Powering up Your PowerPoint Spellchecker

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Photo Credit: HubSpot

Photo Credit: HubSpot


Maria Helena Brenner-Kelly


PowerPoint is a very popular presentation software. No wonder it is pretty common to receive translation projects with source documents in PPT format.

If you are anything like me, you want to do a last review of your target document in PPT, taking advantage of the built-in spellcheck. Applying a document language change in MS-Word is a pretty straightforward process, but not in PowerPoint. Usually, it has to be done for each slide and it is a very tedious process. That’s why some smart people published a workaround in Microsoft KnowledgeBase, and a smart translator adapted it and posted on the Yahoo translators technology group. That’s the version I’ve used to create a PowerPoint add-in adapted to Brazilian Portuguese. The add-in can change any PPT presentation into Brazilian Portuguese or into US English. If you want to add other languages, it is pretty easy, but you have to be at least a little familiar with macros.

Installing the add-in is a breeze:

  • Click here to download file Changelanguage pt-BR en-US.ppam
  • Launch PowerPoint
  • Click on File > Options > Add-ins > Manage > PowerPoint Add-ins > Go > Add new
  • Browse to the location you saved the downloaded add-in, select it, and click OK

And there you have it. When you want to use it, just open your presentation, select the Add-ins tab, and you will see two buttons on the left side of the ribbon: pt-BR and en-US. Click on one or the other depending on the language you want, and your spellchecker will work like a charm.

PS: I have been told MemoQ saves a target PPT file already with the correct target language. If you are a MemoQ user, you might not need this add-in.

Maria Helena was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil. She holds a bachelor’s degree in statistics from the University of São Paulo, a graduate degree in business administration from Fundação Getúlio Vargas, and a certificate in translation from New York University. Her work involved both the areas of finance and IT for 25 years, ten of which at IBM in the US. She is a freelance translator and lives in the state of Bahia, in Brazil.

One Comment

  1. Thank you for sharing this very useful add-in. I just finished a translation in PPT using it, lots of time saved setting the language one slide at a time.

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