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Localizing Text

When inserting label and text elements, you typically type the text that you want the report to display. Use literal, or static, text if a report will always be viewed in one language or locale. If, however, a report will be translated into multiple languages or regional dialects, use resource keys rather than static text. The resource keys are translated, or localized, in resource files.

If you are not familiar with resource keys or resource files, think of resource keys as variables, and resource files as text files in which the variables are set to their values. If a report needs to appear in three languages, create three resource files to define text values for each language. When a report runs, BIRT uses the machine’s current locale, the resource keys, and the resource files to find the appropriate text value to display. Figure 21-1 shows the functions of resource files and resource keys in a localized report.

Figure 21-1 Resource keys in resource files, the report design, and the report

Figure 21-1  Resource keys in resource files, the report design, and the report

You can specify resource keys for the following items:

Static text in label, text, and chart elements. For example, you can localize report titles, column headings, chart titles, and other static labels.
Text values that come from a data set field. Data values of date or number type do not need to be localized. BIRT automatically displays numbers and dates according to the locale to which the report user’s machine is configured.

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