How To Translate Interface Language in Google Docs Editor

Google Docs editor is a popular online word processor that allows real-time collaboration between multiple users. Its interface is available in over 100 languages, making it accessible to users around the world. However, sometimes you may need to change the interface language in Google Docs for various reasons.

Why Change Google Docs Interface Language

Here are some common reasons for changing the interface language in Google Docs:

  • Work with international teams: When collaborating with team members who speak other languages, changing the interface language can make Google Docs easier for them to use.
  • Improve accessibility: Users with visual impairments often use screen readers that are configured for particular languages. Changing the interface language improves accessibility for those users.
  • Personal preference: Some users simply prefer to work in an interface that is in their native or preferred language.
  • Check translations: Translators and localizers may want to check how the interface appears in other languages to ensure translations are accurate.

Ways to Change Google Docs Interface Language

There are a couple ways to change the interface language in Google Docs:

Change Language in Google Account Settings

You can change the language globally for all Google services, including Google Docs, in your Google Account settings:

  1. Go to Google Account
  2. Under “Personal info & privacy”, select Languages
  3. Click on the pencil icon next to your current language
  4. Search for and select your preferred language
  5. Click “Select” to save changes

This will change the interface language for Google Docs as well as other Google services like Drive, Calendar, etc.


  • Changes many Google services at once
  • Persists across sessions


  • Only allows one language to be set at a time globally

Install Google Docs Language Extension

You can also install the Office editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides Chrome extension. This allows you to view and edit documents in Google Docs using different interface languages:

  1. Install the Office editing extension in Chrome
  2. In Google Docs editor, click on the extension icon
  3. Select your desired interface language
  4. Click “Reload”

The editor interface will now change to the selected language.


  • Can quickly switch between multiple interface languages
  • No need to change account settings back and forth


  • Only works in Chrome browser
  • Needs manual selection each time Google Docs is loaded

Tips for Managing Multiple Languages

When working with Google Docs in different languages, keep these tips in mind:

  • Use browser profiles: Create separate Chrome user profiles for different languages to keep settings isolated.
  • Set typing language: Use the File > Language menu to set typing language per document.
  • Install input tools: Input tools for non-Latin languages can be enabled from the toolbar.
  • Use translate feature: The Tools > Translate feature helps translate full documents between languages.
  • Collaborate with comments: Use comments rather than direct edits when reviewing translated documents.

Translating Documents in Google Docs

The built-in translation tool allows you to translate an entire Google Docs document into another language:

  1. Open the Google Doc document you want to translate
  2. Click Tools > Translate document in the menu
  3. Enter a name for the translated document
  4. Select the target language from the dropdown menu
  5. Click “Translate”

A copy of the translated document will open in a new tab retaining the original formatting.

Some limitations to be aware of with Google Docs translation:

  • Document size less than 50 MB
  • Translates entire document at once
  • Quality depends on language pair
  • Formatting may not be fully retained

For high quality and scalable translations, consider using a dedicated translation management platform like Smartling or Pairaphrase. These systems provide advanced features like translation memory, machine translation, and translator workflows.


The interface language in Google Docs can be changed using account settings or browser extensions. When working across multiple languages, utilize profiles, input tools, and the built-in translation feature. For professional document translation, specialized platforms provide higher quality results.

Changing interface languages expands the accessibility of Google Docs for global collaboration. With the right settings and features, the editor can adapt to meet the needs of any team.