Supporting SharePoint list structures in a multilingual environment

By:   |   Updated: 2010-08-03   |   Comments   |   Related: > SharePoint Configuration


Many Multi-Lingual SharePoint portals may require having the same List structure in its webs (Sub-Sites) [i.e. having a list in a primary language site (ex: English) which has a set of predefined columns and the need to have this list structure in a secondary language variated site (ex: Arabic) where each template has its own language variated template].

Also, there may be the need to extend a certain List quota (i.e. list items size) instead of using the default quota.  Rob Fisch wrote a tip about "Managing SharePoint File Size Limits"" which applies to any file (item) size under an entire web application using SharePoint Central Administration.  I will explain how to extend a List items size without effecting other files in the site using the stsadm command.


Many people if they face this requirement in their Multi-Lingual SharePoint portal, the first thing they'll create is the primary List (ex: English) with the required structure, then they'll simulate (re-create) the same list structure in the secondary site (ex: Arabic).  This is easy for small lists, but what if:

  • We have a big list structure (i.e. : Complicated Lookups, Set of custom fields, Filtering, Grouping, Cascaded and Filtered data,etc...).
  • We have Multi-Lingual Webs (English, Arabic, French, Chinese, etc...)

If would not be fun to re-create the same list structure which takes time and un-necessary effort.  How about saving the list as a template and re-use it in the other variated webs?  Unfortunately, this list template will not appear in the create page under the variated webs, because it has a predefined template language which is not compatible with the variated webs language.

Thankfully, Microsoft provides a free tool (SDK) which we can use to facilitate our goal:

  1. First download the "Cabinit" free SDK from the below URL:
    (Unfortunately, Microsoft broke this link and hid the SDK from downloading)

    Don't worry, you can download it from the below URl:

    (Note: copy the whole URL between the brackets and paste it in your browser)

  2. Go to your primary list (ex: English) and then save the list as a template.(ex: EnglishCustomList).

  3. Go to "List galleries" then click on the new "EnglishCustomList" then save it on your file system.

  4. You need to have an installed compression tool like "WinRar" on your machine. You can download it free from the below URL:

  5. Change the extension of the created template from "stp" to "cab". (i.e.: "EnglishCustomList.stp" => "")

  6. Right click on "" and choose "Extract to EnglishCustomList\".

  7. Go through the created directory and edit the "manifest.xml" file and replace all of the primary template language IDs with the secondary template language ID. (i.e.: English => Arabic , So , Replace all : "1033" => "1025") then save the file and close.

  8. Open a command prompt (Run > cmd) then change directory (cd) to the "cabinet" directory then type the below command :

    cabarc.exe n "" "C:\...\...\manifest.xml>"

    - "" = New name for the new variated cab file.
    - "C:\...\...\manifest.xml>" = Path of the updated manifest xml file .

  9. Rename "" file into "ArabicCustomList.stp".

Now you can upload the "ArabicCustomList.stp" list template file to the list galleries and you can easily create the same list structure in an Arabic variated language. (Voila !!!)

If we need to extend a list quota (for uploading more items) or change the default site template size, follow these steps:

  1. Open a command prompt (Run > cmd), then change directory (cd) to the bin folder at 12 hive directory.

  2. Type the below command to get the current template maximum size:

    stsadm.exe -o getproperty -propertyname max-template-document-size

  3. If it returns , <"property Exist=No"/> this means that you are using the default size setting as your limit.

  4. You can then set the limit to something higher by using the below command :

    stsadm -o setproperty -propertyname max-template-document-size -propertyvalue 500000000

    : "500000000" = 60MB
Next Steps
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Last Updated: 2010-08-03

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