How to Use Microsoft Word in Spanish

By Andrew Tennyson

Setting up Microsoft Word 2013 to type and edit in Spanish is a three-stage process. First you must add a Spanish keyboard layout in the Windows 8 Control Panel so that it is available for use in Word. Once you’ve added the Spanish keyboard layout, you can set Spanish as the default keyboard language in Word. If you plan to use Spanish extensively in a document, you should also set it as the proofing language in order to gain access to the Spanish dictionary and other language-specific features.

Add the Keyboard Layout

Step 1

Press “Windows-X” and select “Control Panel.” Click “Change input methods” under the Clock, Language, and Region heading.

Step 2

Click the “Options” link located at the end of the Spanish keyboard row. If Spanish is not listed, click “Add a language,” enable it and then return to the Change Your Language Preferences screen and click “Options” at the end of the Spanish row.

Step 3

Click “Add an input method” under the Input Method heading, click the Spanish keyboard layout you want to use and then click “Add.”

Set the Default Keyboard Language in Word

Step 1

Click the “File” tab in Word, select “Options” and then click “Language” to open the Set the Office Language Preferences dialog.

Step 2

Click the “Add Editing Language” arrow located under the Choose Editing Language heading.

Step 3

Select “Spanish” on the list of available languages and then click “Add.” Click "Not enabled" to finish enabling the language.

Set Spanish as the Proofing Language

Step 1

Select the text for which you want to set the proofing language. If your entire document is in Spanish, press “Ctrl-A” to select the entire document.

Step 2

Click the “Review” tab and then click “Language” in the Language group.

Step 3

Click “Set Proofing Language” and select “Spanish” from the list of available languages. Those languages enabled for use in Office programs are listed above the double line. If Spanish is not listed, you can enable it for use by setting it as the default language in Word, as outlined above.

Tips & Warnings

  • Take advantage of the Language Bar to quickly switch between English and Spanish in Word. Open your Word document and begin typing in Spanish. Click the language icon on the Language Bar and select “ES” from the list of available languages.
  • If you want to use Spanish as the default language for all compatible programs on your computer, you can set it as the default input language. Swipe your mouse to the lower-right corner of your screen, click “Settings” and then click “Change PC Settings.” Click “Time and language” and then “Region and language.” Click “Add a new language,” if necessary, select Spanish on the list of available languages and then choose “Set as primary.” Sign out of Windows and then sign back in to finish setting Spanish as your primary language in Windows 8.1.
  • If you have only a physical English keyboard for your computer but you want to type in Spanish, you can load a virtual keyboard on your screen to see which English keys correspond to which Spanish letters. Click the “Start” button, type “on-screen keyboard” in the Search prompt and then click “Turn On-Screen Keyboard on or off.” Select “Start On-Screen Keyboard” in the Ease of Access Center.