Microsoft Office Language Pack - Office 2010

If you want to make Microsoft Word display in a language different to English, this tutorial is for you.

Imagine the following situation. Spanish is your native language, but your wife or husband is a native English speaker. The chances are that their version of Microsoft Office will display English words on commands, on buttons, in help text and in screentips. Although you can speak English, you are more comfortable using your own native language: Spanish.

Microsoft Word would be a whole lot easier for you to use if only you could get the ribbon to display menus and commands in Spanish!

Well, you can get Word 2010 to display in Spanish (or any other language) by using the Microsoft Office Language Pack. This pack does come with a small price tag (around $30 USD per language pack), and can be downloaded here: Microsoft Office Language Pack.

The reason that we on first looked into using the language pack was so that we could create Word tutorials for Spanish speakers. Although we could pay for translations of the text you see in the tutorials on this site, screenshots of the menu options in Word would still display English words. This presented a problem. Fortunately, using the language pack, Word can display button text in any language that Microsoft has translated into.

Where language is concerned, the text in Microsoft Word is divided into the following areas:

  • Display – this refers to the text displayed in user interfaces and includes the text that appears on buttons and in menu options.
  • Help – when you press F1 on your keyboard, Word Help gets displayed and this is the text referred to here.
  • Proofing tools – the spelling and grammar checking that Word can perform depends on the language being used in the document.

The Microsoft Office Language Pack

Go here to get the Microsoft Office language pack. After you’ve selected the language you need, you’ll pay for it and then download it to your desktop. Beware though – the file you download is huge! Ours was a staggering 392MB and took around 10 minutes to download. The downloaded file is actually a program (.exe) so you’ll need to double click it to install it. When you do, the text displayed in the install windows is actually in the language you selected.

Microsoft Office Language Pack

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Once the language pack is installed, open Word and click the File tab > Options > Language. Now in the Choose Display and Help Languages section, you should see the language of the pack you downloaded.

Set Office Language Preferences

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Select it and then click Set as Default. The selected language will move to the top and will be bolded. When you click OK on the Word Options window, you’ll receive a message saying that you need to restart Office for the language change to take effect. Click OK, close and then restart Word.

Lo and behold, when Word reopens, the ribbon will display tabs, groups and commands in the language of your choosing. Here is the Spanish one that we got:

The Ribbon In Spanish

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By default, when you install a language pack, the screentips language also gets updated to your chosen language, which is exactly what you would want to happen. Es magnifico!