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Document Language and Language Changes

Specifying the language of your presentation is important for spell checking as well as supporting Assistive Technologies with the correct speech output.

New presentations are created in the default language, which is set in the general Office Language Preferences. You can find out more about this in the section Changing the Default Language for New Microsoft Office Documents. You can also assign other languages to your texts in PowerPoint without having to change the default language of your Microsoft Office programs.

Assigning Language Changes

If your document contains individual sections, sentences, or words that differ from the document language, you should change the language for these passages. To do this, select the relevant text and click on the currently assigned language in the status bar at the bottom of PowerPoint. In the following example, this is English (United States).

Screenshot: PowerPoint status bar with language settings highlighted

In the Language dialog box that opens, select the correct language for the selected text and confirm by clicking OK.

Alternatively: You can also access the Language dialog box by clicking on the Language button in the Review tab and selecting the option Set Proofing Language.

Screenshot: 'Language' dialog box

Tip: If the spelling check highlights many words in your text, this could be an indication that the language is set incorrectly.

Changing the Default Language for New Microsoft Office Documents

Important Note: The default language for creating new documents and presentations is set in the general Office Language Preferences. Please note that these default settings apply to all your Microsoft Office programs. You should therefore select your preferred language for documents and presentations.

If you have opened PowerPoint without opening a presentation, click on Options in the menu at the bottom left of the Home window. If you have already opened a presentation, first click on File in the ribbon at the top. Then click on Options at the bottom of the menu on the left-hand side.

Screenshot: The PowerPoint Home window. The 'Options' entry is highlighted in the menu on the left-hand side.

In the PowerPoint Options dialog box that opens, click on Language in the menu on the left-hand side. You are now in the Office Language Preferences.

Under the section Office authoring languages and proofing, you can select the language that should be selected by default when creating documents. Please note that a change will affect newly created documents in all your Microsoft Office programs. The currently set language has the addition <preferred>. You can add further languages using the Add a Language button. To change your preferred language, select a different language, and click on the Set as Preferred button. PowerPoint must then be restarted for the changes to take effect.

In all your Microsoft Office programs, new documents are now created with this language as the default setting, including spelling and grammar checking.

Screenshot: 'PowerPoint Options' dialog box with the 'Language' menu option selected. The authoring language 'English (United States)' is highlighted in the 'Office Language Preferences'.