Export Translations As

The Export Translations As dialog appears when you use the Export Translations command on the Languages page. It is a slightly modified version of the standard Save As Windows dialog and allows you to specify the file name and folder in which the translations for the chosen language are stored. The dialog has one extra field: Encoding (see below) sets the file encoding for the translation file.

Dialog fields and options

Most of the fields in this dialog are standard Save As fields. The layout of the dialog differs somewhat between Windows versions, but the general operation is the same as the Save As dialog. There is one additional field.

Attribute Description

Select the file encoding for the translations text file. Internally, InstallMate stores all translations as Unicode strings, but for export to a text file you might want to use a different encoding.

This field has the following options:

  • ANSI - Saves the translations as ANSI text, using the appropriate code page for the language as defined by Windows. The code page ID is also stored in the file, so the Import Translations command can perform the appropriate conversion back to Unicode. Depending on the code page, the resulting text file may use a single or a double byte character set.
  • Unicode UTF-8 - Saves the translations as Unicode text, encoded as UTF-8. This is a variable length multi-byte encoding that retains the full Unicode character set. If you use this encoding, the file will start with the UTF-8 BOM (Byte Order Mark).
  • Unicode UTF-16 - Saves the translations as Unicode text, encoded as UTF-16. This is a double-byte encoding that retains the full Unicode character set. If you use this encoding, the file will start with the UTF-16 BOM (Byte Order Mark) and will use little-endian 16-bit characters.

We recommend using one of the Unicode encodings. In most cases, the UTF-8 encoding is more compact than UTF-16; it can also be processed by non-Unicode aware text editors and tools such as SourceSafe will treat it as text, which makes it easier to compare file versions. On the other hand, because UTF-8 resembles ANSI text to a large extent, tools or users might become confused and insert non-UTF-8 byte sequences that will invalidate the file and may cause the Import Translations command to fail.

Unicode UTF-16 is a safer choice; there is little chance that this encoding will be mistaken for anything else. However, it requires the use of a Unicode-aware text editor for editing. The Notepad editor for Windows 2000 and XP supports Unicode (both UTF-8 and UTF-16); there are several others, among which Andrew West's excellent free BabelPad editor that we heartily recommend.

BabelPad is available from http://www.BabelStone.co.uk/Software/BabelPad.html

Unless you have no other choice, we recommend against using an ANSI encoding. Especially when you edit translations in languages that use many non-ASCII characters (i.e., characters with code points above 127/0x7F), the chances of incorrect code point mappings are simply too large.