17 Replies Latest reply on Apr 12, 2013 5:55 AM by Keiran Earl

    Installation in non-English language???

    Keiran Earl

      OK, so I can see how to install  the program in English if the installation is in a non-English language, but how do I do the reverse?


      My boss's son is going to University tomorrow and he's asked me to set up a laptop for him. I need this thing set up by tomorrow.


      I have installed a large number of products from our company's reservoir of licenses so he can have a great computer for his design classes. Most of these programs are installed in Chinese or English/Chinese on top of Win7 Ultimate which can switch from English to Chinese and back again. Location is set to Taiwan and Locale is set to Chinese Traditional. I'm the system administrator for the company here and I've built up 15 computers in the past 2 weeks alone, but nothing so far has compared to my experience with Solidworks.


      However, where it comes to Solidworks, for some bizarre reason, the installer REFUSES to install the program in Chinese.


      There is no option anywhere in the installer to change the primary language to Chinese. There *is* an option to include the optional Chinese Language pack, but this appears to have no effect on anything. Once the program is installed, it is 100% English, with a Chinese language pack installed, which is presumably only there for character support.


      There is NO OPTION ANYWHERE to CHANGE the language of the program to Chinese.


      I am now dicking about with uninstalling bits and pieces and trying to use the chinese .msi files to build some semblance of a half-usable program in Chinese.


      Seriously - WTF?!?!? I'm at hour 4 of this bizarre experience of trying to INSTALL


      Yeah, I understand completely that it's rather ridiculous for engineers anywhere in the world to be incapable of dealing with things in English, and I have made the strongest recommendations for him to just use the Adobe suite in English because he will have more opportunity to learn more throughout his career if he can use that program in English than if he can only use it in Chinese.


      However, that doesn't help one little bit where it comes to him actually learning it.


      I just can't see anything anywhere that can force this program to install in a language of my choosing.


      Considering that MS Office can switch from English to Chinese and back again in seconds, Adobe Everything, Sony, Skype, and any of the dozens of other programs kicking about in my bag of tricks can ALL be installed quickly and easily in any language simply by choosing one during the install, I am flabbergasted that I have gone through such a rigamarole with Solidworks 2012.


      How in the HECK am I supposed to get this thing installed and ready for him to take when he moves to the next province TOMORROW AT NOON?!?!?


      And WHY for the LOVE of all things 3D and 2D does it have to be so complicated that a guy with 20 years experience with all forms of technology can't figure out how to simply choose the freakin' LANGUAGE of the install?


      Isn't that a little 1999?


      Please advise!!!

        • Re: Installation in non-English language???
          Alin Vargatu

          What language is you Windows 7 OS?

            • Re: Installation in non-English language???
              Keiran Earl

              Windows 7 Ultimate is not tied to a language as such. You can actually change it completely after the fact.


              It is English/Chinese. But I installed the program with the computer language as Chinese.


              Windows 7 has 3 sections that can affect language. You can set the display language, you can set the location (which doesn't actually change any language settings, but does affect some things) and you can set the locale (which opens up the languages for actual use - kind of an odd way of working what used to be 'language packs' in XP).


              Like I said, I've installed dozens of programs on at least 15 computers built up just in the past two weeks with no trouble choosing the language. Only Solidworks presents troubles.

            • Re: Installation in non-English language???
              Glenn Schroeder



              This may be way off, but I've noticed that when we log on to the SW Customer Portal that there is a drop-down for us to select the language.  If you choose Chinese when you sign in, and then go to the downloads page, will you receive Chinese versions?  Maybe?

                • Re: Installation in non-English language???
                  Keiran Earl

                  It *IS* the 'chinese' version.


                  Solidworks is an English program native. Notice that the main program always has the option to enable "English mode" regardless of what language is 'primary'. English is always at least partially present. It has to be.


                  The problem is that something in the program is not allowing itself to load the Chinese installer.


                  This problem occurs for many people when they can only install in a non-English language, but is easily resolved by adding the feature of 'English menus'.


                  But my problem is the opposite. I can only install in English, even though I need it to be a Chinese language primary.


                  Given the fact that we deal with engineers from Germany, France, Japan, China, Taiwan *just in our company alone*, it is mind-boggling that Solidworks has no way to simply and easily choose the language. From what I can read, the language function has worked the same ambiguous way since 2004 or earlier. On my main computer, I am set up for seamless operation in the 4 languages I speak - which is nothing compared to the folks in our European branches. But Solidworks is the only program I have ever encountered where I can choose to install additional languages, but under no circumstance can I choose which language to use for the program itself either in the program or the installer.


                  The setting that Solidworks accesses to choose which language to load the installer in seems totally arbitrary. If it isn't the system display language (which is how Windows 7 shows which language it is "installed" in) or the locale (which tells Windows which languages to load via Unicode etc for non-English programs), I don't know what it's looking at.




                  5 hours before I have to hand this computer over to its user and I still have no solution to this ostensibly rather simple problem.


                  If this was my own money I was playing with, I'd be livid.

                    • Re: Installation in non-English language???
                      Kelvin Lamport

                      I've never needed to install a non-english language, but believe you may be able to access the Chinese install via the Start > Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs > SolidWorks > Change > Modify.... > Languages

                      ... not sure what happens after that.

                        • Re: Installation in non-English language???
                          Keiran Earl

                          Been all over that. I've uninstalled and re-installed now 5 times, I left the office last night at 11:00pm doing the 5th uninstall.


                          All that does is add a language handler pack. This allows the program to handle files with Unicode characters in them (The most common type of Chinese character encoding). So if the designer we have in Japan sends a file (Japanese characters also use Unicode) to our HQ (English e-reader and Solidworks in English primary with Chinese language pack), the characters show up, then that file goes to our manufacturing department where the data files are manipulated and prepped to build a mold (Chinese Solidworks with annotations in Chinese characters), there is no problem reading the character set at any stage, regardless of what language the program itself is running on any given system.


                          What I am talking about is not a language handler, but the actual language of the program.


                          There is no option to make the program use a different language within the program itself. The most obvious change here isn't what characters it can read in a data file, but what language the menus are in.


                          The language files for the menus *is* present in my installer though and I can see all the data files sitting there for use with the installer. I just can't tell the installer to use them. It's always "English program with language handling files", not "what language do you want the program to run in".


                          3.5 hours to go.


                          To clarify, modern programs (SW included) have 3 parts.


                          There's a "Bootstrapper", an "Installer" and a "Program".


                          The Bootstrapper loads the Installer. The installer installs the program. The program runs and works with data files.


                          In the case of Autocad 2012, the Bootstrapper always runs in English. BUT, all it does is load a few settings and then asks you which language to run the installer in. Then you can run the installer (choose options, file locations, enter serials etc) in Language A, but you are also asked which language to set up the program to run in. This makes sense for System Administrators who speak a different language from their users. Very easy to use, although I still end up running the program in Chinese anyhow to check caching settings.


                          In the case of Adobe products, the Bootstrapper runs the same as Autocad. Always in English, and asks you which language to use during installation. However, it will install the programs according to what language you have purchased. You can't usually choose a different language unless you have a multi-language version. But the Multi-language versions are usually for European languages, not Asian languages. Still, this allows a system admin to run the installer in English, but install the program in Chinese. Then run the program in Chinese to set caching options. The tradeoff is that I need to choose the language on purchase/download, not during the install.


                          In the case of Microsoft Office, it's pretty much the same, except that if you install the language packs (similar to Solidworks Modify, Install extra languages), you can later go into the options and choose either to set the program to a specific language OR to have the programs actually automatically detect System Display Language. That means that when I switch Win7 from English to Chinese, ALL Office programs then automatically load in Chinese. That's very sweet for a guy like me who runs in 4 languages. I can switch my system, then skype with someone, use screen sharing and talk them through a troubleshooting session from ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD with just a couple of clicks and a logoff (I did this just 3 weeks ago for one of our staff who was in Europe).


                          In the case of Solidworks, the Bootstrapper appears to be hidden. It is present though because SOMETHING is making a decision about languages. Look at all the people who have posted about their version inexplicably trying to install in French of Spanish (yes, I did my homework before asking the question). This is because the Bootstrapper is detecting a language setting in the OS, then loading the Installer. By the time the installer is loaded, the language is chosen and locked in stone. If the Installer is English, your program is English. If the Installer is French/German/Spanish/Chinese.......... so is your program.


                          For those who have installs in Spanish, but wish to use the program in English, it is quite simple. Just add the English options and set your Display Language to English and then you can click the boxes in the General section of the Options menu in the program so your menus etc load in English. This is very good for sys admins who speak English, but designers and engineers who do not. UNLESS you can't get the program to install in the language of the designer or engineer in the first place. In which case, the program is unusable for them.


                          For people who want to do the opposite, there is NO SUCH OPTION for other languages.

                    • Re: Installation in non-English language???
                      Alin Vargatu

                      As per Knowledgebase:


                      Question: What needs to be set to run a Chinese version of SolidWorks on an English operating system?




                      1. Install the multiple language pack for Chinese

                      2. Go to Control Panel -> Regional and Language Options

                      3. Set Chinese for Regional Option and Advanced

                      4. Restart computer.

                        • Re: Installation in non-English language???
                          Keiran Earl



                          Please read the first post.


                          This is the first thing I did on the first install.


                          I have also tried to do this for the installer.


                          It does not do anything at all.


                          The program runs in English EVERY SINGLE TIME.

                          • Re: Installation in non-English language???
                            Keiran Earl

                            Just completed 6th re-install.


                            Started install with Display Language - Chinese, Location - Taiwan, Locale - Chinese (traditional). Installer loaded in English. Program loaded in English.


                            Rebooted. Program still in English.


                            Set Display Language to English, Location - United States, Locale - English (US). Rebooted. Started program (to see if settings would 'catch'). Then went back and changed everything back to Chinese (see above). Rebooted.


                            Program still in English only.


                            Went to Modify programs and verified that the Chinese Language is installed. It is.


                            2 hours left.


                            Worst language implementation I've ever seen. What's crazy is that I have found manuals for SW 2004, 2008, 2011 and 2012 and they all use the same method. Even the experts don't even know how the damn thing works.


                            What universe do the coders of SW live in that this could be perceived as a 'good solution' for at least 8 years running?


                            I still can't believe that I have spent nearly a full EIGHT HOURS just trying to figure out how to change the language of menus in a single program. In the year 2012!!! And I still have no idea how to do it!!!!!!!


                            (ok, to be honest, I've been doing other things too, but this is sucking up sooooo much time and energy it's ridiculous how much time it has wasted)

                              • Re: Installation in non-English language???
                                Keiran Earl

                                30 minutes to go.


                                I went through the entire registry looking at every part of Solidworks registry and I didn't find much. Obviously, it's most likely that there will be a language setting somewhere, but considering the structure of SW, it's probably something simple like a DWORD = 000000... with 0 being the setting for English as default, and totally indistinguishable from any other value of 0.


                                I did find a setting in HKCU FloXpress that indicated the langdir was Chinese. But since nothing in the program is firing up in Chinese, I assume this is not correct.


                                Also, under HKCR, there were quite a few settings that looked relevant under Installer\features\ and Installation Manager\, but since these are most likely definitions for *possibilities* rather than current settings, I glossed past them.


                                Honestly, just a piss poor setup that makes something really simple and really important for a HUGE portion of the design community uses software in non-English configurations and multi-language setups (as the education standards in the US continue to drop, the frequency of encountering genuinely capable 3D workers whose native language is English keeps decreasing every year). Yes, English is important and should be available in any and every install since it is the bridge that connects so many people. But not to the point where it excludes the ability to use the program in the native language of the designer.


                                I sincerely hope that some day soon, the SW dev team will realize that a much more elegant solution will be to simply follow the standards set by Microsoft, Adobe and Autocad and pretty much every other company out there that has made software in the past 10 years or so.



                                  • Re: Installation in non-English language???
                                    Kelvin Lamport

                                    Have you spoken with your VAR, or directly with SolidWorks, for a solution? There has to be one for the China market.

                                      • Re: Installation in non-English language???
                                        Keiran Earl

                                        No. For some strange reason, I was under the impression that you guys were staff members. The medal Icon threw me off. Lack of sleep didn't help.


                                        Anyhow, the computer left my hands this afternoon and the boss's son is moving. He will just have to make do with English.


                                        I sat him down and gave him a 20 minute tutorial in half Chinese, half English and he was able to figure out the basics so he has some confidence that he won't get overwhelmed when the teacher hands out assignments in Chinese and explains things in Chinese.


                                        Since he will probably be the only one with a custom built laptop, he'll probably be the only one with this problem (which probably stems from some setting somewhere inside the OS which was initially installed in English).


                                        But then again, when all is said and done, he'll probably be the only one who can take the skills from his Uni classes and actually work with multi-language environments.


                                        Thanks again for the support of the members, Alin, Kelvin and Glenn.


                                        It remains unresolved (and hopefully someone at SW will look into it for future releases), but I think we can safely call it 'case closed'.


                                        Good night.

                                • Re: Installation in non-English language???
                                  Richard Bremmer

                                  This should the trick;

                                  S-011312 How can SolidWorks be run in a language other than the operating system language? For example, how can SolidWorks run in Japanese on an English operating system?


                                  In order to have SolidWorks run a completely different language, SolidWorks should be installed on the language specific operating system.


                                  In the Regional and Language Settings in the Regional Options change the standards and formats to Japanese. Leave the location set to United States. In the languages tab check the box for "Install files for East Asian languages." In the advanced tab change the language for non-Unicode programs to Japanese. A restart of the system will be required for the changes to take effect. Once the system is restarted modify the SolidWorks installation and install the Japanese language files on the system. Now when SolidWorks is started it will display the majority of the user interface in Japanese.

                                    • Re: Installation in non-English language???
                                      Keiran Earl

                                      Hi Richard.


                                      I appreciate your taking a stab at this.


                                      Please note though that those are the instructions that I followed on my very first install, as well as the 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th installs. The only thing I can think of that I probably should have tried (but ran out of time) was to do a full clean uninstall and re-install and see if maybe there was a setting in there somewhere that wasn't getting removed on uninstall that was preventing the installer from noticing changes in OS language. Or just do some more registry crawling and do the same thing manually. This is a little absurd though for something as simple as changing the interface language. I could see something like this happening with a brand new program written in 1998 or something, but not for a mature product with a decade of updates in the year 2012.


                                      This problem indicates either one of two things: either (A) the SW installer is aware of the display language or (B) the SW application is aware of the display language.


                                      I found both of these to be untrue. In fact, neither the installer nor the SW application appear to be aware of any of the three language dependent settings in Win7 (specifically, [1] the display language, [2] the location or [3] the system locale).


                                      Your description of the Regional and Language settings actually appears to be based on XP (which admittedly, 3/4 of our office computers are still running). In XP, the non-English language character sets are handled by 'Install files for East Asian languages', which was basically a toggle for the languge pack manager.


                                      In Win7, this has been changed to two steps - one, installing a MUI language pack and two, changing system locale (not the same as system location). Oddly, this seems less versatile since I might be an Arabic/Chinese speaking person (I'm not but I'm sure they exist), in which case, I'd have some real problems loading Arabic scripts and Chinese scripts at the same time. Fortunately, this only applies to how Win7 handles languages within programs, not within files loaded by these programs.


                                      But of course, the point is that the check box in WinXP "Install files for East Asian Languages" no longer exists in Win7 (and presumably not in Vista for those poor folk who used it) and indicates that S-011312 is an outdated instruction set.


                                      Further, particularly on selected high end systems that need significant customization within our company, I use Win7 Ultimate, which puts the language as separate from the operating system. So this instruction to 'install on the language specific operating system' only applies to Win7 Home, Premium and Professional. Not to Ultimate. In order to follow this instruction, I would have to downgrade the Windows version to disallow dual language setups.


                                      We don't install 3D software such as Autocad and SW to every computer in our archipelago. It is only a few systems that receive the higher end programs and they tend to be high end systems. Because of this and because we work in a heavily multi-language environment, we use Win7 Multi-language setups for all of these computers. Local Chinese techs seem quite happy when setting up low end or medium systems, but are a little out of their element when it comes to setting up high end boxes, thus it is counterproductive to have Chinese only systems on those computers.


                                      The fact that the instruction set is based on XP shows that this issue has not been given due care and attention by Dassault's programmers for many, many years.


                                      The fact that the instruction set doesn't apply to Win7 Ultimate shows incomplete testing and a poor understanding of languages in Win7 by Dassault for at least 3 years.


                                      Allowing poorly understood language functions of the OS to control the language of installation is bad practice, which is why almost *every* other company simply uses a dropdown menu within their installer (and many modern programs use a separate selector for the installer and the program itself, even allowing switching 'on the fly').


                                      As to talking to the VAR, the computer has already left the building (and city), so it's kind of pointless now. Considering that even when I tried that option, I was treated to a 'ACCESS DENIED' when even trying to visit the page to find contact info for them, it's not exactly high on my list of possible solutions. As I mentioned before, I am a system admin at the HQ offices, not an individual customer. Licensing for most Office oriented programs is centered here (security, MS etc), but licensing for specialized programs like SW, Autocad and Adobe suites is handled by one of our subdivisions. I therefore have no direct access to the VAR like I would by simply checking my files for our contact for Trend Micro or MS Office or something. I would probably take that route if I was setting up a computer for a designer for staff in this building, but this was a 'quick' build for the Boss's son and time was short.

                                    • Re: Installation in non-English language???
                                      Ronan Kierans

                                      I tried this fix I found on Wiki answers and it worked. I had installed it on an English (Ireland) PC and I needed it in Polish.


                                      If you installed English as the default language, and others language as secondaries (ex: Spanish or russian) during the installation? you can change the language, but if you didn't installed secondaries language you will to able to change.


                                      for ex, i have english as default language, if i want to change to spanish, just go to:

                                      C\program files\Solidworks\lang

                                      there rename the folder "English" with Spanish, and the folder "Spanish" rename with "English"

                                        • Re: Installation in non-English language???
                                          Keiran Earl

                                          Thanks Ronan. I had a feeling there would be a solution like this.


                                          Generally speaking, you have to be careful when doing solutions like that. I have applied this type of fix in years past for various microsoft and adobe products, but in those cases, it is a violation of license terms. Even though the program is multi-language, there's sometimes some rather odd legal stuff.


                                          FWIW, I told Adobe about some of my less 'kosher' practices (I am a pretty frequent customer of theirs) and they had no problem with it whatsoever. On the photography forums where I described it once, a couple of lawyers tore into me like a pair of dobermans.


                                          The boss's son no longer lives nearby, but I still run into him once every few months, so I'll give this a whirl next time his computer is handy.


                                          Thanks Ronan.

                                          From one Keiran to another it seems...