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AppLocale – Why, when and how to use AppLocale?

I met with AppLocale back in 2004. When it came out at the time, it was a localization engineer’s best friend. It saved you from those painful reboots! To my surprise, my AppLocale related blog entry receives one of the highest number of visitors. 7 years after AppLocale is still strong…

What is AppLocale?

Use AppLocaleWikipedia defines AppLocale as a launcher application which makes it possible to run a non Unicode application in a locale other than the one that the application is encoded in. In plain English it means that you can run a non-Unicode Japanese application on an English operating system and won’t encounter problems. If you did not think that this would be a problem anyway, you probably do not need AppLocale.

Why use AppLocale?

There are two typical use cases:

– You use the en-US Windows and want to run a non-Unicode Chinese application. When you run it by double clicking, you encounter character corruption. The regular solution is to change the Windows locale setting to the applications encoding, however that requires a reboot (and nobody likes a reboot). Plus you need to change it back once you are done (another reboot). AppLocale will skip the reboot for you.

– You are a localization engineer/developer. You need to edit a native encoded text file but your Windows is set to a different locale. There are text editors that can handle this (such as Dreamweaver) but sometimes all you want (and need) is a notepad. AppLocale will let you use Notepad.

How to use AppLocale?

Install AppLocale (check this post if you are installing AppLocale on Windows 7)

Launch AppLocale (I recommend that you read the welcome screen the first time), click Next

Browse to the executable of your file (e.g C:WindowsNotepad.exe), click Next

Select the language of the application (the dropdown box may be challenging if you do not know how the language is written in that language – Google Translate can help)

Click Finish

If all goes well, your application will launch as it normally does and will be simulated as if it was running on the locale that you selected in AppLocale. AppLocale was very stable on Windows XP and is pretty stable on Windows 7 too. However, there are cases where I encountered issues and AppLocale simply did not function as expected. If this ends up being the case, you will need that reboot…

Download AppLocale





Categories: Localization Tools.

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2 Responses

  1. How I can use applocale in command lne? Where I can find all options and swtches?
    Thank you in advance.

    PapabakabonJanuary 27, 2012 @ 1:43 amReply
    • Hello Takeshi,
      Actually the command line switches and options for AppLocale are very limited. Path to file and LanguageID are the only options.
      Run “AppLoc.exe /?” on the command line to see the usage.

      I hope all is well 😉

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