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Customize language settings for the 2007 Office system

Updated: June 11, 2009

Applies To: Office Resource Kit

This Office product will reach end of support on October 10, 2017. To stay supported, you will need to upgrade. For more information, see , Resources to help you upgrade your Office 2007 servers and clients.


Topic Last Modified: 2016-11-14

In this article:

  • Methods of customizing language settings

  • Customize language-specific settings related to user locale

When a user starts the 2007 Microsoft Office system application for the first time, Setup applies default settings that match the language installed on the computer and the language specified by the Windows user locale setting.

Four main language settings affect the way users work with Office:

  • Primary editing language   When more than one language version of Office is installed on the computer, this setting determines the language in which users work with Office applications and documents.

  • Enabled editing languages   Users can specify more than one language for editing Office documents. Depending upon the languages chosen, this setting might require that the user has installed additional Proofing Tools.

  • User interface language   This setting determines the language in which the user interface (menus and dialog boxes) is displayed.

  • Help language   This setting determines the language in which users view Help topics.

You can configure these language settings for users in advance. If you specify custom language settings when you install Office—by applying a Setup customization file (MSP) file or by setting policies—then Office does not overwrite your settings with the default settings when users start the applications for the first time.

Methods of customizing language settings

You configure language settings by using one of the following methods:

  • Group policies

  • Office Customization Tool (OCT)

  • Language Settings tool

Use policies to enforce language settings

Policies enforce default language settings. Users in your organization cannot permanently modify settings managed by policy. The settings are reapplied every time that the user logs on.

To use policies to manage language settings

  1. Copy the 2007 Office system policy template files to your computer.

  2. Under Computer Configuration or User Configuration in the console tree, right-click Administrative Templates.

  3. Click Add/Remove Templates and then click Add.

  4. In the Policy Templates dialog box, click the template that you want to add and then click Open.

  5. After you add the templates that you want, click Close.

  6. Open the Group Policy object (GPO) for which you want to set policy.

  7. Double-click Computer Configuration or User Configuration and expand the tree under Administrative Templates.

  8. Locate language-related policies in the Microsoft Office 2007 system\Language Settings node.

  9. Select the languages that you want to use for each setting.

  10. Save the GPO.

The following policies help you manage language settings in the 2007 Office system:

  • Display menus and dialog boxes in   Located in the Display Language folder. Determines the language of the user interface.

  • Display help in   Located in the Display Language folder. Determines the language of online Help. If this policy is not configured, the Help language uses the user interface language.

  • Enabled Editing Languages   Located in the Editing Languages folder. Enables editing languages from the list of languages supported by Office.

  • Primary Editing Language   Located in the Enabled Editing Languages folder. Specifies the language in which users work with Office applications and documents when more than one language version is available on the computer.

For more information about settings policies for the 2007 Office system, see Enforce settings by using Group Policy in the 2007 Office system.

Use a Setup customization file to specify default language settings

You use the OCT to create a Setup customization file (MSP file) that Setup applies during the installation. Settings specified in the OCT are the default settings. Users can modify the settings after the installation.

To use the OCT to customize language settings

  1. Start the OCT by running Setup with the /admin command-line option.

  2. On the Modify User Settings page, expand the tree to Microsoft Office 2007 system\Language Settings.

  3. Open the folder that you want in the left pane. Double-click the setting in the right pane, select Enable, and specify a value.

  4. Save the Setup customization file in the Updates folder at the root of the network installation point.

    Setup applies the file automatically when you install Office on users’ computers.

For more information about how to use the OCT, see Office Customization Tool in the 2007 Office system.

Use the Language Settings tool to modify language settings

If you are not enforcing language settings by policy, users who work in Office applications can use the Language Settings tool to change their language settings.

To change language settings by using the Language Settings tool

  1. On the Start menu, point to Programs, point to Microsoft Office, and point to Microsoft Office Tools.

  2. Click Microsoft Office 2007 Language Settings.

  3. Click the Display Language tab.

    This tab is available only when more than one language version is installed on the computer.

  4. In the Display menus and dialogs in box, select the user interface language.

  5. In the Display Help in box, select a language for online Help.

  6. If you do not specify a language for Help, the online Help language uses the user interface language.

  7. Click the Editing Languages tab.

  8. Select the language that you want to be available for editing and then click the Add button. Repeat this step for each editing language that you want to add.

  9. In the Primary editing language box, select the language in which you will most often work with Office applications and documents.


Users can enable functionality for working in languages that are not installed on the computer. For example, if you select Korean as an editing language, you enable Asian and Korean features in Word even if Korean Proofing Tools are not installed. You must enable support for that language in the operating system.

Enable users to view the new language settings on first open

Typically, after you configure language settings by using one of the methods described in this article, Setup applies default settings that match the language that is installed on the computer when a user starts the 2007 Office system application for the first time. This means the new language settings will display the next (second) time that the user starts the 2007 Office system application.

If you want users to view the new language settings the first time that they open a 2007 Office system application, you can deploy the following registry settings to their computers when you deploy an initial 2007 Office system installation, or before they need to use a 2007 Office system application. You can deploy these registry settings by using a script or batch file, Group Policy, or the OCT. The registry settings that you need to configure are the following DWORD values under the HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Common\LanguageResources key:

  • UILanguage

  • HelpLanguage

  • FollowSystemUI

For each of these values, for Value name specify the LCID (locale identifier) that corresponds to the language that you want to use. For a list of LCIDs, see Language identifiers in the 2007 Office system. LCIDs are decimal values. Therefore, you must also set the Base option to Decimal.

In addition to using the Primary editing language setting, the 2007 Office system also configures language-related settings, such as number format, to match the user locale of the operating system. This behavior is controlled by the LangTuneUp entry in the LanguageResources subkey in the Windows registry. If you do not want user locale to affect default settings, you can reset the value of LangTuneUp when you install Office. If the LangTuneUp entry does not exist, Office creates the entry the first time that an application starts and sets the value to OfficeCompleted.

The LangTuneUp entry can have one of two values:

  • OfficeCompleted   Settings based on user locale are not applied to Office as a whole. However, individual applications still check for new input method editors (IMEs) and language scripts, and still apply application settings that are specific to the user locale. For example, applications ensure that newly installed keyboards have the appropriate editing languages enabled, and Word uses fonts in based on user locale.

  • Prohibited   No settings related to user locale are modified by Office or by any individual Office application.

In some scenarios, ignoring the user locale setting can help maintain a standard configuration across a multilingual organization. Setting the LangTuneUp entry to Prohibited ensures that language settings remain consistent and macros are more compatible internationally.

For example, if your organization is based in the United States and you want to standardize settings internationally, you can deploy Office with Primary editing language set to en-us (U.S. English) and LangTuneUp set to Prohibited. In this scenario users receive the same default settings, regardless of their user locale.

Ignoring user locale is not always the best option. For example, users who read and enter Asian characters in Office documents might not always have the Asian fonts they need to display characters correctly. If the installation language on the user’s computer does not match the language that was used in the document and LangTuneUp is set to Prohibited, Office does not display fonts in the non-default language. If your Office installations need to support multiple Asian language user locales, make sure LangTuneUp continues to be set to OfficeCompleted. To help ensure that users do not change the default value, set the corresponding policy.

You can disable the Taiwanese date format in the 2007 Office system by customizing the Disallow Taiwan Calendar setting. In the OCT, change this setting under Language Settings on the Modify Office User Settings page. To set the corresponding policy, enable Disallow Taiwanese Calendar in the Local Group Policy Editor. This policy is located under Current User\Microsoft Office 2007 system\Language Settings Other.


In a multilingual environment, users often need to work with multilingual documents that contain text in languages that use different scripts. Unicode, a character-encoding standard developed by the Unicode Consortium, lets users work with multilingual documents. Unicode provides a single script that can be used to represent many languages. More information about Unicode is available in the Unicode Support in Office 2003 chapter in the Microsoft Office 2003 Resource Kit.