Office 365 subscription, you can use it to install Office in multiple languages. You do not have to buy a Language Pack. Resources for Click-to-Run for Office 365 products are packaged similarly to the way standard Office 2016 Windows Installer (MSI) resources are organized. Language-neutral product resources are packaged into a single file that contains all the neutral resources. Language-specific resources are packaged into language-specific files such as en-us for English (United States) resources.

Install languages from the Office 365 portal

If your organization allows it, users can install Office 365 ProPlus languages directly from the Office 365 portal. When users install Office from the software page, they select a language from the Language drop-down box. If an user need an additional language, they can just re-run the process for each required language. The setup will add the selected language to the user's device.

Install multiple languages as part of deploying Office

If your users don't have permission to install Office languages from the Office 365 portal, you can use the Office Deployment Tool to install Office 365 ProPlus in multiple languages. To do so, edit the language element in the configuration file for the Office Deployment Tool. Fore more details, see Language element.


The first language defined in the language element determines the Shell UI language. The Shell UI is the language that is used to display shortcuts, right-click context menus, and tooltips. If you decide that you want to change the Shell UI language after an initial installation, you have to uninstall Office and reinstall it.

Additional language tools that you can install for Click-to-Run products include the following:

  • Language Interface Packs: Translated User Interface that installs over a copy of a Click-to-Run installation. You can download and install a Language Interface Pack for free. After you install it, you can use Microsoft Excel, OneNote, Microsoft Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word features in a different language. You can use the Office Language Preferences dialog after installation to change a language and see a translated user interface. For information about how to change the editing, display or Help language for Office applications, see Enable the use of other languages in your Office programs. To set Office 2016 language options on a computer that is running Windows 10, type "Office 2016" at the Start screen, and select Office 2016 Language Preferences to open the Microsoft Office 2016 Language Preferences dialog box.

  • Proofing Tools: Localized language versions of Office include proofing tools for a set of companion langauges. For more details and links to proofing tool downloads for each language, see Proofing Tools for Office 365 ProPlus.

  • ScreenTip Language: Translations that show the text of display elements such as buttons, menus, and dialog boxes in another language. You can download Microsoft Office ScreenTip Language 2013 from the Microsoft Download Center. ScreenTip Language installs over a Click-to-Run installation.

For information about how to use the Configuration.xml file to specify language installation options, see Configuration options for the Office Deployment Tool.

Install the same languages as the operating system

When deploying Office with the Office Deployment Tool (ODT), you can automatically install the same languages that are in use by the operating system and any user on the client device. To do so, use "MatchOS" as the Language ID in the configuration file for the ODT, as shown in the example.

When MatchOS is used, the ODT will install the base language of the operating system and all active display languages for user profiles on the device. MatchOS can be used in combination with a fixed list of languages. For example, you can use Language ID = "MatchOS" and Language ID = "en-us" to install both English and any matching languages.

MatchOS cannot install the operating system languages if Office doesn't support that language or if the ODT cannot find the correct language pack in the local source files. To help address this issue, we recommend that you specify a backup language and and a backup source location for the language pack:

  • To specify a fallback language, include the "Fallback" attribute in the configuration file, as shown in the example. The fallback language will be installed if one of the detected languages isn't supported by Office. If you use MatchOS and do not include a fallback language, the ODT will use en-us as a default fallback.

  • To use the Office CDN as a backup source for language packs, include the "AllowCdnFallback" attribute in the configuration file, as shown in the example. When installing languages, the ODT looks first for source files in the location specified in the SourcePath attribute. If the language pack isn't available at that location and the AllowCdnFallback setting is included, then the ODT will use source files from the Office CDN.

For details on how to edit the configuration file, see Configuration options for the Office Deployment Tool.


<Add SourcePath="\\Server\Share" 
  <Product ID="O365ProPlusRetail">
     <Language ID="MatchOS" Fallback="en-us" />

Install the same languages from a previous MSI installation

If you're upgrading from a Windows Installer (MSI) version of Office, you can get Click-to-Run versions of the same language resources – for example, language packs, language interface packs, or proofing tools – installed when you install Office 365 ProPlus. For more information, see Remove existing MSI versions of Office when upgrading to Office 365 ProPlus.

Conserve network bandwidth when adding language packs

When you use the Office Deployment Tool (ODT) to download the installation files for Office to a folder that already contains that version of Office, the ODT will conserve your network bandwidth by downloading only the missing files. For example, if you use the ODT to download Office in English and German to a folder that already contains Office in English, only the German language pack will be downloaded.