DimensioneX Change language Translating DimX

Play Online

free screen-saver
Fantasy Screensavers and Desktop Backgrounds


DimensioneX on SourceForge.net


Translating DimensioneX
into your language

KB Article n. 012
Date: 7 Jan 2005
Updated for: DimensioneX 5.5.0


This article explains how to translate DimensioneX and produce a localized version of the user interface (messages and controls)


Localized versions

DimensioneX can output messages to the end user, and display controls in any language. In practice, most of the displayed messages are taken from the following file:

  • msgs_XXX.properties

(XXX is a language code, such as eng for english)

Locate this file in the dimensionex installation system folder, and the translate the correct parts according to the instructions below. This task is very simple.

Important! When saving the messages file you should ensure that it is saved by using the UTF-8 encoding. The following is what you get when you do "Save As..." using Textpad 4.5.Please note the drop down list at the bottom of the dialog, here you specify UTF-8 instead of ANSI/ASCII:


Please note that for this operation you shouldn't use Windows Notepad. As long as we know, it can load files saved in UTF-8 but it cannot save in UTF-8 format. In our downloads section you can find two text editors both of which are OK for this purpose.

If, for any reason, you intend to use the ANSI ASCII text format, you can however do so by inserting the setting:


In the messages file. This way, DimensioneX will load and interpret the ASCII file correctly. Please consider that for extended charsets this will make your life harder becuase each character will need to be converted from native charset into an ASCII escape sequence, requiring to use a native2ascii utility. 

Selecting the charset

The most important setting in the messages file is the following line:


Here you should change this setting by specifying the correct charset for your country. For instance, you can use windows-1252 for Western-European countries, euc-kr for Korean. The complete list can be found at this URL:


Translating messages

The msgs_XXX.properties file is a Java standard properties file. It contains a series of assignments, placed one for each line, of the form:


You have to edit the part at the right of the equal sign. Comments begin with a # sign, and will be ignored by the game engine. Translating is not always easy if you cannot figure out where and how the message will appear. Hence, a certain experience playing a DimensioneX game will help.

Pay attention to the following two cases:

  • The game engine may add automatically to some messages names to their left or right. For example the message 115 "Could not move" will be completed by the game engine by adding an object name to its right. For instance the game engine may use this message like this:

Could not move the trash can

Of course, your mother language syntax may not accept that the object name is placed at the end of the sentence. In this case, please post a message in the forum, so the game engine can be fixed to suit your language too.

  • The game engine may replace placeholders $1, $2 with actual object names. For example, the message 131 "I cannot put $1 into $2" may be modified by the game engine in reply to a PUT command and displayed like this:

I cannot put an apple into the trash can

Here, you simply keep the placeholders in your translated phrase so that object names are insterted at the right place.

After translating, test your localized messages file by configuring DimensioneX to load it instead of the english ones. This is done by modifying the worldnav.properties file you find in the dimensionex system folder.


If your messages don't display properly in the users' browser, try adding the following setting to your messages file:


which will enable an alternate display mode on DimensioneX. This setting has solved display problems for a few charsets such as Russian.

Send us your work!

We are looking forward to receive localized versions of the messages and the client script. Submit your translated files to us, and you will become one the DimensioneX project contributors.