The user interface of GEDitCOM II within its record "browser" windows is controlled by the current "User Interface Format." Since you can edit these formats in the GEDitCOM Editor, you can customize that part of GEDitCOM II as much as you want. Although most customizations require programming skills, one thing you do without programming is to add support for a new language to an existing user interface format. Once a language is added, you can use that language by opening the format and then selecting your preferred language from the pop-up menu in the "Editing" tab of GEDitCOM II's preferences window.
This tutorial explains the process of adding support for a new language:
If a user interface format is written well, it makes it much easier to add complete support for a new language. The following formats provided with GEDitCOM II are "ready for translation":
Also note that translating a format only translates parts of the GEDitCOM II controlled by the user interface format. It does not translate GEDitCOM II menu commands, some preferences, or tool bar items. Translations of these items will come later by different methods. This tutorial is about all things any user can translate for themselves.
The master copy of many format translations strings are stored on google docs. If user's are interested in contributing to copies that will be shared with all (when updates are posted), please contact us for details.
Translation of a user interface format means to translate a set of strings from the provided English into the added language. The steps are:
Most translations will go smoothly (if you speak English and the new language fluently). At times, you might need to see where the string is used to have a better idea of what it means and how it should be translated. One way to check string context is to run the format in GEDitCOM II using English strings and look for use of that string. It may not always be easy to find where it is used. You can open and check various types of genealogy records in their windows. Additionally, open the GEDitCOM II preferences window and check the names of fonts, colors, and editing options. If you have trouble with a particular string, you can send an email to geditcom.com support for help.
To import the strings into the user interface format, you need to save them again as a tab-delimited plain text file and then import using the GEDitCOM Editor. Although this should be easy with spreadsheet software, Microsoft's Excel has trouble saving non-English characters in a compatible format and also has problems with strings containing commas and quotes. Apple's Numbers does not even have an option to save to a tab-delimited text file. Here is a process that solves these problems:
.txt) and select the option to save using "UTF8" characters. (Thus, the definition of a good text editor means it lets you select the character set when you save plain text files.)
The final step is to import the strings you just saved into the user interface format:
If the strings file had problems, the GEDitCOM Editor will usually explain the problem and not import the strings (in steps 2-3 above). If you get no error message, but the strings are not found in step 4 above, open the Console app (found in Utilities folder of your Application folder) and see if the GEDitCOM Editor printed any error messages. Occasionally poorly formatted files cause an error without triggering a better error message. If such errors happen, contact geditcom.com support for help.
If you complete the above steps, you will have a personal user interface format with a new language. If you would like to share your work with other users, please email the native spreadsheet file to geditcom.com and we will try to add it to that format posted on the web and/or included in the GEDitCOM II installation package.
For those interested in maintaining their translations, the strings for all formats are stored on a globally-accessible, secure server. These source string files are occasionally made available to selected users to they can directly edit strings they translated and/or make updates as the interface formats are updated to new features. If you are interested in this option, please contact geditcom.com.