Word processing software (such as Microsoft Office) often have "proofing tools" available for different languages, including spell-checker, dictionary/thesaurus, grammar-checker, and hyphenation rules.
These can be useful language learning tools, but remember they are neither fail-safe nor fool-proof: ultimately, you must try to understand and determine the correct language usage.
(Note: before you can start composing documents, you'll need to set up your computer to type in your new language. Hover your mouse over the "Getting Started" tab above for help with that.)
Microsoft Office offers a spell-checker, dictionary and thesaurus, grammar-checker, and hyphenation rules in various languages. The availability is different for the Windows and Mac versions of Office; see the boxes below for specific details on each system.
The proofing tools for other languages are used the same way you use them in English. For example, if you have automatic spell-checking turned on, Word shows the red squiggly lines underneath possible misspelled words (green squigglies incidate possible grammar problems). Or you can choose to run the spelling or grammar checkers manually. For the spell-checker to work in another language, first, make sure that language is available installed. Then, you have two options for setting the language of the text in each document you create:
See the boxes below for step-by-step instructions on using these tools on Windows and Mac.
Microsoft Office for Windows offers proofing tools in a greater number of languages (37); however, not all of the languages are included when you purchase Office. (The languages included with your copy of Office depend on where in the world you purchased it.) See the instructions below to "Check which language packs are installed on your computer." On most Windows computers at MHC, we have installed the following proofing tools:
If you would like to use the proofing tools for a language not in that list, please contact the Language Resource Center. We are able to install additional languages on the LRC computers.
The proofing tools in Office are used the same regardless of language. For example, if you have automatic spell-checking turned on, Word shows the red squiggly lines underneath possible misspelled words, or you can choose to run the spell-checker manually. For the spell-checker to work in another language besides English, you just need to make sure that your text is marked as that language:
There is an option in Word that can cause this problem. Try turning it off:
If Microsoft Office doesn't work with your language, you may want to use an alternative word processor.
Neo Office is one alternative word processor for Macs. Neo Office available on Mac computers in the LRC and on campus, and you can download it for free on your own Mac.
Open Office is another alternative word processor freely available to download for Mac and Windows.
There are dictionaries available for both Neo Office and Open Office for these languages that Microsoft Office doesn't support:
|Mac - Microsoft Office doesn't support:
||Windows - Microsoft Office doesn't support: