How to Change Word to UK English: A Step-by-Step Guide

Changing Word to UK English is a simple task that can be done in just a few clicks. By following these steps, you can ensure that your documents are in the correct dialect for your audience. This process will update your spelling and grammar checks to match UK English standards.

Step by Step Tutorial: Changing Word to UK English

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to understand that changing the language settings in Word will affect your spelling and grammar checks. This means that words spelled correctly in American English might be flagged as incorrect in UK English, and vice versa.

Step 1: Open Language Preferences

Open the language preferences in your Word document.

In the toolbar at the top of the page, click on the "Review" tab. Then, on the far left, you’ll see the "Language" button. Click on it, and a dropdown menu will appear. Select "Language Preferences," and a new window will pop up.

Step 2: Add English (United Kingdom)

Add English (United Kingdom) to the list of editing languages.

In the language preferences window, you’ll see a list of languages under the "Editing Languages" tab. If English (United Kingdom) is not listed, click on "Add a Language," find it in the list, and click "Add."

Step 3: Set as Default

Set English (United Kingdom) as the default language.

Once English (United Kingdom) has been added to your list, you’ll need to set it as the default. Click on it in the list, and then click the "Set as Default" button. You may be prompted to confirm this change.

Step 4: Confirm Changes

Confirm the changes and close the window.

A confirmation message will appear, letting you know that the default language has been changed. Click "OK" to close the window and apply the changes.

After completing these steps, your Word document will be set to UK English. This means that your spelling and grammar checks will now follow UK English rules.

Tips: Mastering Word to UK English

  • Make sure to save your document before changing the language settings, just in case anything goes wrong.
  • If you frequently switch between UK and US English, consider adding a keyboard shortcut to quickly change the language settings.
  • Remember that changing the language settings will not automatically change the spelling of words already in your document. You will need to run a spell check to update them.
  • If you work with others who use different versions of English, make sure to communicate which dialect you are using to avoid confusion.
  • Consider adding UK English as a second language in your Word settings if you switch between dialects often.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if English (United Kingdom) isn’t listed in the language preferences?

If you can’t find English (United Kingdom) in the list, you may need to install additional proofing tools. Check Microsoft’s website for more information on how to do this.

Will changing the language settings affect my entire document?

Yes, changing the language settings will affect the entire document. If you only want to change a portion of the document, you can highlight the text and change the language settings for that specific section.

Can I switch back to US English if needed?

Absolutely! You can switch back to US English by following the same steps and selecting English (United States) as your default language.

Does changing the language settings change the interface of Word?

No, changing the language settings will not change the interface of Word. It only changes the spelling and grammar checks.

Will changing the language settings affect other Microsoft Office applications?

No, changing the language settings in Word will not affect other Microsoft Office applications. You will need to change the settings individually for each application.


  1. Open Language Preferences
  2. Add English (United Kingdom)
  3. Set as Default
  4. Confirm Changes


Switching your Word document to UK English is a breeze, isn’t it? With just a few clicks, you can tailor your document to meet the language preferences of your UK audience. This not only helps in making your work more relatable but also boosts your credibility as someone who pays attention to detail.

It’s essential, especially in a professional setting, to ensure that your documents reflect the linguistic nuances of your target audience. Whether you’re a student, a business professional, or an author, understanding the significance of these subtle differences and adapting accordingly can make a world of difference.

So, the next time you’re working on a document for a UK-based client or reader, remember to change Word to UK English. It’s a small step that can lead to better communication and a greater appreciation for your work. Plus, it’s a great way to avoid those pesky red underlines that appear when you type words like "colour" or "favour" the British way.

Happy writing, and cheers to breaking the language barriers, one word document at a time!

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