Monday, November 12, 2012

A Bilingual Document Library in SharePoint (Part 1)

There are scenarios of companies that grow up  expanding to other countries where English is not the primary language, or companies here in the US that have a growing number of employees that speak a language other than English. On these scenarios, the ability of creating bilingual documents is a must have.
In this post I am going to show you a way to accomplish this by using a Document Library in SharePoint. I will divide the job in two phases:
  1.  Make the SharePoint interface bilingual using out-of-the-box SharePoint Multilingual User Interface (MUI).
  2. Create two versions of each document using Document Sets and Content Types.
Let’s star then with the Phase 1.

The first thing you need to do is to enable MUI in SharePoint; this will allow users to change their default language of the main SharePoint interface. To do this, just open the Site Settings of the site that you want to provide multilingual support. Click on the Site Actions link at the top right of any page of the site, and click on Site Settings:

On the Site Settings page, under Site Administration, click on Language Settings:

In the Language Settings page, under Alternate Languages, click those languages that you want to incorporate in your site:

Select No on Overwrite Translations and click in OK.
Now, your users can easily change the language of the SharePoint interface clicking in the menu that is next to their names in the top right corner:

 SharePoint will show the ribbon, the settings pages, help, menus, top link bar and other controls in the selected language. The next two images show the ribbon of Shared Documents  in English and Spanish:

In the second part of this post I will show you how to create two version of each document using Documents Sets and Content Types. 

Stay tuned!

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