Where exactly to find documentation for the "Tools" -> "Language" functionality?

Using LibreOffice 7.6 I see the menu contents

“Tools” → “Language” → “For paragraph”
“Tools” → “Language” → “For selection”
“Tools” → “Language” → “For all text”

I found documentation here: Language but I am not sure if when I select a language e.g. under “Tools” → “Language” → “For all text” then there should be a green checkmark?

In the menu “Tools” → “Language” → “For selection” I see a green checkmark in front of “German {de}”. Now if I select also “German {de}” in the “Tools” → “Language” → “For all text”, shall there be a green checkmark in front of “German {de}”?

Yes or No?
Where can I find that exact specific behavior documented?

[Tutorial] Spell check and Language configuration

No. There is no green checkmark. In the following screenshot, English (New Zealand) has no spellcheck dictionary installed, the other three have spell check.

If you see a tick, then that is the current language for the document

The suggested languages in the sub-menu are supported. The “More…” entry opens the language options. with the checkbox “Current document only” being checked. There you can choose any language with or without green mark. The chosen language applies to all styles that do not have any language explicitly set.

I am sorry, but in the sub menues I see “German {de}” which does not seem to be supported. I cannot select “German {de}” for spell-checking. Or what do you mean by “supported”? Supported for what…?

The languages displayed in that menu are not “supported” - they are just suggested based on some heuristics. The program tries to analyze the text characters’ frequencies, and proposes languages that are close to that “fingerprint”. It also takes document languages, installed keyboard layouts, program UI … and from the resulting list, it shows some entries to you.

But that list does not take into account, if these languages have any dictionaries installed. People may have multiple reasons to set language to a text, absolutely not limited to spell check: e.g., this also affects hyphenation; screen readers; number formatting in fields / tables; PDF export …

Ok, so these languages in these sub menus are just these “suggested” languages? And it is just some information? I cannot actually do/select anything in these sub menus?

But to me I have the impression that I can select something in these submenus. I am confused…

I don’t see where I wrote that. Indeed, you can “select” (apply) the languages suggested there.

The important thing is: you likely believe that selecting a language there makes sure to spell-check. But the menu is not for spell-checking - it is for language attribution. It is a matter of thinking: you first apply a language; this is a self-important action. Then, in case you have the necessary dictionary installed, spell check can use that language information. Other components can also use that language information.

So the task of making sure you installed necessary dictionaries is orthogonal to that menu.

Ok, what do you exactly mean by “language attribution”. What does that mean? Is this documented somewhere?
Also, HOW to select a language for “language attribution”. I click on that language, but I do not see that this language is selected for “language attribution”. for the selected paragraph or section? Sorry I am still confused.

And I still am not sure what this checkmark means. I have installed German as language, but there is no checkmark for “German (Germany)”. ???

This is setting the “Language” text property. So that this (part of) text now has “Language X”. The same as you may apply this (part of) text a “Bold font” property.

I don’t really understand, why/how is this confusing.

I do not understand which this checkmark you refer to. You never posted a single screenshot.

This checkmark:

on the very right, just before the text “German {de}”. Oh sorry, it is not green, just black. I hope you understand. What does this mean?

This checkmark means: the selected text already is applied “German {de}” language.
@erAck: do you have an idea, why there’s this “German (Germany)” vs. “German {de}” separation on macOS?

And how do I apply German to all text?

I do not see a checkmark for German in the “All text” submenu …

I’m not using a Mac, but my educated guess is: There is no checkmark shown, as not all text is set to the same language. Only if you would set this, it may be applied and then shown also in the menu.

Have you tried to click on that entry?

Yes, I tried to click on that entry. But no checkmark has been set to that entry when I open that submenu afterwards.

And yes, I would like to set the German language attribution to the whole text …

The “for all text” never shows a checkbox. It would be too expensive to scan potentially long document, with additional things like headers/footers/frames/whatever, just to show a checkmark. So do not expect it there. Clicking to an entry does apply the selected language to all text (at this stage, this lengthy operation is performed, because the user explicitly required it), but the next time you show the menu, the checkmark will still not show (because at a later time, it would again need to do a lengthy thing just to show a checkmark).

In fact, it isn’t even shown for paragraph. Only selection has it.

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Ah interesting to know! Thanks for that clarification.
I assume the checkmark is only ever shown for the “section” submenu?

Languages can be added according to available spell-checkers / dictionaries, indicated by the trailing {de} language tag in braces here if they don’t match a predefined tag exactly, from system or extensions, there seems to be a de one additionally to de-DE German (Germany). Which isn’t quite right because there is no “the German orthography” across countries.

I suspect German {de} comes from Google Docs or similar.

I recalled something very similar with an English version, Certain OTD documents cause spell checking to be turned off

Let’s nail it down. Forget the menu Tools>Language and

  • Open your document.
  • Tools>Options>LanguageSettings>Languages.
    – The user interface language affects the UI.
    –The locale setting affects numeric expressions.
    Western language affects text written in Western language, mainly spell checking and auto correction. Any brand new document, not derived from any template, will use this language by default. You write some text and the text will be attributed as a text in that language.
    In that listbox of languages, the first entry is [None]. This “special language” turns off spell checking and auto-correction for new documents with this language attribution.
    In that listbox of languages, some languages have a green check mark icon, which indicates that your installation provides the necessary dictionaries to do spell checking.
    – Beneath the Western language selection, there is a checkbox “Current document only”. When checked, the language attribution is applied to the current document.

If your personal preferences are stored in a custom template and you want to change the language attribution of a template, open the template for editing (Fils>Templates>Edit…), call the language dialog, check “Current document only”, change the language, save and close the template.
Spell_Check_DE_EN.odt (22.9 KB)

P.S. I never use the Tools>Language>All|Paragraph|Selection menu. Trying to find out what it actually does, I placed the text cursor within the first paragraph of my document and called menu:Tools>Language>Paragraph>“English (UK)”. The program applied the English (UK) language to the characters of the entire paragraph, while the underlying paragraph style remains German. While this is a nice to have way of doing it, it is inconsistent with the overall concept of the LibreOffice suite.
Another inconsistency is that Ctrl+M (remove hard formatting) has no effect on the language. I would consider this as a bug. However, I’m afraid it is an intentional bug.