Making templates translatable

The predefined process templates support translation. You can modify a process template that you create so that it can be translated to support multiple languages.

About this task

To make a process template translatable, replace translatable property strings with property keys (%key.n format). Then, create language-specific files in which you map the property keys to the translated text strings. Attach the language-specific files to the process template.

For example, replace these types of strings with property keys:

  • Dashboard and dashboard widget descriptions
  • Dashboard titles and categories
  • Dashboard widget titles
  • Follow-up action names and descriptions
  • Path to the process content (if applicable)
  • Precondition names and descriptions
  • Process names, descriptions, and summaries
  • Role names and descriptions
  • Work item aliases
  • Work item enumeration literals
  • Work item query names and descriptions
  • Work item quick information titles
  • Work item states, actions, and resolutions
  • Work item type names
  • Workflow names

Not all strings are suitable for translation. For example, do not replace strings for the following fields:

  • ID fields, such as process IDs, work item IDs, and role IDs
  • Fields with Boolean values or color values
  • Fields that refer to other fields
  • Fields within work item queries
  • Trim values within widget elements
  • True and False fields

For more examples of strings to replace with property keys, see the predefined process templates.


  1. In the Process Templates view, double-click a process template to open it in the Process Template editor.
  2. Replace the entries in the Name and Summary fields with unique property keys that use the %key.n format. For example, %Agile.282 and %Agile.283. If the process template provides a description, include the description content in an archive file named (for example, and specify the path in the archive file.
  3. Click the Process Configuration Source tab. Replace all translatable strings with property keys.
  4. Click the Process Iterations Source tab. Replace all translatable strings with property keys.
  5. Create a text file named template.messages. Copy all property keys from the Overview, Process Configuration Source, and Process Iterations Source tabs and paste them into the template.messages file. Add string values to the property keys. For example, Agile.282=Agile Process. The template.messages file is the default file that is used if the selected language-specific file does not contain an entry for a property.
  6. Create a text file for the language-specific set of properties. Use the naming convention, template_la_CO.messages where la is a lowercase language code and CO is an uppercase country code. For example, template_en_US.messages. Copy all property keys and paste them into the language-specific file. Add language-specific string values to the property keys.
  7. Save and close the files.
  8. On the Overview tab, expand Process Attachments and click Add. Add the template.messages file and the language-specific properties file or files that you created. Click Save to save your changes to the process template.


When you create a project area, you can use the Create Project Area wizard to select the language for the process template that you use.

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