Document Language in Microsoft Word

Last modified 11/16/2023

Setting the document language is a key aspect of web accessibility that ensures content is correctly interpreted and presented by assistive technologies. This practice promotes inclusivity by making digital content more accessible to individuals with diverse abilities and language preferences. You can set the default language for the entire document and any part of the document where the language changes.

Set the Default Document Language

Step 1: Open File Options

Navigate to the File menu and choose Options from the menu.

Word's file menu with Options selected.

Step 2: Choose Language

From the Word Options menu, choose language to make sure all the languages of the document are present under Office authoring languages and proofing. 

Word Options menu

Change Language in for Parts of a Document

Step 1: Select the text

Select the text which is in a different language than the document's default language.

Screenshot of a document predominantly in English with French language text selected.

Step 2: Review Tab

In the ribbon at the top of the screen, choose the Review tab.

Step 3: Choose Language

From the Review Tab, choose the Language option.

Review Tab with Language option selected.

Step 4: Choose Set Proofing Language

From the menu, choose Set Proofing Language.

Screenshot of the language options menu with Set Proofing language selected.

Step 5: Choose a Language.

Choose the language that matches the selected text then select the OK button.

Screenshot of list of languages with French language selected to match the French text in the document.