HOWTO: Testing add-ins in localized versions of Visual Studio

Author: Carlos J. Quintero (Microsoft MVP) Applies to: Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2002
Date: April 2010   Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003
Updated: March 2013   Microsoft Visual Studio 2005
      Microsoft Visual Studio 2008
      Microsoft Visual Studio 2010
      Microsoft Visual Studio 2012

This article discusses some considerations when testing add-ins in localized (international) versions of Visual Studio.

More Information

Visual Studio offers three kinds of localizations:

  • Fully localized versions (until Visual Studio 2010): each localized version is a complete installation. Fortunately, Visual Studio supports installing multiple localized versions on the same machine. You just need to run the setup of each localized version and you will get additional folders (using locale Ids such as 1033 for English, 3082 for Spanish, etc.) with the resources of the localized version. At the time of this writing Visual Studio is localized in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese (Simplified) and Chinese (Traditional).
  • Localized versions through Language Packs (Visual Studio 2012). It provides the same languages than above, but from a single full installation.
  • The Microsoft Captions Language Interface Pack (CLIP): it is installed on top of the English version and uses tooltip captions to display translations for user interface terms. Since the core version is English, this kind doesn't affect add-ins.

 To select the language used by Visual Studio, there are two ways:

  • The "Tools", "Options" dialog, "Environment", "International Settings" section, "Language" combobox. This combobox contains one value for each Visual Studio language installed, plus the special item "Same as Microsoft Windows". This special value is only honored if there is a Visual Studio localized version that matches the language of Windows.
  • The /LCID command-line switch when launching the devenv.exe application. This approach allows you to have several shortcuts which launch Visual Studio in different languages.

An add-in can get the locale Id (LCID) of Visual Studio using the EnvDTE.DTE.LocaleID property. For a list of LCID values see Locale IDs Assigned by Microsoft.

The following list enumerates some areas that developers of add-ins must test with localized Visual Studio versions:

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