Understanding the 'Form Language' setting in InfoPath browser-compatible form templates

Learn the logic behind how the 'Form Language' setting on an InfoPath form works in conjunction with Language Packs installed on SharePoint.

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You can use the Form Language setting on the Form Options dialog box to localize the text on the toolbar buttons and dialog boxes of InfoPath forms. I'll be the first to admit that this setting does not work as intuitively as one would expect it to, but nonetheless, there is logic behind how it works as I'll tell you shortly.

It all starts with the languages you have installed on your SharePoint server. Microsoft offers what's called Language Packs. These contain all of the text that is usually shown on pages in WSS and MOSS, but also on the toolbar buttons and messages used by InfoPath Forms Services. So to be able to localize an InfoPath form in a particular language, that is, show text in a particular language on the toolbar buttons and text on dialog boxes, the first thing you have to do is install the Language Pack(s) of your choice.

The best way to explain how the Form Language setting works is by giving a few examples.

Example 1:
Form Language = English
Installed Language Packs = English (default), Dutch, Portuguese
Language of SharePoint site/page hosting the form = English

Result: Text shown on the InfoPath form and its dialog boxes will be in English.

Reason: English is installed on the server, so this will be the preferred language used by the form template; the language of the site is irrelevant in this case.

Example 2:
Form Language = Dutch
Installed Language Packs = English (default), Dutch, Portuguese
Language of SharePoint site/page hosting the form = English

Result: Text shown on the InfoPath form and its dialog boxes will be in Dutch.

Reason: Dutch is installed on the server, so this will be the preferred language used by the form template; the language of the site is irrelevant in this case.

Example 3:
Form Language = Papiamentu
Installed Language Packs = English (default), Dutch, Portuguese
Language of SharePoint site/page hosting the form = Dutch

Result: Text shown on the InfoPath form and its dialog boxes will be in Dutch.

Reason: Papiamentu is not installed on the server, so the preferred language used by the form template will default to the language used by the site/page it is shown on. In this case, Dutch is the language of the site/page where the form is shown, so the form will be localized in Dutch.

Conclusion

The Form Language setting is the default setting used by an InfoPath form, but only if that language is installed on the server. If that language is not installed on the server, the language of the form will default to the language of the site/page that the form is displayed on.

  1. If you want to force InfoPath forms to always display text in the language you choose for the Form Language setting, make sure that that language is installed on the server.
  2. If you want InfoPath forms to display text in the language of the site/page they are displayed on, set the Form Language to a language that is not installed on the server. This option can be used to dynamically display one form in several languages by using the language that is specified by the site that is hosting the form, and not by the form template itself.
 


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Copyright: This article may not be used on web sites (whether personal or otherwise), copied, disseminated, altered, printed, published, broadcasted, or reproduced in any way without an expressed written consent. The techniques demonstrated in this article may be used within any Microsoft InfoPath project. This article is provided without any warranties. Copyright for this article is non-transferrable and remains with the author.

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