How to set the grammar check language of document


In LibreOffice Writer 5.4.1, I prefer to use the English menu, however I have lots of documents which are not in the English language.

1/ How do I set the language of document for the grammar and spell check?
Ex: A document is recognised as English, but actually it’s French.

2/ How to specify that a specific paragraph is in another language?

3/ Why the menu toolbar stays as light gray, can’t add language in Tools>Dictionnaries


You can set text language at three levels:

  • Paragraph style: Edit any paragraph style and go to the Font tab, below the font selection you have a language drop-down menu.

  • Character style: same as above.

  • Direct formatting (not recommended): right click → Character → Font tab.

Styles can be linked (Organizer tab) so a style can inherit some settings from a “parent” style. In fact, if you edit the paragraph style called “Default” to change its language most paragraph styles on Writer will follow.

Dictionaries are installed as extensions. Check the extensions page to download any dictionary.

For basic grammar checking capabilities, you have LanguageTool project.

In addition to @RGB-es’s answer, you can also set your default languages (yes, plural) in ToolsOptions..., Languages SettingsLanguage. There, you choose language for UI, locale and default language for documents.

This defines a hierarchy with overrides in the following order:

Default language >> paragraph style >> character style >> direct formatting (strongly discouraged as @RGB-es pointed out).