Deploying Microsoft Office XP with the Office XP Multilingual User Interface Pack (MUI Pack) gives you the advantage of having a single installation of Office for your entire international organization. However, due to limitations of some plug-in language features, you might decide to deploy localized versions of Office XP in some locations.
To install a localized version of Office XP you follow the same procedure as installing any other Office SKU. For example, you can customize your installation by creating a transform with the Custom Installation Wizard.
Office profiles and multiple languages
Office user profiles generated by the Profile Wizard are independent of the operating system — including operating systems in other languages. For example, a profile settings file (OPS file) created on Microsoft Windows 98 (U.S. English version) can be restored to a computer with Windows 2000 (Japanese version).
However, Office user profiles are specific to a particular Office language version. For example, if you create an OPS file in the U.S. English version of Office XP, it cannot be restored to a computer with the German version of Office XP installed. There is some overlap between language families. For example, you can restore a U.S. English Office profile to an English or Australian version of Office XP.
This Office language limitation exists because the different Office versions include localized folder names for the folders that contain the Office user profile information.
Advantages to installing localized versions of Office
Installing a localized version of Office XP has its advantages. For instance, the user interface of some features in Office XP with the Multilingual User Interface Pack cannot be changed. If it is important that users run these features in the users' own language, you can deploy a localized version of Office to these users. Localized versions of Office XP are based on the same international core as Office XP with the Multilingual User Interface Pack, so users can exchange documents between language versions of Office XP with no loss of data.
There are some differences between running Office XP with the Multilingual User Interface Pack and running a localized version of Office. For example:
- Office XP with the Multilingual User Interface Pack cannot switch the user interface language of Excel add-ins, some OCX controls, and some Help elements (such as dialog boxes and the Contents tab).
- In Office XP with the Multilingual User Interface Pack, shortcuts on the Start menu are not localized.
- Localized versions of Office include localized right-click menus.
Toolbox Information about which Office features cannot have the language of the user interface switched is available in the Excel workbook Intlimit.xls. Intlimit.xls is installed by default when you run the Office XP Resource Kit Setup program. For more information about installing Intlimit.xls, see Supplemental Documentation in the Toolbox.
Disadvantages to installing localized versions of Office
There are some drawbacks to deploying localized versions of Office rather than building around a standard version. With separate versions, you need separate procedures for deployment, support, and administration. Also, localized versions do not usually support the ability to switch the language of the user interface.
However, some localized versions of Office XP provide limited ability to switch the language of the user interface. You can switch the language of the user interface to English in the following localized versions of Office XP:
- Simplified Chinese
- Traditional Chinese
In the Arabic version of Office XP, you can also switch the user interface to French. In the Pan-Chinese (Hong Kong) version, you can switch most Office XP applications to Simplified Chinese (except for Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft FrontPage) if the user is running Microsoft Windows NT.
Depending on your needs, you can deploy a localized version of Office XP in selected locations. For example, you might deploy Office XP with the Multilingual User Interface Pack everywhere except Japan, where you deploy the Japanese version of Office XP.
There are some limitations to installing a localized version of Office on a computer with an operating system that uses a different language. For more information about these limitations, see Choosing an Operating System.