How to Change Default Language in Word

Want to write in a different language or language dialect in Word? Follow these simple steps to change the default language in Word.

When you create a new document with Word, it will automatically set the default writing or authoring & proofing language to your system default language. For example, if you set Windows 10 language to English (US), Word will use that language as its authoring & proofing language. For a vast majority of users, this is good enough. However, what if you want to write in a different language or a different variant of the English language?

For example, recently, I saw a reddit post where a user asks how he can change the Word’s writing language from English (UK) to English (US). For many Windows users, these kinds of use cases are pretty standard. This is especially true when you are dealing with two or more languages daily.

The good thing is, Word has pretty robust options to change the default language quickly. If needed, you can add multiple languages and switch between them as and when required.

In this quick and straightforward Word how-to guide, I will show how to change the language in Word.

The steps shown below will work in Word 2013, 2016, 2019, and 365.

Change default language in Word

You can change the Word language from the Language panel. Follow these steps.

  1. Open the Word application.
  2. Click on “File.”
  3. Select “Options” on the sidebar.
  4. Click on the “Language” option on the sidebar.
  5. Select the language under the “Office authoring languages and proofing” section.
  6. If you don’t see your language, click the “Add a language” button.
  7. Select a language from the list.
  8. Click “Add.”
  9. Select the language in the main window.
  10. Click “Ok.”
  11. Click “Ok” in the information prompt.
  12. Restart Word to apply changes.

First, open the Word application. To do that, you can either search for Word in the Start menu or open any Word document of your choice. After opening, click on the “File” option and select “Options” on the sidebar. On small screens, you need to expand the “More” menu to see “Options.”

In the options window, click on “Languages.” Now, select the language under the “Office authoring languages and proofing” section. If you cannot see the language of your choice, you have to add it manually. To do that, click on the “Add a language” button.

add language in word

Select the language of your choice and click “Add.”

install language in word

In the main window, select the newly added language under the “Office authoring languages and proofing” section and click “Ok.”

change language in word

As soon as you press the button, Word will ask you to restart the application. So, click the “Ok” in the information prompt and restart Word.

confirm language change action

That is it with that, you’ve successfully changed the default writing language in Word.

Use the Language option on the bottom bar

When there are multiple languages installed in Word, it will show the language option on the bottom bar. You can use it to switch between languages quickly.

First, click on the language option on the bottom bar.

language option in word bottom bar

Next, select the language of your choice and click “Ok.” If you want to set the language chosen as default, click on the “Set As Default” button.

language quick change window

That is all. It is that simple change language in Word application.

I hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible.

Related: How to change default font in Word

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