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Xose's Manual
Localizing Mozilla

This is a compiled manual on how to make a translation of the Mozilla/Netscape browsers using MozillaTranslator 4.36. The basic things you need to have installed in your machine are:

  • The latest version of Mozilla.
    It's useful that you download a Milestone (as Mozilla 0.9.5), so is a stable build, and it's going to install you the Java Runtime Environment that you will also need for MozillaTranslator.
  • MozillaTranslator 4.36
    It's a program written by Henrik Lynggaard that make the translation process really easy.Note Version 5.00 is now the newest version
  • I would recommend you to have a compression program as WinZip or WinRAR.
  • And for any doubt, there is a newsgroup: netscape.public.mozilla.l10n.
  • The official localization project for mozilla is
    Be sure to check it before you start, and contact the administrator to inform that you are going to start a new localization project.
Content of manual

Installing Mozilla
Starting a Translation
Writing a Language Pack
Making an Installable Build
Differences between manual and version 5.00 (by Henrik Lynggaard)

Installing Mozilla
  • Download the latest Mozilla version from and install it on your system. This shouldn't give you any problems.
Starting a translation

Be sure that nobody is already localizing (translating) Mozilla to your language, because if so, the best thing would be to join that person or group and not to duplicate the effort.

  • Download MozillaTranslator 4.36 from

  • You don't have to install this one, it's a java program that can be run from the Start-Run-select the name of this program. If you have already installed Mozilla, you have the Java Runtime Environment necessary to run this program.
  1. If you are using Windows, go to Start, Run, and select this program. Click OK to open it.
  2. Go to File, Setup and click "Enable Kazu's workaround for bug 51327".OK.
  3. Now you have to load the English version of Mozilla into MozillaTranslator, so you can start localizing.
    To do that, you have to go to File - Manage Installs.
    A new window opens. Click Add , and a new window opens asking you for the name and location of the install you want to do. Click in Choose and browse to the Mozilla chrome directory that is under C:\Program Files\\Mozilla\chrome. There you will find different files. Click on en-US.jar. OK. And then you are back to the Edit Installation window. Now you have to provide a name for your new "locale", that usually it has the two first letters of the name of your language, a dash, and the two first letters of your country. For example: if you are going to translate Mozilla to Spanish (es) but you want to use the Spanish spoken in Argentina (AR), then the name of your locale should be something like es-AR.jar.

To start translating, MozillaTranslator offers you different possibilities. The best thing to get familiarized with MT is start with Edit-Chrome View.

Once you have clicked in Edit-Chrome View, the menu "Show what? "pops-up asking you what things do you want to see while translating. I like File, Org. Text, Org. accesskey, Org. commandkey, Translated Text, Translated accesskey, and Translated commandkey. After that click OK.

Now you should see the 7 columns you have selected, and on the left side, the components that you have. Expand the folder on your left and you'll see the different components present there. Go to anyone, i.e. Communicator, and inside it, you will find more subfolders, go to MT-communicator and click on Now you will see on the right panel the strings that you have to translate. Click on the first one, under the column "Translated text ", and start translating. If the sentence to translate is very long and you cannot see it, press Alt-E, and you can easily translate long sentences.

A very convinient option is Edit - Redundant Strings. This option sorts all the strings that are redundant (i.e. File, so you can translate the first one, and then copy and paste for the remaining ones).

Once you have localized all or part of the strings, go to File - Save Glossary. You can exit MozillaTranslator from File - Exit. When you open again MT, you will resume at the same point you left it before.

Writing a Language Pack

I assume you already have localized en-US.jar to your ab-CD.jar locale. So you want to export that as your locale ab-CD.jar. To do that, in MT you go to Export - Write Jar . It's goint to ask you which component to export, you select your locale, and select all the components (Navigator, Messenger,...). Select which output name you want (ab-CD.jar) and where you want it to be saved. Click OK and will be saved.

You also need to localize three small files: en-mac.jar, en-unix.jar and en-win.jar. You can do that easily with MT (go to Manage Installs, to add those 3 installs, and Update Install before you can start translating them). Once you have localize them, you have to export the .jar file. Go to Export - Write Jar , choose en-mac.jar and select all its components, and name it ab-mac.jar (with ab your locale tag). Do the same for en-unix.jar and en-win.jar.

Now you should have those four files localized: ab-CD.jar, ab-mac.jar, ab-unix.jar and ab-win.jar. Put them in a folder like C:\bin\chrome. Download a langpack for other language (langenus.xpi is OK). Open langenus.xpi with WinZip and extract the install.js file to the C:\bin folder. Open install.js with Notepad and when you will find the following:

platformNode = getPlatform();
logComment("initInstall: platformNode=" + platformNode);
// end
// end - OS type detection

// ----LOCALIZATION NOTE: translate only these ------
var prettyName = "US English Language Pack (en-US)";
var langcode   = "en";
var regcode    = "US";
srDest = 500;  //Required space in kB
var localeName = "locale/" + langcode + "-" + regcode + "/";
var langArchive = langcode + "-" + regcode + ".jar";
var platfArchive = regcode + ".jar";

Note the changes made: I have changed to "US English Language Pack (en-US)" you should put "Ablanguage (ab-CD) Language Pack", and "en" you should put "ab", and "US" you should put "CD".

Save it and close Notepad. Now come back to WinZip where you have the langenus.xpi open. Click Add to add the install.js you just modified (in options, check that you want to remember the full path). Then click Add to add the ab-CD.jar, ab-mac.jar, ab-unix.jar and ab-win.jar Once you have done that, then delete the en-US.jar, en-mac.jar, en-unix.jar, and en-win.jar files from the langenus.xpi. Close WinZip. Now change the name of langenus.xpi to langabcd.xpi.

To test that it works, open Mozilla, click on File - Open File, browse to find the langabcd.zpi you just made. It will ask you permission to install it. Grant it. Restart Mozilla and go to Edit - Preferences, in Appearance choose ab-CD as your language. Restart Mozilla, now should be localized.


As you would know at this point, Mozilla is a developing browser, so every now and then there is a new release. Mozilla Translator allows you to export your i.e. Mozilla 0.9.5 glossary, and import it into the new Mozilla 0.9.6 glossary. To do that, download the new Mozilla version (i.e. 0.9.6) and install it (remember to unistall the previous version, read the instructions). To load the new en-US.jar into Mozilla Translator do as before (Manage Installs, Add, OK, Update Install). Take into account that you can have in MT the glossaries for as many versions as you want at the same time. So right now you'd have 2 different glossaries the abcd095 and the abcd096.

  • Go to Export and Select Export Partial Glossary. Choose a folder and a name (i.e. abcdpartial095), and export the abcd095.
  • To import the old translation into the new glossary, go to Import, Partial Glossay, and choose abcdpartial095, and you want to imported into abcd096.
  • Now you should have all the strings you translated for the 095 glossary, into the 096 glossary. You can resume your translation and translate the new strings.
Making an Installable Build

Once you have created a langabCD.xpi (and a regCD.xpi), and you want to create an installable build, you will need the application mozip.exe and the file cygwin1.dll. You also need the mozilla-win32-0.9.5-installer.exe (I'll use the 0.9.5 build as an example).

NOTE: Your langabCD.xpi language pack MUST match the version of the installer build you want to use (in this case both are 0.9.5).

  • Copy mozip.exe, cygwin1.dll, and the mozilla-win32-0.9.5-installer.exe to the same directory (ex: C:\mozilla\installer).
  • From the system prompt, go to that directory (if you are not familiar with DOS, to go from C: to C:\mozilla\installer, type "cd mozilla\installer" and click return; type "dir" to see the files that are in that folder).
  • The first thing you would like to do is to extract all the files present in that installer to that folder. To do that type:
    "mozip -x mozilla-win32-0.9.5-installer.exe", and press enter.

  • Now you can come back to Windows. There are 2 files you would like to localize in order to localize the Setup program. Those files are CONFIG.INI and INSTALL.INI. You can easily lozalize them with Notepad, localize only those strings under the *** LOCALIZE ME BABY *** marks in the CONFIG.INI file. Example:
  •  [Dialog Setup Type]
     Show Dialog=TRUE
     ;*** LOCALIZE ME BABY ***
     Title=Instalación de Mozilla - Tipu d'Instalación
     ;*** LOCALIZE ME BABY ***
     Message0=Calque nel tipu
     Readme Filename=readme.txt
     Readme App=notepad.exe
  • In this example I've localized what is after Title=, and what is after Message0=. Shouldn't be a problem for you to do that.
  • Another thing you should change in CONFIG.INI is the langpack and region pack names to install, because you want to install your ones (langabCD.xpi and regCD.xpi). To do that, check this example to see what you have to change:
  •  [Component En US lang pack]
     ;*** LOCALIZE ME BABY ***
     Description Short=Paquete de llingua Asturiana (AS)
     ;*** LOCALIZE ME BABY ***
     Description Long=Paquete de llingua Asturiana (AS)
     Install Size=768
     Install Size System=1
     Install Size Archive=469
     Force Upgrade File0=[SETUP PATH]\Chrome\ast-AS.jar
     [Component US region pack]
     ;*** LOCALIZE ME BABY ***
     Description Short=Paquete rexonal AS
     ;*** LOCALIZE ME BABY ***
     Description Long=Conteníos rexonales pa usuarios AS
     Install Size=960
     Install Size System=1
     Install Size Archive=34
     Force Upgrade File0=[SETUP PATH]\Chrome\AS.jar
  • As you can see, I have localized the strings to be localized, but I have also changed the .xpi files to be installed. Instead of langenus.xpi (the US English laguage package) I've changed it to langastas.xpi (the Asturian lang pack), you have to type your langabcd.xpi . The same for the regus.xpi (region pack), I've changed it to regas.xpi. And the last line, that specifies the US.jar file, I've changed it to AS.jar, you should change it to your cd.jar.
  • Once everything is done, copy your langabcd.xpi and regcd.xpi to the same folder you are in (C:\mozilla\installer).
  • To include those modified files (CONFIG.INI and INSTALL.INI), and your language and region packs into the installable build. Go again to the prompt, to the same folder you have mozip and all those files (C:\mozilla\installer) and type:
    "mozip mozilla-win32-0.9.5-installer.exe CONFIG.INI" and press enter. Then do the same with INSTALL.INI, langabcd.xpi and regcd.xpi.
  • To check that all those files are inside the installer.exe, type: "mozip -t mozilla-win32-0.9.5-installer.exe". It will display a list of files inside the installer. Check that your langabcd.xpi and regcd.xpi are there.
  • Now you have a Mozilla installer for Windows. A thing I still don't know is how to remove the langenus.xpi and regus.xpi (they are around 500 kB together). To save space, a workaround is to create in the same folder (C:\mozilla\installer) a file with notepad in which you type 0, and you called langenus.xpi. So it is really small. Then you just go to the prompt and type:
    "mozip mozilla-win32-0.9.5-installer.exe langenus.xpi". So it will replace the 450 kB langenus.xpi file for the 9b langenus.xpi you made.

Differences between manual and version 5.00 (by Henrik Lynggaard)

The section is just to highlight some of the changes between the manual and version 5.0 of the program

  • MozillaTranslator 5 now needs JDK 1.4, so either a newer Mozilla or a seperate install is needed.
  • MozillaTranslator 5 now support both platform neutral and platform specific files in one product (was called install in V4). So both en-us.jar and the en-mac.jar,en-unix.jar,en-win.jar can be mounted in one product
  • MozillaTranslator 5 now uses a disc cache so there should be no or only little memoy penalty for having several products
  • MozillaTranslator 5 supports the creations of XPI's directly, so you should not need to manually alter the install.js
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