Change language for user interface (menus & help files)

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Change language for user interface (menus & help files)

Postby Hagar Delest » Sun Nov 18, 2007 11:53 pm

Perhaps you need sometimes to switch the UI language (menus & help files). A good example is to better communicate on English speaking forums, having the right name for each feature or command when your native language or installed version of OOo is not English. Language packs are exactly what you need.

How to use it ?
  • Simply download and run the installer (Windows) or install the package (note that GNU/Linux packages are also in .deb format, check for the deb tag in the file name).
  • Then, to change the UI language, in OOo, go to the menu Tools>Options>Language Settings>Languages. Modify the language in the drop-down list, close OOo and the Quickstarter (in the system tray) if activated and start OOo again.
Location ?
Go to the download page (link bottom right of this page), there is a link that leads directly to the language packs (see Get all platforms, languages, language packs). Search for your language, one row is for the full installer and the second row is for the language pack.

Note that it's easier to install the en-US (default) version and then install your language pack. Especially if you want to communicate in the forum without any translation differences.
Last edited by Hagar Delest on Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:30 pm, edited 14 times in total.
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Re: Change language for user interface (menus & help files)

Postby acknak » Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:18 am

Tip:
On Linux (or Unix) you can start a temporary OOo session in a different UI language by specifying the language on a command line. E.g.
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$ LANG=de_DE ooffice
will start OOo with German as the UI & default document language.

From a non-English locale, you could start a temporary English session with:
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$ LANG=en_US ooffice


This can be very convenient for temporarily switching the UI language, rather than going through the Tools > Options menu, with the necessary re-starts.

You must have the language pack installed, as described above, or as packaged by your distribution; if the specified language pack is not installed, OOo will start up in the default locale.

E.g. Installing French language support for OOo under Fedora Linux is as simple as
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$ yum install openoffice.org-langpack-fr
This will automatically install the corresponding dictionary as well.

Notes:
[1] The 'ooffice' 'command is correct for Fedora Linux. Other Linux distributions will probably use a different command name, unfortunately.
[2] This is good for a temporary session only; it does not change any settings.
[3] I haven't tested this under Windows--it may work, but as far as I know, you would have to create a small batch file to set the environment variable.
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Re: Change language for user interface (menus & help files)

Postby Hagar Delest » Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:15 am

For Ubuntu or any GNU/Linux system, you can use a desktop launcher to run Writer in English instead of French with a script made executable containing the following lines :
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#!/bin/bash
LANG=en_US.UTF-8 soffice -writer


For Windows, there was a trick but deprecated now for 3.# (with no replacement, see Bernard Marcelly's post below).
Bernard Marcelly wrote:Hello,
I tested these batches with OpenOffice.org 2.2.1 on MS-Windows XP SP2 Home.
I have OpenOffice en-US plus french langpack .

Do not use the Quick starter.
Run the batches with no OpenOffice running, or the change will only be effective at next OpenOffice start.

Open Writer with user interface in FR french:
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@echo off
"C:\Program Files\OpenOffice.org 2.2\program\setofficelang.exe" -f fr-FR
"C:\Program Files\OpenOffice.org 2.2\program\swriter.exe"


Open Writer with user interface in US english:
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@echo off
"C:\Program Files\OpenOffice.org 2.2\program\setofficelang.exe" -f en-US
"C:\Program Files\OpenOffice.org 2.2\program\swriter.exe"
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Re: Change language for user interface (menus & help files)

Postby Hagar Delest » Wed Jan 23, 2008 10:56 pm

First post updated thanks to that thread: Where can I find language packs for OpenOffice.org.
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Re: Change language for user interface (menus & help files)

Postby B Marcelly » Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:14 pm

Hi,
Referring to a quote (from me), I have to say that the setofficelang command line tool is deprecated from 3.0.
AFAIK there is no simple way to set the UI language from command line in MS-Windows. See this thread.
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Re: Change language for user interface (menus & help files)

Postby CLS213 » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:06 pm

Hello,

In my school we teach mainly in French and Dutch (Belgium) so we need to change our UI of OpenOffice. I recently upgraded to OpenOffice 3.0 (all our Windows PC's). For changing the UI of OOo 3.0 I written a small script and some batch files to change the language

It's easy

Code of the VBScript
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'*****************************************************************************
'*                     OpenOffice.org v3.0 Taal Kiezer                         *
'*                            C.LAEREMANS, 2009                              *
'*****************************************************************************
Option explicit

'VARIABELEN
Dim objShell, intAntwoord

'OBJECTEN
Set objShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")

'CODE
intAntwoord = msgbox("Démarrer OpenOffice en français ?",vbQuestion + vbYesNo,"OOo français")
if intAntwoord = vbYes then
   objShell.Run "cmd.exe /c ""C:\Program Files\OpenOffice.org 3\lang\langFR.bat""",0
   objShell.Run "cmd.exe /c ""C:\Program Files\OpenOffice.org 3\program\soffice.exe""",0
   'objShell.SendKeys "%",0
else
   intAntwoord = msgbox("OpenOffice starten in het Nederlands ?",vbQuestion + vbYesNo,"OOo Nederlands")
   if intAntwoord = vbYes then
      objShell.Run "cmd.exe /c ""C:\Program Files\OpenOffice.org 3\lang\langNL.bat""",0
      objShell.Run "cmd.exe /c ""C:\Program Files\OpenOffice.org 3\program\soffice.exe""",0
      'objShell.SendKeys "%",0
   else
      msgbox "Erreur .... "
   end if
   
end if

'VERWIJDEREN VAN OBJECTEN
set objShell = Nothing

Remark: you need 3 " to support lang names of directories in the dos commandprompt.


Batch file
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c:
cd "C:\Program Files\OpenOffice.org 3\lang"
copy LinguisticFR.xcu "%userprofile%\Application Data\OpenOffice.org\3\user\registry\data\org\openoffice\Office\"
cd "%userprofile%\Application Data\OpenOffice.org\3\user\registry\data\org\openoffice\Office\"
del Linguistic.xcu
rename LinguisticFR.xcu Linguistic.xcu


Works fast and verry wel. You must turn the quickstarter of OOo off, if you don't do it the script wouldn't change the language. Maybe in a second release of the script (or program) I add this (if I have the time)
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Re: Change language for user interface (menus & help files)

Postby RGB » Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:55 pm

Language packs/localized installers for old versions seems to have disappeared from the mirrors. I spent some time searching for the Spanish langpack for 2.4.2 (someone on the Spanish forums needed it because this is the last version that runs in W98) but I was not able to find it.
In the /archive/extended/ folder (only few mirrors have it, for example this one) I found the rcs for 2.4.1 while in the /archive/localized it is possible to find the localized installers. But there is no trace of 2.4.2
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Re: Change language for user interface (menus & help files)

Postby Bluegates » Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:31 pm

I'm just starting with Open Office and successfully loaded the English version, however as I live in France I needed to add the french language pack. This down loaded really well but there is a BIG but, it seemed to hijack the original down load and so all the controls and instructions now appear in French which is a problem for some of the computer users (windows 7 and computer is divided into 3 users) .

Could any one give me a very simple idiot's step by step guide for returning the 'control' language of Open Office in all its forms (Data bases, word, spreadsheets, paint etc) to UK English - for the times we need to do french documents I set up a 'basic french doc' which other users can then use safely without worrying as I did with MS Office.

Any help would be most gratefully received.
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Re: Change language for user interface (menus & help files)

Postby Robert Tucker » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:32 pm

Bluegates wrote:Could any one give me a very simple idiot's step by step guide for returning the 'control' language of Open Office in all its forms (Data bases, word, spreadsheets, paint etc) to UK English


Hagar de l'Est wrote:Then, to change the UI language, in OOo, go to the menu Tools>Options>Language Settings>Languages. Modify the language in the drop-down list, close OOo and the Quickstarter (in the system tray) if activated and start OOo again.
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