How to Change Languages in Word 2007

By Filonia LeChat

After you've created your Microsoft Word 2007 document, you may find your audience is bigger than just English speakers. Fortunately, Word offers a way for you to quickly translate words or portions of your document into a new language. Take your document from U.S.-only to international with a couple of clicks through Word's ribbon/toolbar and menu options.

Step 1

Open Word 2007, click the "Office" button in the top-left corner of the screen and select "Open." Browse to the document with the language to change and double-click it, opening it in a new Word window.

Step 2

Click the "Review" tab at the top of the screen. Click the "Language" button on the ribbon/toolbar below the tab. Click "Language Preferences" and the "Word Options" window opens with the "Language" option already highlighted.

Step 3

Pull down the "Add additional editing languages" menu and select a language, such as French. Click the "Add" button. The language appears in the "Choose Editing Languages" box at the top of the screen. To switch to having that language as your primary writing language, click the "Set as Default" button. Click "OK" to close the "Word Options" window.

Step 4

Scroll to the section of language to change. Position your cursor to the left of the first letter to change, press and hold down the left mouse button and click and drag the cursor to highlight the section to change. To change the entire document, click the "Home" tab at the top of the screen, click the "Select" button on the very right of the ribbon/toolbar and click "Select All," which highlights the whole document's text.

Step 5

Click the "Translate" button on the same ribbon/toolbar at the top of the page. Select "Translate Selected Text" to open a sidebar on the right side of the Word screen with a translation of the text in the new editing language. Note that this option works best to translate single words or short phrases and won't pick up proper nouns, names of places or American slang.

Step 6

Change the translation option by clicking the "Translation" button and selecting "Choose Translation Language." Pull down both "Translate to" options and select your new language. Click "OK."

Tips & Warnings

  • Although changing languages in Word takes just a couple of quick clicks, it may be beneficial for you or someone native/fluent in the new language to review your document before publishing or sending it out. This will help catch any mistakes or misinterpretations Word inserted and could save you from a translation embarrassment.