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Chinese Language Guide

 

What are Proofing Tools?

What are proofing tools?

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.)

Word Processing in Different Languages

Proofing Tools in Microsoft Office

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.

Using the Proofing Tools

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:

  • Option 1: Word can automatically detect the language of your text
  • Option 2: Manually mark your text as the appropriate language

See the boxes below for step-by-step instructions on using these tools on Windows and Mac.

Windows: Microsoft Office

Proofing Tools in Microsoft Office for Windows

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:

  • Office Language Packs installed at MHC (Windows):
    Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese (PRC and Taiwan), French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi (also includes Urdu), Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish

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.

Check which language packs are installed on your computer (Windows)

  1. Open a Microsoft Office program, such as Word.
  2. Click the File tab.
  3. Under Help, click Options.
  4. Click Language. In the Set the Office Language Preferences dialog box, in the Proofing (Spelling, Grammar) list, if the Spelling & Grammar icon Spelling command is next to the language that you want, then that language pack is installed.

Using the Proofing Tools (Windows)

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:

  • Option 1: Set Word to automatically detect the language of your text
    • On the Review tab, in the Language group, click on the Language button and choose Set Proofing Language. In the Language dialog box, select the "Detect language automatically" check box.
  • Option 2: Manually mark your text as the appropriate language
    • Highlight your text. On the Review tab, in the Language group, click on the Language button and choose Set Proofing Language. Select the appropriate language from the list and click OK.

Does Word suddenly change the language of your keyboard?

There is an option in Word that can cause this problem. Try turning it off:

  • Click the File tab. Under Help, click Options, then Advanced. Under Editing options, de-select the "Automatically switch keyboard to match language of surrounding text check box".

    Mac: Microsoft Office

    Proofing Tools in Microsoft Office for Mac

    A picture of foreign language writing

    Microsoft Office for Mac offers proofing tools for only a limited set of languages; however, all of the languages available are automatically included with the US edition of Office for Mac (you don't need to buy and install separately). See the link below for a detailed list of which proofing tools are available for each language. Note: if you purchased your copy of Office for Mac in another part of the world, the proofing tools included may be different.

    Using the Proofing Tools (Mac)

    The proofing tools for other languages are used the same as in English. 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:

    • Word will often automatically detect the language of your text. But if it doesn't, then:
    • Manually mark your text as the appropriate language
      • Select the text that's written in another language.
      • From the Tools menu, choose Language.
      • In the "Mark selected text as" box, select the language that you want, and then click OK.

    By default both automatic spelling and grammar checking are usually turned on. If you want to disable automatic checking of grammar and/or spelling, on the Word menu, click Preferences. Under Authoring and Proofing Tools, click Spelling and Grammar, and then under Grammar, clear the Check grammar as you type check box.

      Free Alternative Word Processors

      Alternative Word Processors

      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:
      • Arabic
      • Greek
      • Hebrew
      • Hindi
      • Korean
      • Latin
      Windows - Microsoft Office doesn't support:
      • Latin
      MHC Accessibility Barriers Form