How to Change Google Docs Language

848006 How to Change Google Docs Language

Google Docs allows you to easily change the language you are typing and editing documents in. You can switch between over 100 languages, making Google Docs great for collaborating internationally or writing content in multiple languages.

This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about changing language settings in Google Docs, including:

Changing Typing Language in a Document

To change the language you are typing in within a Google Doc:

  1. Open the Google Docs document
  2. Click File > Language in the top menu
  3. Select the language you want to type in from the dropdown menu

That’s it! Google Docs will now use the chosen language for spellchecking and grammar suggestions as you type.

You can change the typing language for the entire document or just a portion of text:

  • To change for the whole document, simply select the language without highlighting any text first
  • To change for part of the text, highlight the section you want to change before selecting the language

Keyboard Shortcut

You can also use the handy keyboard shortcut to change typing language:

  • Ctrl + Shift + X (Windows)
  • ⌘ + Shift + X (Mac)

After pressing the shortcut, select the language you want to switch to from the dropdown menu.

Setting Default Typing Language

In addition to changing the language on individual Google Docs, you can set a default typing language in your Google account that applies to all new Google Docs you create.

To set a default Google Docs language:

  1. Go to Google Drive and click Settings > Settings
  2. Click Change language settings
  3. Click the Edit icon next to your current language
  4. Select your desired default language
  5. Click Select to save

Now when you create new Docs, Slides, Sheets, etc. they will automatically use your chosen default language.

Translating Documents

Google Docs also lets you easily translate an entire document to another language:

  1. Open the Google Docs document
  2. Click Tools > Translate document
  3. Enter a name for the translated document
  4. Choose the language to translate to
  5. Click Translate

A copy of the document translated into the chosen language will open in a new tab. The original document is unaffected.

Changing Interface Language

You can change the Google Docs interface language in your browser or Google account settings:

Browser Settings

  1. Click the menu icon next to your profile picture
  2. Click Settings
  3. Scroll down and click Languages
  4. Select your desired interface language
  5. Reload Google Docs

Google Account Settings

  1. Go to Google Account
  2. Click Personal info
  3. Scroll to General preferences for the web
  4. Click Language
  5. Select your desired interface language

Tips for Using Multiple Languages

  • Use the Tools > Translate document feature to keep originals and translations organized in separate tabs
  • Set the spellcheck language when you switch typing languages
  • Add languages you use frequently to your Google Account for easy access
  • Use the translate or definitions feature to quickly look up unfamiliar words
  • Collaborate with others by sharing access to Docs with multiple language versions


  • If your language is not appearing in the Docs menu, make sure you have added it in your Google Account settings first
  • Check that your browser can display the language fonts properly
  • For interface issues, try clearing your browser cache and cookies
  • Ensure you don’t have any browser extensions enabled that might conflict and cause interface display issues

Using multiple languages in Google Docs is easy once you know how! Follow this guide to get started changing typing and interface languages to suit your needs.

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