Perhaps they don't quite get it just yet, #2

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/09/16 03:01 -04:00, original URI:

After I posted Perhaps they don't quite get it just yet, #1, I intended to get right back to it to post the follow-up....

But then a whole bunch of other things came up, and I got delayed.

Sorry about that. :-)

Anyway, for my test I went to that high end Dell Precision Mobile Workstation, the one Vista and all of the possible language packs installed.

For the test I wanted to give Word 2007 every opportunity to do the right thing.

I chose that fj-FJ (Fijian - Fiji) custom locale, as I still how out hope that Microsoft will send me there to research the locale data. :-)

I even selected it as the user default:

Like I said, I want to give them every chance here. :-)

I create a nice simple Word document with a few language tags in it:

I also tagged the English, French, and Amharic tags with the appropriate language.

The Fijian choice was not there, so I tagged it as Lithuanian (to make it easier to find later)....

Then I opened my saved XML file, found the section with the fj-FJ tag in the text, and updated all of the lt-LT entries to become fj-FJ.

Something like this:

Ok, cross our fingers, go to Word again.

Let's see what it does, shall we?

Do you see it? It is not working in the Set Language dialog, but is is working down in the bottom of the Word window.

The section is indeed marked Fijian (Fiji) just as we would have wanted!

Does this mean that I was wrong, that the Word team does get it now?

How exciting!

Oh wait, I have to try without the Fijian - Fiji default user locale, too.

Open that dialog back up:

Damn, we were so close. :-(

Okay, cancel out of that dialog, make a small chance in the beginning of the doc (like add a space and then remove it), save, and exit.

Let's see what Word did to the tag, to see if at least preserved what it suddenly decided it couldn't understand....

Damn it.

Clearly parts of Word (other than the Set Language dialog!) can handle any locale it can pivot through an LCID, but otherwise it seems that Word 2007 can be somewhat destructive with anything it can't understand.

Kind of like our executive branch here in the USA. :-(

Well, it looks like there are parts of Office and Word that get it here, and parts that do not; I do hope this story continues to improve, and I am especially glad that the Office XML standard did not stunt itself to match the current limitations in the products; instead, they now have something to strive for in future versions!

I suspect that bit of destructiveness I mentioned might even be worthy of a fix in a future service pack, since we can assume or at lest hope that one day everything will work, and it would be shame taking a document from that nirvana back to a prior version and seeing it stomped a bit. :-)


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# Mike on 16 Sep 2007 12:52 PM:

Try those scenarios without LAD (Language Auto-Detect) on, as Word's use of it has some deleterious side-effects. For instance if you have multiple text regions in a document - e.g. some French or Spanish phrases - it will switch later regions to English(US), even if all the other document, Office, Windows settings are another flavour of English. ( I'm assuming that Word 2007 is backwards compatible with Word 2003 in this respect, as it hasn't been dealt with in an Office service pack ).

# Michael S. Kaplan on 16 Sep 2007 1:05 PM:

I actually get identical results whether it is on or off -- though I usually turn it off, anyway. In this case, it is solely an issue with names and LCIDs....

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