Sorting it all Out Michael Kaplan's random stuff of dubious value Be sure to read the disclaimer here first!
(This page was originally posted at http://i18nWithVB.com/win2k.htm but I thought it could use a wider audience)
A lot of work was done to this dialog since Windows 2000, including massive shifts in terminology. Here is the handy-dandy conversion chart of the most important items:
Windows 2000 term
Windows XP/Server 2003 term
Regional and Language Options
Default User Locale
Standards and Formats
Default System Locale
Language for Non-Unicode Programs
Language Settings for System
Supplemental Language Support
There are many other changes, as well. While I do welcome change when there are confusing issues, I am not sure how much I welcome change that others will find to be just as confusing. I'll let you decide how you feel about this particular issue yourself....
Anyway, here are some screenshots for the three important tabs for the dialog:
The first change is obvious -- the settings that used to show up on the first tab are now spread across three of them.
Here is each part, explained:
Language for Standards and Formats - Located in the first tab, these are the preference that you, the user, has for items like date formats, calendar, preferences for text sorting, etc. Now most of these settings can be handled individually by clicking on the Customize button. You can think of this dropdown combobox as a useful way to be lazy and have settings made automatically based on the locale you choose. There are really no standards per se involved (such as sorting), but not everything there is a format so there had to be something else there.
I will talk about the Location stuff some other time.
Supplemental Language Support -- In Windows 2000 this was a list containing various familes of locales corresponding to lanaguage groups, but now most of the support is already installed and turned on. In fact, there are only two groups that are not:
This information is in the second tab and is handled by two checkboxes. These two checkboxes control the installation of all the code pages, fonts, keyboards, etc. so that applications can support the particular language. You will probably be prompted for your Windows CD to install the files that you are in essence requesting.
The top of the second tab handles input methods. I will talk about that more another time.
User Interface Language - You may not have this control on your regional options at all; it is only there if you have MUI (the Multilingual User Interface) installed. This allows you to change the actual language of Windows itself. It has no effect, I repeat no effect, on your installation of Windows otherwise. At all. Period. If you think it will, then cure yourself of this delusion and realize that you do not need MUI to have a multilingual experience on Windows XP and Server 2003!
Language for Non-Unicode Programs (aka Default System Locale) - Located on the third tab, this setting is the one that controls, at the machine level, the locale that will be used for all conversions to and from Unicode for applications without Unicode support (like VB 6.0, for example). If you change the Default System Locale, you will be prompted to reboot afterwards (you may be prompted for your Windows CD first if you need to install some files). But I cannot stress it strongly enough: this is the top control on the third tab. You would not believe how many people mess this up and try to change the language at the top of the first tab under "Standards and Formats"! So think carefully and allow yourself to be one of the people laughing about the confusion, rather than one of the people being laughed at.
Incidentally, it also controls the font "language" that is used for the case of [primarily] East Asian fonts that have more than one name, based on language.
Under this are the various code pages you can install. I recommend you use Unicode and avoiding needing these things. :-)
Default Settings - Although the title is misleading, this checkbox located on the bottom of the third tab is incredibly useful in many situations. What is does is apply any changes you make on any of the three tabs to .DEFAULT, the default user profile (copied for all new user accounts), and several system accounts. In the case of keyboards, it copies all keyboards that have been selected by the given user whether they were selected at this time or not and applies them to the .DEFAULT account. The latter is very useful if you want the ability to switch keyboards in the logon dialog.
This setting does not exist in prior versions, which is a damn shame since people try all the time to e.g. set the default user locale on a web server and expect that change to be applied to their IIS. It does not immediately occur to most people that the setting only applies to the currently logged in user; unfortunately understanding is likely piss off any reasonable person since Windows 2000 does not provide any user interface to resolve the issue. Thankfully, much of the problem is taken care of with this one confusing setting.
That's all for now. Let me know if you have any questions or comments about this page!
Most likely one person's machine was shipped with one configuration, and the other with the other (most people do not go to Regional Options and use that checkbox, so most likely this is how they have always been).
But that is not really relevant anymore -- now you just need to fix it. And you know how, now. :-)
Hi Michael..I want a non-unicode program "Toolbook" to display hindi. I don't have the option "Hindi" in the Select a language for Non-Unicode program under the Advanced tab. How do I include it? Im a novice and its urgent. Please help.