How Word translates text between languages

Translate a word, a sentence, or an entire document into 62 languages with a few clicks.

Credit: Rob Schultz/IDG

Can Microsoft Word translate my documents to and from different languages? Yes, and it’s easy. However, note that the Office 365 version requires the Office Intelligent services (included with subscription) and an Internet connection for the Translator feature to function.

Word asks if you want to “Turn On” this service the first time you use the Translate feature, which then remains “On” unless (or until) you disable the service from the Options menus. Additional features such as Editor, Smart Look Up, PowerPoint Designer, and more are included with these services.

Word 2013’s and Word 2016’s respective Translate features function essentially the same way, except the languages are located on your local system, and the menu design is slightly different.

How to use Word's Translate feature

1. Open a blank or existing document (if blank, enter some text).

2. Highlight the text you want to translate, or press Ctrl+ A to select the entire document.

001 select translation click translate turn on JD Sartain / IDG Worldwide

Select text for translation, click the Translate button, then “Turn On” the service

3. Under the Review tab, Language group, select Translate > Selection (or Translate > Document).

4. The first time you use this feature, Word displays the Use Intelligent Services dialog screen. Click the Turn On button (or it will not work).

5. The Translator pane (called Research pane in 2013 & 2016) opens. Ensure the From section says English, if that’s the correct source language. Then click the down arrow in the To section and select a translation language from the drop-down list.

6. Click the Insert button, and the text you selected in your document or selected text is instantly translated to the language you chose.

7. You can translate a single word, sentence, paragraph, or the entire document. You can also translate part of the document in one language, and the rest in another, or multiple paragraphs into multiple languages. 

Currently, Microsoft Word supports 62 different languages.

002 select a language click insert done JD Sartain / IDG Worldwide

Select a language from the list, click Insert, and it’s instantly translated.

How to turn the Intelligent Services on and off

1. Click File > Options > General.

2. Scroll down to Office Intelligent Services and check or un-check the Enable Services button.

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JD Sartain

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