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

Changing Word spell check to UK English can seem daunting, but it’s actually quite simple! All you need is a few clicks, and you’ll be on your way to perfecting your UK English spelling in no time.

Step by Step Tutorial: Changing Word Spell Check to UK English

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’re doing. By changing the spell check settings, we’re telling Word to use UK English as the default language for spell checking. This means that the spelling suggestions and corrections will follow UK English rules, which can be different from US English.

Step 1: Open the Language Preferences

First things first, open your Word document and go to the ‘Review’ tab.

In the ‘Review’ tab, you’ll see a lot of options, but don’t worry. We’re looking for the ‘Language’ button. Once you find it, click on it, and a drop-down menu will appear. Select ‘Language Preferences’ from this menu.

Step 2: Set Proofing Language

After you’ve clicked on ‘Language Preferences’, a new window will pop up. This window is where you can set your proofing language.

In the ‘Language’ window, you should see a list of languages. Scroll down until you find ‘English (United Kingdom)’. Click on it to select it, then click the ‘Set As Default’ button.

Step 3: Confirm the Change

A confirmation message may appear, asking if you’re sure you want to change the default language.

Read the message carefully. If everything looks good, click ‘Yes’. This will confirm that you want Word to use UK English for spell checking by default.

After completing these steps, your Word spell check should now be set to UK English. You’ll notice that the spelling suggestions and corrections will follow the UK rules, which can vary slightly from US English. For instance, ‘color’ will be flagged as incorrect, and ‘colour’ will be suggested instead.

Tips: Making the Most of Word Spell Check UK English

  • Always double-check the language setting before you start typing, especially if you work with multiple languages.
  • If you’re working on a document that uses both UK and US English, you can set the proofing language for specific sections instead of the entire document.
  • Remember that changing the spell check language won’t change the keyboard layout. You’ll still need to use the correct keys for UK English punctuation and symbols.
  • If you’re not sure about a word, don’t rely solely on spell check. It’s always a good idea to cross-reference with a dictionary.
  • Keep in mind that spell check may not catch all errors, especially with words that are spelled correctly but used in the wrong context.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I can’t find ‘English (United Kingdom)’ in the language list?

Make sure you have the UK English language pack installed. If it’s not there, you may need to download it from the Microsoft Office website.

Can I change the spell check language for just one document?

Yes, you can! The steps above set the default for all new documents, but you can change the language for a single document by going to the ‘Review’ tab and selecting ‘Language’ > ‘Set Proofing Language’ for that specific document.

Will changing the spell check language affect my autocorrect settings?

Yes, autocorrect is tied to the spell check language. If you change the spell check to UK English, the autocorrect suggestions will also follow UK English rules.

Can I switch back to US English if I need to?

Absolutely! Just follow the same steps and select ‘English (United States)’ when you set your proofing language.

Does changing the spell check language change the language of the Word interface?

No, it only changes the language used for spell checking. The Word interface will remain in the language you’ve set for your operating system.


  1. Open the Language Preferences from the ‘Review’ tab.
  2. Set ‘English (United Kingdom)’ as the default proofing language.
  3. Confirm the change when prompted.


And there you have it! Changing Word spell check to UK English is as easy as 1, 2, 3. With these simple steps, you can ensure that your documents are free of those pesky spelling errors that can slip through when using the wrong version of English. Remember, while spell check is a fantastic tool, it’s not infallible. It’s always a good idea to proofread your work or have someone else take a look to catch any mistakes spell check might have missed. Plus, this little trick can be reversed or tweaked for any language you need, making Word an incredibly versatile tool for writers all around the globe. Don’t let a simple spelling mishap stand in the way of clear, accurate, and professional writing. Give these steps a try and take control of your spell check settings today!

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