Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Bilingual Document Library in SharePoint (Part 2)

I showed in my yesterday’s post how to change the interface of SharePoint, so users that speak a language other than English would be able to see in their own language.

Today, I will focus on how to create a bilingual library, so every time a document needs to be created in the library, a set of two documents are actually created. These are the steps we will follow up:
  1. Verify Document Sets is active at the Site Collection level.
  2. Create a Document Type for each version of the document.
  3. Create a template for each version of the documents.
  4. Create the Document Set.
  5. Create the Document Library.

Verify Document Sets is active at the Site Collection level

Let’s start the activating the Document Sets feature as the Site Collection Level. This feature is enabled by default in SharePoint Online, so we just need to verify it in the Site Collection Settings. Under Site Collection Administration, click on Site collection features:

Then verify that Document Sets is marked as Active. Click on Active if not.

Create a Document Type for each version of the document

Go to the Site Collection Settings and under Galleries, click on Site Content types:

Next, Click on Create at the top of the list and create the first Content Type with the following information:
Name: Document (English Version)
Select parent content type from: Document Content Types
Parent Content Type: Document

Leave the new Content Type under the Custom Content Types group or create your own group.

Next, we need to add the column Language to the newly created Content Type. To do this, in the Document (English Version) Content Type Edit page, under Columns, click on Add from existing site columns:

On the Select columns from drop-down-list, select Base Columns; then add the column Language to the Columns to add list. Leave the Update all content types inheriting from this type? As Yes.

Thus, we have defined our first Content Type for the English version of each document. Repeat the same procedures, for the Spanish version, changing only the name of the Content Type. When finishing this step, you should have two Document Types:

Create a template for each version of the documents

For this step, we will use Microsoft Word. I’m using version 2013, but I assume that you are able to do the same in Microsoft Word 2010 or 2007.
Create a template for the each version of the document, use the margins, header, footer and other elements as necessary. Make sure you set up the proofing language of each document to the correct one. In this example, the documents look like this:

Save both documents with a name that mention the version. For this example, I saved them as Document (English Version).docx and Document (Spanish Version).docx. This name will be added to the name of the actual document automatically in SharePoint.
Finally, go to the properties of each document (File / Properties / Advanced Properties in Microsoft Word 2013)

In the document’s properties window, go to the Custom tab and Add the Language property with the word “English” or “Spanish” as Value depending which document are you editing. Save both documents locally in your hard drive.

Create the Document Set

Back in SharePoint, create a new Content Type with the following information:
Name: Bilingual Documents
Select parent content type from: Document Set Content Types
Parent Content Type: Document Set

After creating it, on the Bilingual Docs Content Type edit page, under Settings, click on Document Set settings

On the next screen, remove Document from the Content types allowed in the Document Set list and add the two Content Types you recently created: Document (English Version) and Document (Spanish Version)

Under Default Content, add two content types and select both, one on each row. Then, click on Choose File and select the document templates according with each content type:

Click OK to save the Document Type.

Create and configure the Document Library

The last step is to create the actual document library that will hold the documents in the two languages. o do this go to the site where you want to create the library on and create a new Document Library. Then from with the Library, click on the Library Tab in the ribbon and click on Library Settings to configure it to accept the created content types.
Inside the Document Library Settings, click on Advanced Settings under General Settings:

Then, Under Content Types, in the question Allow management of content types? click Yes and then OK to save.

The Content Types section will appear right before Columns in the Document Library Settings page. Click on Add from existing content types:

Add the Bilingual Docs Content Type and press OK:

Back on the Document Library Settings page, click on Document under Content Types and remove it.

Now, your Document Library is ready for creating new documents. You will see that if you click the New Document in the ribbon, there is a button that says Bilingual Documents.

If you click on it, the New Document Set: Bilingual Docs will show up. After you enter a Name and a Description (optional), you’ll have a couple of documents in the two languages selected created from the templates we uploaded before.

There is much more that can be done with this approach, like creating templates for Web pages or another Microsoft Office documents. I just wanted to show you that it is possible to have Multilingual libraries using out-of-the-box SharePoint features.

I hope you enjoy this post!

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