Friday, October 03, 2008

WPF Localization, part II

Following on from the previous blog, I'll briefly look here at how to localise strings that you build within your application as opposed to resources that are within the XAML.  There are a variety of options here, but this approach seems pretty simple and plays nicely with the locabaml / csv approach described earlier.

Step 1:

Add a new item to your project, of type Resource Dictionary.  By default, VS will name it Dictionary1.xaml.

Step 2:

Edit the App.xaml file to reference the new resource dictionary.  The markup you'll need is:

   <ResourceDictionary x:Uid="ResourceDictionary_1">
         <ResourceDictionary x:Uid="ResourceDictionary_2" Source="Dictionary1.xaml" />

Step 3:

Let's now add some code and content.  Assuming that you are using the "app" we built in the previous blog, double click on the button in the designer to add a Click event and the corresponding method in the code behind file.  Within the method, add the following code:


"buttonMessage" is the name of the resource that we want to display - edit the Dictionary1.xaml file to include it:


   <system:String x:Key="buttonMessage">Hello World!</system:String>

If you are running in the default locale ("en-GB" in our previous example), the app should run and you should get a message box with the text "Hello World" when you click the button.

Step 4:

Back to our friends from before.  Do the following:

  • run "msbuild /t:updateuid" from your project directory
  • build the project
  • run "locbaml /parse" from your bin\debug directory
  • translate the corresponding csv file
  • run "locbaml /generate" to build the new resource dll

(I've not put in the full command lines here, since they are exactly as in the previous blog).

Once you've done this, if you switch culture to your new culture, you should find that the message box now displays the translated text. 

As before, this isn't too invasive on the project - for each string that you handle in code, add a resource to the resource dictionary and use the FindResource() method to retrieve the string.  That's pretty much it.

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