Wednesday Jul 16, 2014

NetBeans Translation Tip #1: Page Setup Dialog

No matter what you do, you're unable to translate the "Page Setup" dialog, which is accessed from "File | Page Setup..." in the main menu of the NetBeans Platform. 

The reason for the problem is that the strings that you see above do not come from the NetBeans Platform. Instead, they come from the JDK, specifically, from rt.jar, where you'll find the following:

The above screenshot shows which languages are supported for the Page Setup dialog. Therefore, if you switch locale to "pl" for Polish or "nl" for Dutch or some other language not listed above... the English texts will be shown and nothing you do with properties files in the 'branding' folder in your NetBeans Platform application is going to change that.

But there is a solution.

  1. Get the source. Go here, i.e., the source of sun.print.resources.serviceui, and copy that source file into the NetBeans module for your language. Change the name of the class to include your locale, e.g., "" and, to help yourself later to understand why it's there, put it into the same package structure as the other files in rt.jar.

  2. Translate the texts. Then translate all those texts, e.g., the key "radiobutton.portrait" currently has the value "Portrait". Translate that word "Portrait" and replace the value with your translated word. Do the same for all the values in the file, of which there are about 150, I guess.

  3. Install the translation. Then create this class in your language module:
    import java.lang.reflect.Field;
    import java.util.Locale;
    import java.util.ResourceBundle;
    public class PageSetupTranslator implements Runnable {
        public void run() {
            ResourceBundle bundle = 
                            new Locale("nl", "NL"));
            try {
                Class cl = Class.forName("sun.print.ServiceDialog");
                if (cl != null) {
                    Field fld = cl.getDeclaredField("messageRB");
                    if (fld != null) {
                        fld.set(cl, bundle);
            } catch (ClassNotFoundException ex11) {
            } catch (NoSuchFieldException ex11) {
            } catch (SecurityException ex11) {
            } catch (IllegalArgumentException ex11) {
            } catch (IllegalAccessException ex11) {

  4. Check the module structure. You should now see the following structure in your language module:

Now, when you start the application, your "serviceui" class will be picked up and applied to the Page Setup dialog. Of course, when there are multiple such classes, as will be the case in the "LocalizeNetBeans" project, there'll be a problem because multiple of these files will be applied to the Page Setup dialog. Just disable all of them by commenting the @OnShowing annotation for all of them except your own during development and in production the user will only be using one language anyway and, if they need more, they'll switch to a different locale, restart their application, and then the class applicable to the locale will be applied to the Page Setup dialog.


Geertjan Wielenga (@geertjanw) is a Principal Product Manager in the Oracle Developer Tools group living & working in Amsterdam. He is a Java technology enthusiast, evangelist, trainer, speaker, and writer. He blogs here daily.

The focus of this blog is mostly on NetBeans (a development tool primarily for Java programmers), with an occasional reference to NetBeans, and sometimes diverging to topics relating to NetBeans. And then there are days when NetBeans is mentioned, just for a change.


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