Creating the binary (aka How to make .MUI files?)

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/10/05 10:16 -04:00, original URI:

Corey Nelson asks over in the Suggestion Box:

Hi Michael,

I'm looking for a good tool that can help me make MUI translations, but I haven't been able to find one that looks really good.  Do you have any recommendations?  What does Microsoft use?

Microsoft? Oh, I thought everyone knew that. We use a tool called LocStudio. You can actually do a simple search for LocStudio Microsoft in Google and see a ton of hits such as the one here.

Unfortunately, as most of the links indicate, it remains a Microsoft internal tool (I found this other one near the top to be quite descriptive and almost a tease on a page of localization tool links:

Microsoft LocStudio Unfortunately not available to the public but probably the most powerful of them all.

Originally named Espresso (you can also find tons of hits for the older tool on everything from CVs online to older lists of tools), I am not sure at what point the name was changed to sound like something more "product-like" but it has had the new name for some time and not ever gone beyond localizers working for Microsoft as far as I know.

In a former life (well, a former project before I went full-time at MS, maybe back in 1998 or 1999?) I was even involved in a project building a parser for LocStudio and one of the many random files that products want to be able to localize. In fact, it was my idea that the parser should be built and at the time it was considered quite a feat as up to then almost all the parsers had been written by the LocStudio team, But the MEPD folks were quite persistent and also quite skilled, and they accomplished the feat rather handily, and apparently ended up a great proof of concept for other teams that went down that road later.

Okay, time to pop the stack and get back to Cory's question! 

Looking at the rest of the pack in that list of available tools, I am not sure what external tools would be best here, though.

Of course Microsoft's resource compiler now supports them, but that is not very helpful to a localizer who needs to integrate a lot of features like glossaries, translation memories, change tracking, word counts, and so on.

You could try perusing the various tools on that site to see if any support the creation of .MUI files as one of their features, or maybe a reader who knows more about other tools could make a suggestion or two?

And if there are people with any externally safe stories or anecdotes about LocStudio, they can put them in the comments. Just don't violate your NDAs! :-)


This post brought to you by (U+a01f, a.k.a. YI SYLLABLE BAX)

# Mihai on 5 Oct 2007 4:02 PM:

A MUI file is just a resource only DLL.

So any tool that allows you to localize resources in DLLs or .rc files will do.

The only thing that makes a mui dll a mui dll is the existence of a new resource type, a checksum that should match the checksum resource stored in the language neutral file.

So any tool that can edit resources in DLLs will produce valid MUI files (as long as you don't mess with he content of the checksum resource)

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referenced by

2008/06/19 Accelerator vs. Shortcut, revisited

2007/10/05 Cracking the binary (aka How to open .MUI files?)

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