How to Change the Spellchecker Language in 5 Office Suites on Mac

In our global society, we must often communicate across borders using different dialects, and knowing how to switch the language of our office applications is vital. In most cases, the configurations are simple. Let’s take a look at how to change the spellchecker language in popular macOS office suites.




How to Change the Spellchecker Language in Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office offers a range of options when it comes to altering the spellchecker language, and each app behaves a little differently. The method you use will depend on where you need the changes to occur. If you don’t have access to it, there are several ways you can get Microsoft Office for free.

Change Word’s Spellchecker Language

Microsoft Word for macOS allows you to alter the default, template, and selection languages. To change the default spellchecker language in Word, follow these steps:

  1. Open a document.
  2. Choose Tools > Language from the main menu bar.
  3. Select the desired language from the list.
  4. Click Default.
  5. Click Yes when prompted.

MS Word confirm language change box.

As the dialog box states, the alteration affects anything written under the Normal template. To change the language for another template, follow these steps:


  1. Open a document.
  2. Select the Home menu.
  3. Control-click the relevant template.
  4. Go to Modify > Format > Language.
  5. Select the desired language.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Click OK again in the remaining window.

Related: How to Fix Microsoft Word Spell Check Problems: Tips and Fixes

Anything written under that template will now spellcheck in the selected language. If, however, you only want to modify a selection of text, follow these steps:

  1. Open a document.
  2. Select the relevant text.
  3. Choose Tools > Language from the main menu bar.
  4. Select the desired language from the list.
  5. Click OK.

Change Excel’s Spellchecker Language

Spelling may not be at the forefront of your mind when using Excel, but knowing how to change the language can be useful. To switch the spellchecker language in Excel, follow these steps:

READ MORE  How to Check When Your Office 365 Subscription Expires

  1. Open a spreadsheet.
  2. Choose Tools > Language from the main menu bar.
  3. Select the desired language from the list.
  4. Click OK.


MS Excel language settings window.

Your Excel document will now spellcheck in the selected language, and new spreadsheets should remember your preference.

Change PowerPoint’s Spellchecker Language

PowerPoint allows you to change the current project language or set a default for all presentations. To change the spellchecker language for the current presentation, follow these steps:

  1. Open a presentation.
  2. Choose Tools > Language from main menu bar.
  3. Select the desired language from the list.
  4. Click OK.

MS Powerpoint language settings window.

To change the spellchecker language for the current presentation and future projects, follow these steps:

  1. Open a presentation.
  2. Choose Tools > Language from the main menu bar.
  3. Select the desired language from the list.
  4. Click Set As Default.
  5. Click Yes.


All future projects should now default to the language you selected.

How to Change the Spellchecker Language in Apple Pages, Numbers, and Keynote

To alter the spellchecker language for the iWork suite, you must use the global configurations in System Preferences on your Mac. However, any changes you make affect all three applications, which may be useful in some situations but not ideal in others. To change the spellchecker language for Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to System Preferences > Keyboard.
  2. Select Text from the menu bar.
  3. Click the menu box under Spelling.
  4. Choose the desired language.

macOS keyboard text preferences window.

READ MORE  12 Microsoft Forms Tips and Tricks You Must Know

You can also opt to spellcheck in multiple languages. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to System Preferences > Keyboard.
  2. Select Text from the menu bar.
  3. Click the menu box under Spelling.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the list and choose Set Up.
  5. Enable the languages you wish to use.
  6. Reorder the list and prioritize entries by dragging and dropping.
  7. Click Done.


Related: How to Add and Remove Words in Your Mac’s Built-In Dictionary

Changes will affect the iWork suite as well as the entire macOS, so keep that in mind when using other applications.

How to Change the Spellchecker Language in Apache OpenOffice or TDF LibreOffice

OpenOffice and LibreOffice have universal language configurations that affect all projects, including documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. The suites’ word processors also provide extra configurations. To change the spellchecker language for all OpenOffice or LibreOffice documents, follow these steps:

  1. Launch the application.
  2. Navigate to OpenOffice/LibreOffice > Preferences.
  3. Click the disclosure triangle beside Language Settings.
  4. Select Languages.
  5. Choose the desired language under Default languages for Documents.
  6. Click OK.

OpenOffice language settings window.


All documents will now use the default option you selected. Additionally, text documents allow you to change the language For Selection, For Paragraph, or For all Text. To locate these configurations, use the following steps:

  1. Open a Text Document/Writer Document.
  2. Choose Tools > Language from the main menu bar.
  3. Select either For Selection, For Paragraph, or For all Text.
  4. Click the desired language.

The additional configurations in OpenOffice and LibreOffice text documents grant greater control and make switching between languages simple. Furthermore, LibreOffice provides a For all Text option in most other project types.

READ MORE  How to manage your contacts book on Android

How to Change the Spellchecker Language in Google Docs

The Google Docs suite is a unique case because changing the language between UK and US English doesn’t affect the spellchecker. The tool accepts all spelling variations as correct, provided they conform to at least one region’s rules. If, however, you still need to change the spellchecker language, you can do so in Docs and Slides by following these steps:

  1. Open a document or presentation.
  2. Choose File > Language from the main menu bar.
  3. Select the desired language.


Google doc with language settings and color, colour, utilize, utilise, ccolor, ccolour written. Only ccolor and ccolour are marked as incorrect.

The process in Google’s spreadsheet app is a little different. To change the spellchecker language in Sheets, follow these steps:

  1. Open a spreadsheet.
  2. Navigate to File > Spreadsheet configurations.
  3. Select General.
  4. Click on the menu box under Locale and choose the desired location.

Google’s refusal to differentiate between English variations is problematic and makes the suite unviable for people who write for different regions. Hopefully, the company alters this approach in a future update.

Master Your Office Applications

Microsoft Office for Mac allows you to quickly change the spellchecker language for any document you’re working on. Apple’s iWork suite, however, uses global configurations you can alter in the System Preferences.


Apache OpenOffice and TDF LibreOffice offer the most versatile language configurations. You can make changes that affect all projects or switch languages for a specific document, paragraph, or selection.

While Google Docs suite does allow you to change the spellchecker language, the apps don’t differentiate between English variations, which isn’t ideal for people who write for alternate regions.

You can gain a lot by familiarizing yourself with the tools you use. Knowing how your applications work and where to find the most useful configurations can boost productivity and help you avoid moments of idle head scratching.

      en_USEnglish
      Select your currency
      WinKeys
      Logo
      Register New Account