How To Switch Between British And American Spellcheck In Microsoft Word [Guide]

There’s two ways to spell color, with and without a ‘U’. That’s the case with a few other words; neighbor, favor, etc. The correct spelling is drilled into you in grade school but Microsoft Word generally doesn’t know where you went to grade school. It has spellcheck which tends to underline misspelled words except the words that need a u or don’t need a u tend to be underlined when they shouldn’t be. It’s because your spellcheck is set to the wrong kind of English. Here’s how to switch between British and American spellcheck in Microsoft Word.

British And American Spellcheck

Open Microsoft Word and go to File>Options. The grammar check options are under Proofing but that tab doesn’t deal with language which is what determines the basics i.e., spellings that are to be corrected. In the Word Options window, select the Language tab.

The first section is called ‘Choose Editing Languages’. This is where you can select the language that Microsoft Word uses to reference spellings. Select your spellcheck language here. If you prefer to spell Color without a U, you need to select United States English. If you prefer to spell it with a U, you need to select United Kingdom English.

The language is added only for spellcheck, and not as an input language. If you want to use it as an input language, you need to enable it and that includes downloading an additional language pack. To do that, click the ‘Not Enabled’ link next to the language. This will open the Settings app on Windows 10. If you’re on Windows 7, it will open Control Panel.

Both apps will open the language section. Click the add language option, and add the language pack you need. For example, if you’re adding United Kingdom English, search for it and install it. If you’re on Windows 10 1803, you should make sure you don’t accidentally add the second language as the main display language. The rest is all pretty straight forward. Once you add it, you can use it as an input language as well but it is unnecessary if all you need to do is stop Microsoft Word from underlining words that are correctly spelled.

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We should point out that while you can use two different languages for spellcheck, you shouldn’t. A document, especially an official or academic one, should use consistent formatting, consistent fonts, and consistent spellings. Using a mix of spellings isn’t a good idea and if you’re going to have a mixed audience reading the document, it’s all the better to stick to one type of spelling.

How To Switch Between British And American Spellcheck In Microsoft Word [Guide]
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