How to Add a German Dictionary to Word

By C. Taylor

The Proofing Tools feature in Microsoft Word 2013 checks spelling and grammar for any languages you have installed. By default, only English is enabled, but you can optionally add one or more German languages, including regional dialects of Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Switzerland. However, adding the language within Word is not enough, because the dictionary isn't automatically installed. Therefore, you must follow the Word-supplied link to the Microsoft site and download the German installation file.

Step 1

Click "File," select "Options" and then choose "Languages" to open the Office Language Preferences dialog.

Step 2

Click the "Add Additional Editing Languages" drop-down menu and then select the appropriate German language. If you're unsure which version to use, select "German (Germany)."

Step 3

Click "Add" next to the drop-down menu. The German entry is then added to the top box, but the Proofing section is marked as "Not Installed," indicating you need to run the German language installer.

Step 4

Click "Not Installed" to open the appropriate Microsoft page. Select the German, or "Deutsch," language again from the online form and then click "Download" under the Proofing Tool section. You can also download the German ScreenTip installer that translates buttons, menus and dialogs into German. Once downloaded, double-click the installer in File Explorer, choose "Yes" from the User Account Control box and then follow the prompts to install the dictionary. Some browsers, such as Internet Explorer, give you the option to run the file instead of saving it, thereby avoiding the File Explorer step.

Step 5

Restart Word to complete the installation.

Tips & Warnings

  • By default, Word automatically detects the document languages and uses the appropriate dictionary. However, to manually choose German, click "Review," "Language" and then "Set Proofing Language." Click "Set as Default" to make the selected German option your default proofing language.
  • If you're translating from an English document, Word's Translate tool might save you some work. Click the "Review" tab and then select the "Translate" option in the Language group. You can choose to translate selected text or the entire document. These options send your text to Microsoft Translator and display the results in your browser. You can then copy and paste them into Word. You can also right-click a selection and choose "Translate" to open a translation sidebar, but you'll need a Microsoft Office account for this option to work.