Document Language

Last modified 11/16/2023

Setting the document language is important for accessibility because it helps assistive technologies and translation software understand and interpret the content correctly. When a document is marked with the correct language, it enables various accessibility features that enhance the user experience for people with disabilities. Here are some key reasons why setting the document language is crucial for accessibility:

  • Screen Readers and Text-to-Speech Software: Many people with visual impairments use screen readers or text-to-speech software to navigate and consume content on the web. These tools rely on the document language information to accurately pronounce words and phrases, ensuring that the content is read aloud in the correct language.

  • Braille Displays: Users who are blind or visually impaired and read content using braille displays also benefit from proper language tagging. Braille translation relies on accurate language information to provide the correct braille representation of text.

  • Language-specific Features: Different languages may have specific features or rules that affect the way content is presented. For example, the correct hyphenation, date and time formats, and pronunciation rules may vary across languages. Specifying the document language helps ensure that these language-specific features are applied correctly.

  • Spell Checkers and Grammar Checkers: Setting the document language is essential for spell checkers and grammar checkers to provide accurate suggestions. These tools use language-specific dictionaries and rules to identify and correct spelling and grammatical errors.

  • Language-specific Styling: Some web browsers and assistive technologies apply language-specific styling to improve the visual presentation of content. This can include adjustments to font, text spacing, and other visual elements to better suit the characteristics of a particular language.

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Search engines may use language information to index and rank content appropriately. This can impact the discoverability of the content for users searching in a specific language.


Set or Change the document language in Word

Set or Change the document language in Acrobat