Using language tools

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Writer provides some tools that make your work easier if you mix multiple languages within the same document or write documents in various languages.

The main advantage of changing the language is that you can then use the correct dictionaries to check spelling and apply the localized versions of Autocorrect replacement tables, thesaurus, and hyphenation rules.

You can also set the language for a paragraph or a group of characters as None. This option is especially useful when you insert text such as web addresses or programming language snippets that you do not want to check for spelling.

Specifying the language in character and paragraph styles is the preferred method, because styles allow a greater level of control and make changing the language much faster. On the Font tab of the Paragraph Styles dialog box, you can specify that certain paragraphs be checked in a language that is different from the language of the rest of the document. See Chapter 7 (Working with Styles) for information on how to manage the language settings of a style.

You can also set the language for the whole document, for individual paragraphs, or even for individual words and characters, all from Tools > Language on the menu bar.

The Language menu.

The following options are available:

  • For selection - Applies a specified language to the selected text (the selection can be as short as a few characters or as long as several paragraphs).
  • For paragraph - Select this option to apply the specified language to the paragraph where the cursor is located.
  • For all text - Select this option to apply the specified language to all the document.

An alternative way to the menu above that allows you to change the language of a whole document is the use of Tools > Options > Language Settings > Languages. In the Default languages for documents section of the options dialog box you can choose a different language for all the text.

Options available in the Languages settings.
Documentation caution.png Unlike the menu tool that applies to the individual document, a change in the default language from the Options dialog is a general change of settings of OOo and will therefore apply to all the documents created in the future. If you want to change the language for the current document only, be sure to select the For the current document only option.

Spell checking is available only for those languages in the list which have the ABC symbol next to them. If you do not see the symbol next to your preferred language, you can install the additional dictionary using Tools > Languages > More dictionaries online.

The language used for checking spelling is also shown in the status bar, next to the page style in use.

Content on this page is licensed under the Creative Common Attribution 3.0 license (CC-BY).
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