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Translating WebbIE and the Accessible programs

Non-English versions of WebbIE are made available by people generously providing translations. This is a guide for how to do it. If you have any queries, don't hesitate to Contact Us.

You can do all the translation yourself using the instructions below. If you then send the translated results to us we'll be able to build the WebbIE and Accessible programs for everyone to use, like we've already done for French and Polish.

When you send us translation information you need to make it keeps your language's non-English characters, like "ç". If you're not technical, the easiest way to do this is to send text in Microsoft Word or Excel documents.

Finally, no matter how much - or how little - you get done, please send it to us. Having just one program in your language is better than having none.

1 Translating the name of your language

What is your language called in your language? For example, French is French in English and Français in French. Send this to us. This is used for writing about your language in documentation and letting people choose it.

2 Translating the WebbIE download Page

Your language will have a download page in your language, linked from the very front page of the WebbIE website. The Greek download page. A short piece of text will explain that you can download WebbIE and that it is free. Please translate the following:

WebbIE is a web browser for blind people using screen readers to browse the Internet. It comes with Accessible programs, like Podcatcher and RSS News Reader, to let you read the latest news and listen to lots of radio stations and podcasts. It is completely free to download and use.

For more help, do Contact Us (in English).

Here is the download page text to translate in Microsoft Word, so you can just change it and send it back: WebbIE Download Text

3 Translating the user interfaces

Text used in each program (e.g. the File menu, labels, buttons) all needs to be translated into your language. If you are completely non-technical then contact us with your chosen language and we'll send you an Excel spreadsheet with text to translate. You just fill in the spreadsheet and send it back and the translations appear in the next WebbIE update.

There are three other ways:

First, you can edit the language XML files directly - they're in the program folder, usually C:\Program Files\WebbIE. If you can't quickly see the structure this mechanism probably isn't for you.

Second, you can use the Language Editor program, version 2. This is pretty straightforward and will let you work on translations on your local machine. Download this zip file, unzip, and run LanguageEditor2.exe. Press F1 to get full instructions. Download Language Editor 2

Finally you can use the Language Editor program, version 1. There is a shortcut to it in the Start menu, Accessible and WebbIE, Tools. It's a bit complex - more complex than version 2 - but slightly more informative. This is how you use it:

  1. Change the WebbIE language to your language. You do this by opening the Language Selector program, which you can find by going Start, All Programs, Accessible and WebbIE, Tools, Language Selector. It's a simple list of what languages are available: just cursor down to your language and hit return. If you language is not there, stop and contact us for an update to let you work with your language.
  2. Open the language file for the program you want to translate (File and Open, or Control and O). Language files all end with ".Language.xml" and start with the program filename. For example, the language file for WebbIE3 is "WebbIE3.Language.xml". All the language files are in the same folder as the program files, again usually "C:\Program Files\WebbIE". Warning: if you're on Vista, or not an administrator, you will have to run the Language Editor program as an admin or copy or save the language file outside of the WebbIE folder, and then copy it back in. Otherwise you'll get a User Account Control prompt, or otherwise be unable to save the edited language file.
  3. Select the language you want to work on from the Language list (Alt and L to go to it).
  4. The Items list (Alt and I) now contains every word, phrase or sentence that can be translated for the program. Tab to and select "Show incomplete" to restrict this list to the items that lack a translation for your language.
  5. Select an Item. The Content text field (Alt and C) shows the translation for your language. The Explanation field shows a description of what it is, if provided, and the English field shows the English text (Alt and E to swap between these two text fields.) Type your translation into the Content field.
  6. Work through the Items doing the translation for your language in the Content text field. If an Item should not have a text entry then press the Leave Blank button.
  7. Save the language file (File and Save) in the WebbIE folder (but see the warning above about being an admin) and restart the program you were translating to see your changes.

When you've amended the user interface to your satisfaction, send the .Language.xml file to Alasdair for inclusion in the next release (

4 Translating the help files

Also in the WebbIE program folder is a program called HelpEditor. This works much like LanguageEditor and lets you amend the help file contents. Use the same .Language.xml files as before.

5 Translating the WebbIE welcome page

This is shown when WebbIE is first started up, so it is a simple guide to how to use WebbIE.

Welcome to WebbIE. Use the cursor keys to move around this welcome page (press down).

WebbIE is a web browser that enables you to use the world-wide-web. You can use it to surf webpages and explore websites. The websites are presented to you as text, so you can access it easily. This welcome page is a webpage.

When a web page has loaded, you can use your cursor keys and your screen reader to explore the contents. Any line that starts with "LINK" is a web link. If you press the RETURN key while you are on that line, WebbIE will take you to that new page. Here is a link to the BBC:

BBC website

To go to a website for which you know the address already, press the TAB key or the ALT and D keys to go to the address bar, type the website address, then press the RETURN key.

To go back to the previous page you were on, press the BACKSPACE key.

WebbIE does many more things. For more information, see the Help information under Help in the menu bar (press ALT and H to access the list of Help topics).

Thank-you for using WebbIE!

Here is the welcome page text to translate in Microsoft Word, so you can just change it and send it back: WebbIE Welcome Text

6 Translating the WebbIE home page

This page is shown when a WebbIE user selects the WebbIE homepage item in the Help menu. It's the homepage for WebbIE users for your language, so it should have links to good websites and resources for screenreader users - see below. WebbIE Home Page in English for the UK.

Welcome, WebbIE user!

If you're having any problems or have any questions, then Contact Us.

Otherwise, here are some good sites for WebbIE and blind users:

Here is the home page text to translate in Microsoft Word, so you can just change it and send it back: WebbIE Homepage Text

7 Providing good websites, podcasts and RSS news feeds for your language

It's really helpful to give first-time users access to good resources by default. For example, the WebbIE home page for your language should have links to good websites, and Accessible RSS News Reader should have good RSS News feeds from popular newspaper websites.

If you can provide the following we will add them to the defaults for your language in each program: