How to Set the Default Language Dictionary on Microsoft Word 2007

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Default Dictionary for Microsoft Word 2003

If you are having problems with the default dictionary setting for Word 2003, please read about how to set the default dictionary on Microsoft Word 2003.

Default Dictionary for Microsoft Word 2007

To achieve this, follow these instructions.

1. Click on start, then on all programs, then on Microsoft Office, then on Microsoft Office Tools, then on Microsoft Office 2007 Language Settings – see picture below.

Word Language Settings

2. When you have done that, you will see another window shown below :

Word 2007 Language Settings

Then ensure that the enabled editing languages you need are in the Enabled Editing Languages box on the right hand side and that the default the Primary Editing Language is set in the box at the bottom of the window as shown above. This will be the default dictionary.

If that doesn’t work – there are scores of suggestions below in the comments to this blog post. Thanks to everyone who has contributed. I can’t believe how many people continue to have problems with Word. Maybe the latest version is better?


  1. http://JOSEPH says

    Hi all,
    Had the same problem, but the answer from – Philip says: August 30, 2009 at 2:53 pm worked for me…

    Many thanks Philip!

  2. http://Diana says

    Thank you so much for the tips!
    This bug in Word 2007 is very very annoying.
    First I applied your tips but everytime I blocked the whole paragraph and then change it into my language (indonesian), I press space, then the language changes again into English (U.S)
    Then I found out that I need to change my keyboard option and voila, it never goes back to English again! 🙂

  3. Awesome! Thanks so much, this was driving me crazy for ages.

  4. This is a real problem that MS need to sort out. we’re creating documents for the USA and UK and need to easily change the document into the right language and then run the spell check. At the moment I have to CTRL+A on each page and check the language.

  5. http://Jennifer says

    Sassafrass, I’m guessing you might have the same problem I was having – the “automatic language detection” switch. I was also working on a file with Canadian English words in it. Word was noticing that I was typing the word “centre” the Canadian way, and decided that therefore my document’s language must be French. I’m guessing you used a word like “colour” or “neighbour” and Word decided you must be using UK English. So … see my above comment for how to turn auto language detection off. This worked for me, so I hope it helps.

  6. http://Charlotte says

    This does NOT work for setting Vietnamese even ‘tho it is a language selection.

  7. http://stew%20oak says

    Thanks for this post… It immediately fixed the issue.

  8. http://sassafrass says

    Here’s a twist for you all. I’m working in Canadian English and would like my Autocorrect dictionary to be Canada. It says English (UK) and I have no idea where that is coming from. All my defaults are set to Canada. I read all these posts and tried all the solutions. My Autocorrect dictionary is still UK. I am so FED UP!

  9. http://Jennifer says

    Eureka! I have found the answer. Recently my spelling check dictionary has been switching unpredictably into French and refusing to recognize U.S. English spellings as correct in spite of the document being set to U.S. English, with no other editing languages enabled.

    Apparently the culprit is the “detect language automatically” setting in spelling check. I have a few Canadian-authored journal papers in my references, and one spells the word “centre” with an “re”, as it is spelled in Canada, the U.K. and the French word “centre”. Word decided that this was the French word “centre”, and switched spelling check for the entire document to French automatically as soon as it encountered that word.

    Since I need to keep the Canuckish spellings, I ditched automatic language detection.

    To do this: In Word 2007, go to the Review tab, click Set Language, choose your selected language, and uncheck the box next to “Detect language automatically”. In Word 2003, go to Tools, Language, Set Language and uncheck “Detect language automatically”.

    Et voilà.

  10. http://Rog says

    Bit too premature with my previous post.

    Go to Control Panel and open Regional and Language Options.
    Click on Languages tab.
    Click on Details.
    New pop-up opens Text Services and Input Languages.
    Change the language to English(Australia).
    I deleted English(US) out of sheer bloodymindedness.
    Chnaged the keyboard to United Kingdom Extended just on the off chance that the US keyboard option could muck things up still.

  11. http://Rog says

    I want to have your baby.
    Spent ages trying to change from poxy English(US) to English(Australia).
    Going to celebrate now with a beer and make a toast for your long and happy life.