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If you’re working with different languages, but your language skills are a little rusty, you may be looking for a quick translation tool. Microsoft Office has you covered—you can translate a document easily within Word itself. Here’s how.

These instructions have been made with the latest version of Word in mind. For older versions of Word, the instructions and steps may vary slightly, but you should be able to translate sections of text as well as entire Word documents in a similar way.

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Translating Sections of Text in Word

You can quickly translate small snippets of words and phrases as well as entire sections of text from one language to another in Microsoft Word. Word will automatically try to determine the language, but you can set this manually if you need to.

To start, open a Word document and select the text you want to translate. When you’re ready, click the “Review” tab on the ribbon bar and then select the “Translate” button.

In the “Translate” options drop-down menu, click the “Translate Selection” option.

Press Review > Translate > Translate Selection to translate a section of a Word document

The “Translator” menu will appear on the right. Word, as we’ve mentioned, should automatically detect the language of the text.

If this is incorrect, select it manually in the “From” drop-down menu.

Selecting a language to translate from in the "Translator" options menu in Word

The “To” section below will show the translated text in your preferred language.

Word will also try to guess what language you would prefer to translate to, but you can change this to a language of your choice by selecting a new language using the “To” drop-down menu.

Selecting a language to translate to in the "Translator" options menu in Word

You can view a quick preview of the translation once your options are selected.

If you’re happy with the translation and you want to replace your selected text in Word with the translation, select the “Insert” button.

Press the Insert button to insert your translated text in Word

Word will replace the original text with the translation. If you want to revert back to the original, press Ctrl + Z (or Cmd + Z on Mac) or the Undo button in the top left.

Translating an Entire Word Document

If the text in your Word document is in an entirely different language, you can translate it without replacing your original document. Once translated, Word will open a new document to place the translation, which you can then save separately.

To do this, open your Word document and select Review > Translate > Translate Document.

Press Review > Translate > Translate Document to translate an entire Word document

The “Translator” options menu will appear on the right-hand side, where Word will automatically try to determine the language used in your document. If you’d prefer to set this yourself, change the “From” option from “Auto-detect”  to a language of your choice.

Press the “To” drop-down menu and select a language to translate your document to and then click “Translate” to translate your document.

Select the languages to translate from and to, then press Translate to begin translating your Word document

Once Word has finished the translation, it will open this as a new document. You can then save this translated document by pressing File > Save or by pressing the “Save” icon in the top left.

Profile Photo for Ben Stockton Ben Stockton
Ben Stockton is a freelance tech writer from the United Kingdom. In a past life, he was a UK college lecturer, training teens and adults. Since leaving the classroom, he's been a tech writer, writing how-to articles and tutorials for MakeUseOf, MakeTechEasier, and Cloudwards.net. He has a degree in History and a postgraduate qualification in Computing.
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