Creating multilingual applications

About this task

The following Domino® features allow you to create applications that can support different languages.

Setting a default language and region

About this task

If you are creating an application that will have different language versions of some or all of its design elements, select "Multilingual database" on the Design tab of the Application Properties view. Then you can select a default language and region. This property works in conjunction with the language preference setting on users' browsers. For example, if you have three versions of design elements in your database, one in English, one in French, and one in Spanish, and the user's browser or Notes® client user preference is set to Spanish as their default language, the Domino® server displays the Spanish version of the home page.

If you create a multilingual database and build design elements associated with particular languages, the list of design elements displays a column identifying the language associated with the element.

Note: If you create an application for Macintosh users or users on another platform who do not have Designer access in the database ACL, users will be unable to assign a language to a view or folder they create. If the user creates a view or folder with the same name and alias as another view or folder in the database, because the version the user created has no assigned language, when Notes® attempts to discern which language settings to use, the results can be unpredictable.

Creating multilingual design elements

About this task

You can design a multilingual database so that it includes copies of design elements for each language you support. For example, if you are designing an expense tracking database for users in several countries, you can design a copy of each form for each country in its native language. Use the following steps to create copies of design elements such as pages, forms, views, or outlines.


  1. Make sure your database is designated as multilingual. Select the database, choose Design - Application - Properties (or double-click Application Properties in the Navigation pane), and check the "Multilingual database" option on the Design tab.
  2. Assign a default language and, optionally, a region.
  3. Create a design element for the default language. When you name the element, assign it an alias. The alias is the common point of identification for multiple copies of the same design element.
    Note: Create one and only one alias for design elements in a multilingual database.
  4. Make a copy of the design element and open the copy for editing in the Work pane.
  5. On the Info (i) tab of the Properties box for the design element, assign a name and an alias. The name can be the same as the original design element or it can be unique; the alias must be the same.
  6. Translate the text of the design element into another language and save and close the element.
  7. Double-click the element category (for example, Forms) in the Navigation pane to display the list of elements in the work pane.
  8. Select the element name from the work pane and choose Design - Properties to open the Properties panel.
  9. On the Design tab of the Design Document properties box, select a Language and, optionally, a Region to associate with the design element.


For information on naming an element and assigning an alias, refer to the documentation for creating that element. For example, see Naming forms.