Mac OS X languagepacks

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Languagepack installsets for Mac OS X

Specification Status
Author Christian Lohmaier (cloph), Eric Bachard (ericb), feel free to add yourself...
Previous Change Initial version from Christian Lohmaier
Last Change Added Language packs use in Installation Context Ericb 11:34, 31 December 2007 (CET)
Status Preliminary Help


Languagepacks offer a convenient way to install additional languages to a base-installation of

The main benefits are:

  • small download size
  • easy installation of multiple languages


Reference Document Check Location (URL)
Specification Process Entry Check [passed/failed] n/a
Product Requirement, RFE, Issue ID (required) [available] issue 64937
Product Concept Document [not available] doesn't apply
Test case specification (required) [not available] see this document
IDL Specification [not available] doesn't apply
Software Specification Rules n/a n/a


Role Name E-Mail Address
Developer Christian Lohmaier <>
Quality Assurance Raphael Bircher <>
Documentation <First Name, Last Name> <>
User Experience <First Name, Last Name> <>

Acronyms and Abbreviations

Acronym / Abbreviation Definition
<WYSIWYG> <What You See Is What You Get>

Detailed Specification

The languagepack is provided as a mountable disk image (dmg). The user opens/mounts the image by double-clicking it after downloading. Within the dmg, the user will find two folders with the readme and license and an installation program.

Default Scenario

When the user launches the installer, he will be greeted with the following dialog (NOTE: Strings not final yet/open for discussion):

When the user doesn't abort the installation, he will be promted to choose on of the detected installations of

When the user did pick one of the suggested versions (and the version really is an OOo install), then he will be informed that the installation is about to begin:

Once the installation is finished, the final dialog is displayed:

Special Cases

  • The user doesn't choose one of the autodetected installations, but uses the option to select his/her own

In that case, Mac's default file-picker is shown, asking the user to select the correct app. (in the screenshots, the user did choose an invalid application)

In case the user did choose an invalid application, one that could not be identified as being ans installation, the languagepack installation will be aborted with the following message:


  • The user doesn't have the necessary privileges to write into the target directory. In that case he has the choice to identify as administrator or to abort the installation:


If the user did choose to identify, a Mac's default authentication dialog is shown, asking for the user to provide an admin account's username and password:


In case authentication fails, the installation is aborted:


Help | User Interface Element Templates | Example Spec


There is no migration path. Installation on Mac OS X via "manual install" (drag'n'drop) installer doesn't offer an uninstall or update method. You install by dragging a folder out of the installation image to your harddisk. And you uninstall by moving that folder to the trash. "Updating" is performed by removing the old version and replacing it by the new version. (Mac OS X offers to replace the old version with the new one when the name is the same)

When the user installs a new version of, the user must manually (re-)install the languagepack again.

A given languagepack is likely to work across several different minor versions of the base installation (however, installing a languagepack of a different version is not guaranteed to work). Whether it works or not depends on the amount of changes within the office/the localisations, and is not related to the languagepack installation discussed in this specification.


Irrelevant - the installsets don't touch the office itself, the configuration & dialogs to choose a specific language are already part of

File Format

Irrelevant - the installsets don't touch the Office itself, the support to handle languagepacks is already part of

Open Issues

None known

Future Considerations

These comments below apply to a full revamp of the installation process on Mac OSX, it is out-of-scope of this specification. It is listed here for reference only.

Multi-Language installation sets

-> As Apple people explained us during WWDC (Philipp Lohmann can confirm), what is expected is

A) Download a big archive containing 5 to 7 major locales. ( say 230 MB max , approximatively)

Note: this is unclear, but .dpkg archive has my preference for the complete archive, who can contain a .dmg to be droped in the correct install dir

B) Install Process

2) Installation is made using current System locale (between the most used, else english is defaut fallback ),
    means the questions are localized

3) The user has to check wich locales must be installed, or is invited to download the one he needs 
    if his locale is not in the archive, or keep english as default until he downloaded the correct
    language pack to be installed

4) ... after the user has choosen, the installation process installs every checked locales, else english as default;

5) .. other choices not locale relevant .. 

Enf of Install process 

C) The result : at launch, will use the correct locale, since the locale is checked at launch (in sal, exacty in osxlocale.cxx )

If the user wants to install another locale afterward -> your language packs are perfect and already functional.

Ericb 11:26, 31 December 2007 (CET)

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