Not many people know about them but LIPs are a cool way to start using Office in your native language. The Office Language Interface Pack (LIP) is a translated skin that sits on top of a licensed copy of Microsoft Office 2003, 2007 & 2010. You need at least a standard version of Office or greater on your machine in order to install it. Once you install the LIP you can switch the language from your base language version of Office to the language of the LIP you installed through Microsoft Office Language settings and you will then see a translated user interface for the following Microsoft Office client programs: Excel, Outlook®, PowerPoint® , Word® & OneNote®. it also includes a speller for the LIP language. Other Office applications & server applications are not included as part of the Office Language Interface Pack. When using the Office LIPs you can switch between Base language and LIP language "on the fly" should you wish to do so. Microsoft also creates Windows Language Interface Packs. Like the Office LIP, it is a translated skin that sits on top of a licensed copy of Windows XP, Vista & Windows 7. You can find an overview of Office LIPs here . You can also find some Office LIP download, installation and configuration settings here.
Where to get the Office Language Interface Packs?
The Office LIPs are available for free from http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/downloads/HA011133501033.aspx . For Office 2003 it is available in 33 languages. For Office 2007 it is available in 55 languages. The Office 2010 LIPs will start to come online at the start of 2011.
Office Language Interface Pack Spellers
In most cases, the Office LIP also contains a speller for the language which is included in the download.
Office Language Interface Pack User Assistance
User assistance or help (F1) is not translated into the LIP language - it will always remain in the language of your original Office installation. Some languages also have some downloadable help files on the download page such as a getting started guide or Powerpoint templates. These types of help files are translated and can be downloaded to your computer.
Microsoft's Local Language Program
The Office LIP is part of Microsoft's Local Language Program. As part of this program Microsoft partners with governments, language authorities, universities, and local partners to translate software in more languages. In the Local Language Program, Microsoft strives to find new ways to create economic opportunities, develop customized IT solutions, and preserve local languages and cultures.
Note: The Base language I refer to above means any language that has a standard version Office. LIPs will work on any of these, however, in most cases the base language will be English. For example, if I am an Welsh speaker the likelihood is I will have a standard version of Office in English, I can then install a Welsh LIP over my English version so the User Interface for the main Office client applications will appear in Welsh. Similarly if I am a Catalan speaker I will most likely have a standard version of Office client in Spanish. I can then install the Catalan LIP over my Spanish version of Office so the User Interface will appear in Catalan.