Word - language - UK/US English

Copper Contributor

Hi - I know this is a problem for many. Does anyone know how I can set my language in Word to UK English? Whatever I do it reverts to US English. I have been through dozens of possible solutions without success. Is there a way to delete US English on Word. Or is there a free programme I can use instead that works in UK English? I have Microsoft 365.

6 Replies

Hello @Tedraker ,

try the Windows setting for language. Choose English (UK) and delete English (US). Careful, though, as this changes the keyboard setting, which is important if - when you are logging in - you are using the top (number) row.


Also, go (in Word) to 'Review' → 'Language' → 'Language Preferences' and add/remove language, you may need to install the UK proofing version.


Also, when you are in a document, you can set English (UK) as you default language in Normal.dot.

I hope some of these will be the help you need.

@Lenka_Kerumova Many thanks but none of these things work. I wonder if there's another programme I can use that works in UK English and is compatible with Word?

Hello @Tedraker,

Are you sure you set the normal.dot to have the English UK as the preferred proofing language? Attached is a snapshot of another way how to set your proofing language. You get to it via Word → File → Options → Language.

You don't need another programme, just play around with what you've been given. It works, believe me.



Have you been able to change the display language in Windows? Have you also managed to correctly set the proofing language in Word's Language dialog box (Review > Language > Set Proofing Language)? Try creating a new, blank document in Word by pressing Ctrl+N. If the language is correct in that document, your steps have been successful. 


Note that existing documents won't be affected after you have changed the defaults; instead, these must be dealt with one by one. For example, you can modify the language of the Normal style in each document. Often, though, you have to select all the text and manually (re-)apply the correct language via Review > Language > Set Proofing Language (just click OK, and do not click the Set As Default button, since you are not changing the defaults in this instance).

Thanks for the replies. I'll try and see if I can sort it.



Good luck. Do post back with your results.


Unfortunately, language formatting is more convoluted than it should be, in Word.