Recently I became a huge fan of Google Docs despite all the deficiencies. But there's one thing that really repels me from writing anything in language other than English, namely poor spell checker. It does not recognize about 10-20% of words in Polish and quite a few French words too, which is quite a big number I should say.

Have been looking for chrome extension that could do the job instead, but have found nothing at all.

Is there any way I could extend Google Docs (or get a Chrome Extension) dictionary with a few other dictionaries rather than adding not recognized words on a one by one basis?

It's been almost a year since pax's comment and I still hope this issue will be resolved soon.

To be very clear on what I am expecting to get take a look at the article from a Polish online newspaper, that is an article written by people who know the language really well by definition. It's about Hungary so yes, there are some words that might not have been recognized, but there are about 20 legitimate Polish words that have been marked as misspelled. If in doubt check online polish dictionary

Yes, I set the language to Polish.

As I mentioned in the comment, vim with polish dictionary can do a lot better; without the AI stuff that is sort of missing the whole point of a spell checker.

enter image description here

  • Have you been adding the words to your dictionary? I'd expect after not too long a time you would cover just about all of the words you use.
    – ale
    Apr 24, 2012 at 18:58
  • I probably would be better off changing the header from Polish to Non English.
    – matcheek
    Apr 25, 2012 at 8:47
  • 2
    @Al Everett, Could understand that, but I'm not talking about sophisticated Natural Language Processing tools. I'm talking about the very basic dictionary that every spell checker has. I downloaded a polish dictionary for vim and it works just perfect. It seems to me that Google Docs spell checker is over-engineered.
    – matcheek
    Apr 25, 2012 at 13:34
  • 3
    As it seems, for now, Google Docs only provides spellcheck for English - although one can choose the language of the document. Which is massively lame.
    – pax
    Oct 11, 2012 at 11:25
  • 2
    @pax you should post this as an answer, as it is referenced and totally settles the question for now.
    – nic
    Oct 2, 2013 at 9:47

3 Answers 3


One way to have your "dictionary" include spellings from other languages is to translate the document into the language you desire. This will create a copy of the document in the language you choose.

Tools menu with "Translate document..." selected

Translate document pop-up set to Spanish

Though this way may produce some weird results, I find that once translated the "spell check" does provide corrections with the translated language, though it will also still correct English spellings.

An example of one weird result I've seen while translating from an English document to a German one had Sprechen sie deutsch translated to Do you speak English. Though, it appears this may have happened because the document had been translated multiple times between languages before translating it back to English, where I added the line which spell check corrected it for German spelling.

Another weird result was the translation failing to separate words causing the "spell check" to flag the word, but it did give the correction in the language it was translated to.

Hope this helps.

  • 1
    Thanks for the answer. I have further clarified my question.
    – matcheek
    Oct 2, 2013 at 17:11

For the French language, Druide Antidote and Cordial are the best (spell + grammar + conjugation checkers) and have integration for Google Chrome. But they aren't free. Otherwise, Spell Checker for Chrome is a free extension that supports French.

For Polish, you can try using the built-in spell checker in Chrome (you can even provide your own dictionary, but there is a Polish one by default):

  • Go to Settings.
  • Click Show advanced settings.
  • In the "Languages" section, click Languages and input settings.
  • In the Languages and Input dialog that appears, use the "Enable spell checking" checkbox to turn the spell-checker on or off.

enter image description here

  • Thanks for the answer. I have further clarified my question.
    – matcheek
    Oct 2, 2013 at 17:10
  • Can you explain why those extensions don't do the job? Oct 2, 2013 at 17:13
  • Franck, spell checker for chrome extension works better than the built-in one (you can compare the text from the line) but it's external to the document. I am talking really basic, fundamental spell checker running on a document that has been with Microsoft Word for last 20 years.
    – matcheek
    Oct 2, 2013 at 18:02
  • What do you mean by "it's external to the document."? Oct 2, 2013 at 20:24
  • 1
    It doesn't work on documents in Google Docs.You have to copy the text over and work there.I want to know how can I do a spell check on the document.If I am to leave Google Docs to do spell checking I can use other services like Gmail.Even tough it's better than built-in one it seems to me that this extension uses statistical approach too as it struggles with common words like "międzynarodowy" (=international): i.imgur.com/qlaUsuh.png. I feel that I am demanding too much but see vim for comparison: i.imgur.com/nLEnpWP.png (only Hungarian words are highlighted)
    – matcheek
    Oct 2, 2013 at 22:15

The easiest way is to change your proofing language is to set it under File menu.

In this case you'll use the same document, without translation. You can pick the spelling checker of your choice (even dialects like Deutsch, Schweizerdeutsch) that Google supports.

Set Google Doc Proofing Language

  • 1
    Thanks for your answer. As specified in the question, the language was set the the same as the spell checked text. Problem was somewhere else, namely with poor spell checker that was subsequently replaced with new version of Google Docs last year. Three years ago when I asked this question, Google still was unable to do a simple spell check in many non-English languages. Today they can.
    – matcheek
    Jan 28, 2016 at 15:37
  • Yes, they're definitely evolving. Actually I am using the Hungarian spell checker and it is quite OK. Not the best, but acceptable, at least warns about the typos.
    – gaborsch
    Jan 28, 2016 at 16:20

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