Custom Language Pack Using NotePad++ Guide

Discussion created by kevinoconnor on Jun 7, 2016
Latest reply on Feb 26, 2019 by carson

Here is a quick guide to help people with creating a new custom language pack. I hope it will be useful during the summer upgrade season! Please test the language pack fully before deploying on your live environment. If you've got any queries or suggestions let me know.


  1. Install NotePad++
  2. Download the required base language pack via System Admin (make sure it matches your current version of Learn)
  3. Extract the file on your local machine
  4. Open all the .properties files into NotePad++ (each should be on a different tab within NotePad++)
  5. You can now use the Find option to 'Find All in All Opened Documents' and NotePad++ will give you a list of all instances of a word you need to replace across all .properties files
  6. Make a note of where you can safely replace a word (usually it is safe if it is surrounded by spaces or if it follows an equals sign. It's usually unsafe to replace it if it occurs before the equals/is in a code string). You can use options like 'match case' for more granularity.
  7. Search for the term you're replacing and ensure none of the instances are to the left of the equals. When you're ready go to the Replace tab and select 'Replace All in All Opened Documents'
  8. Repeat using different variants of the word until you locate all instances
  9. To ensure the help links work, you will also need to edit and replace @X@user.locale@X@ with en_GB or en_US etc. at the end of the help URLs - otherwise help links will append the name of your custom language pack which won't work
  10. Also edit the bb-lp-manifest.xml file and ensure that the name of the language pack there matches the custom name of your language pack folder and zip file.
  11. When you're ready, zip the files (the top folder and the bb-li-manifest.xml folder should be at the top level of the zip file) and upload it to your test server and keep the same name as your zip file when importing.
  12. On your test server, make sure the labels in the content editor (such as copy/paste etc.) are labelled correctly when you hover over them. If not you may need to check that the bb-li-manifest file has the correct name value for your language pack. You can also open a ticket with BTBB and ask them to fix this.
  13. After you've tested it in your test environment and imported it onto your live system, check it works ok for you before setting it as a system default (you can test it with your own account via the Global Navigation Menu -> Settings -> Personal Information -> Change Personal Settings and select the new pack). Once it's a default, remember to change your own account back to using the default language pack.
  14. Avoid using the in-built WYSIWYG editor within Blackboard whenever possible due to the bug outlined in KB #000035824