Multilingual Word

Reader Nick Brown has feet planted in two countries (and two languages). He writes:

I am living in France and so have to write in both French and English. It takes several key strokes to change Language in Tools for a given document. Is there any way of developing a shortcut so I can toggle between the two languages in Word as I go from task to task? (I am running Microsoft Office 2004 on an iMac G5 with OS 10.4.8).

The answer that first springs to mind is a Word macro. Choose Tools -> Macro -> Record New Macro, enter a name for your macro, and click the Keyboard button. In the Customize Keyboard window that appears, assign a keyboard shortcut for your macro—say Control-Option-F—and click Assign. Now click OK to begin recording your macro.

The steps you’ll take to record that macro are to choose Tools -> Language, select French in the Language window that appears, and click OK. Stop recording the macro.

Create another macro that switches the language back to English. Now when you want to switch languages, just press the corresponding keyboard shortcut.

The answer that sort of lazily wanders into the room after the macro answer is to create styles based on French or English. Choose Format -> Style and in the Style window that appears, name the style, select Styles in Use from the List pop-up menu, and then select Normal from the Styles list at the top of the window. Click the New button.

In the resulting New Style window choose Language from the pop-up menu at the bottom of the window. Choose the language you’d like to use (French or English), and click OK. The New Style window will now tell you that you’re using a Normal style + the language you chose. Modify the style as you like from there and click OK to add the style.

Now when you want to switch languages, just impose the new style.

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