MS-PowerPoint / Getting Started

Working with Text Written in a Foreign Language

In the interest of cosmopolitanism, PowerPoint gives you the opportunity to construct presentations in foreign languages or include foreign-language text in a presentation otherwise composed in English, and still be able to spell check your work. To enter and edit text in a foreign language, you start by installing proofing tools for the language. With the tools installed, you tell PowerPoint where in your presentation a foreign language is used. After that, you can spell check any text written in the language.

To spell check text written in languages apart from English, you have to obtain additional proofing tools from Microsoft. These can be obtained at the Microsoft Product Information Center at (enter proofing tools in the Search box). Proofing tools include a spell checker, grammar checker, thesaurus, hyphenator, AutoCorrect list, and translation dictionary, although all these tools are not available for every language.

The status bar along the bottom of the PowerPoint window lists which language the cursor is in. Glance at the status bar if you are not sure which language PowerPoint is whispering in your ear.

Telling PowerPoint which languages you will use

Follow these steps to inform PowerPoint that you will use a language or languages besides English in your documents:

  1. Close all programs, if any are open and then click the Start button and choose All Programs> Microsoft Office> Microsoft Office Tools> Microsoft Office 2007 Language Settings.
    You see the Microsoft Office Language Settings dialog box. The Enabled Editing Languages box lists languages that PowerPoint (and the other Office programs you installed) is capable of proofing.
  2. Select a language in the Available Editing Languages box and click the Add button to make that language a part of your presentations.
    If you see the words "limited support" next to a language's name in the Enabled Editing Languages box, you need to install a language-proofing software. You can obtain this software at the Microsoft Product Information Center (
  3. Click OK.

Marking text as foreign language text

The next step is to tell PowerPoint where in your presentation you are using a foreign language. After you mark the text as foreign language text, Power- Point can spell check it with the proper dictionaries. Follow these steps to mark text so that PowerPoint knows in which language it was written:

  1. Select the text that you wrote in a foreign language and then click the Review tab.
  2. Click the Language button. You see the Language dialog box.
    Identifying words for spell checking and grammar checking.
  3. Select a language and click OK.
    You can create a master style for foreign-language text. Doing so will save you the trouble of always having to revisit the Language dialog box.
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