Internationalize Your Project Software with Cultural and Interface Labels

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Project Insight administrators


Project Insight is the most powerful and flexible software in the mid-market, allowing systems administrators and project managers to change the terminology of the software on data columns and forms. For example, if your project team uses specific nomenclature, then your administrator may change the default terminology to your organization’s wording.


  • Understand how to change data columns and fields
  • Learn the many ways to customize the software

Key Points


In the project management industry, there are widely recognized standards such as the Project Management Body of Knowledge or PMBOK. These standards set terminology that you should use and guidelines that direct how you should manage your projects and portfolio.

Project Insight follows the Project Management Institutes standards and terminology and is compliant with PMBOK, but if you have different terminology that you use, you can incorporate that with the Project Insight Culture & Interface Labels functionality.

However, most organizations also have their own culture and you may use different terms or nomenclature, than the standards. These terms are what your team and customers are familiar with and they have specific meaning to you.

With this, you are able to change the terms that your team sees, so that it is recognizable to them. This increases adoption rates, reduces your learning curve and reduces errors.

You can create one set of terminology for your entire organization or you can even set different terminology for different regions, departments or process groups so your different teams can interact with Project Insight in the way they are familiar with.

This can all be done by your system administrator. You don’t need to get your IT team involved or pay for professional services to have this done.

If your team uses different languages, you can also change the language that you use. There are different language translations already built into the system but you can also create your own.

Setting Default Culture and Interface Settings

You can set a default Culture and Interface Setting for your entire organization.

That means, by default, each of your users will use that interface when they log in, but you can override that default setting and change it for each individual user as well.

Only a system administrator can change the default culture and language setting.

To set the default Culture and Interface Setting for your entire organization, expand the left navigation.

Click anywhere on the Administration title to expand that section.

Click on the arrow next to the System Configuration option to expand that out.

You can make the left navigation section wider by hovering on the line separating the navigation and the details section and drag it wider or smaller to see all the text.

Click on Formatting, Language & Culture Settings.

The top drop down is where you set the default system language or cultural interface.

It is also where you can set your default time zone.=

Click in the drop down for the Default System Language & Culture Settings.

This is a list of all the different language translations already built into the system.

Scroll down the list to see them all.

If most of your organization uses Spanish, click on Spanish (Mexico).

Click Save.

You can see that the labels are now all displaying in Spanish.

This first item on your dashboard is projects but the term for projects is now displaying in Spanish.

The second item is tasks.

Click on the arrow next to the projects column header label to expand that out.

The project names and any other data you enter are still displaying in English. That’s because the data was entered in English, so that is what is still displaying for them.

The Culture and Interface Settings don’t translate the data that you enter. It translates only the labels in the system. You are responsible for entering data in your language.

Click on the arrow next to the projects column header label to collapse it again.

Culture and Interface Settings for Specific Users

By default, all of your users will now see the Spanish language interface, but that can be changed for specific users.

Set your default language back to English.

Click on Formatting, Language & Culture Settings.

Click in the drop down for the Default System Language & Culture Settings.

Scroll back to the top and click “No hay seleccion,” which means No Selection.

Click the Save icon, which is still in Spanish.

Your language has changed back to English.

You can see that it is very simple to do.

If you wanted to leave English as your default language but you had team members in Mexico, you can change the language interface specifically for them.

Only a system administrator or user manager can make those changes.

Click on Users.

Collapse your left navigation.

Click the Edit icon for a user such as Jill Project.

Click on Preferences.

Click in the drop down for Culture & Interface Settings.

Scroll to the bottom of the list and click Spanish (Mexico).

You have now set the language for that user only to be Spanish.

Click Save.

To see the effect of that, right click on the user.

Click on Impersonate.

This allows system administrators to impersonate another user to see what their interface with Project insight looks like. Only system administrators can impersonate another user. User managers or any other type of role can’t do that.

You now see how the interface looks for Jill. It is displayed in Spanish.

Hover on Jill’s name and click Stop Impersonating.

As you can see, for your user, the interface is still being displayed in English. You only changed it for Jill but not anyone else.

You can have different interfaces for different users, depending on the requirements for your organization.

If you are a global organization, Project Insight can support that and make it easy to use for all your team members, project managers and stakeholders.

Create Culture and Interface Labels

You’ve seen how to set the default Culture & Interface label for your organization and change that for individual users using the built in language and culture settings, but you can also create your own customized language and culture setting.

This is very useful if you have terminology that you use that is different from the standards and specific to your organization.

Even if you have different teams or different processes that use different terms, you can set those as well.

Or you can create an interface for a different language, if it isn’t already available.

To set your culture and interface labels, you need to be a system administrator.

Expand the left navigation.

Click on the arrow next to the Customization option to expand that out.

You can see there are various customization options in here and you can get more details on those in the Creating Custom Fields and Using Custom Items and Forms training sessions.

You can even apply your own themes and branding.

Click on Culture and Interface labels.

This is where you create your own Culture and Interface Labels.

Collapse the left navigation to give you more room.

If you had previously created your own culture and interface labels, they would be listed here, but in this case, there are none, so you are going to add one.

Click in the gray blank line to add one.

You need to enter the name of your interface.

One very common reason to create a customized culture and interface label is if you manage both client facing projects, where you are getting paid by an external customer for the work in the project, versus internally facing projects, where you do projects to meet your organizations goals, strategies and plans.

Different kinds of data are captured for each of those projects, so you want to create a custom culture and interface to support those different processes.

Create one for Customer Billable Projects, so type that into the name.

By default, when you create a custom culture and interface label, it will inherit all the settings from the USA English setting.

But you can over-ride and pre-populate settings from other pre-built language interfaces or other custom interfaces you created.

To change the defaults, click in the Inherits From drop down.

Scroll to the bottom,

You could see the Spanish – Mexico settings are the default settings for this new interface.

Or if you were located in Canada, you could choose the English (Canada Dates & Currency) setting to pre-populate your new interface with the settings from that one.

Or just leave it blank by clicking on the white space on the form without making a selection and that way it defaults to all the same settings in English – USA prebuilt interface.

Click the save icon.

You can see that new interface listed.

Since you haven’t yet changed any settings on this new interface, it would be exactly the same settings as the English – USA prebuilt interface, but now you’re going to change it to support the way you do your business.

There are a few of different ways to do this.

The first and probably easiest method is to display the actual form in Project Insight and change the terminology right on the form. That way, you can see exactly what data fields you are changing, where it is displaying and the results of the change. You can see what the form will look like to users while you’re making the changes.

The second way is through a specific function designed for this and you make those changes by entity type instead of on a form.

The third way is to do it through an import of an Excel spreadsheet.

Change Labels Directly on Forms

You are going to start with the simplest method, which is making label changes directly on a form.

To do this, first you must tell Project Insight which Interface you want to change.

Click on the Current Settings & Editing Options tab.

The first setting here is the Current System Level Setting. Remember, when you set the Default Culture and Interface or your Entire Organization, in the System Configuration area, this is actually another place where you can do the exact same thing.

It is the same function, but now it is just accessible from two different places.

Right now it is blank, because we are just using the system default which is USA – English.

That’s fine for now. Leave it blank.

But the next setting Your Current Personal Setting, is where you set what interface you are going to change.

Click in the drop down and click on your Customer Billable Projects interface.

Remember when you edit a user and set his Culture & Interface Setting on his profile, that by changing Your Current Personal Setting here, you are doing the exact same function as when you set it on your User Profile. Again, it is the same function, but it is available in two different places.

The difference here, is that you can click on the Enable Editing Directly on Forms.

This means you have turned on that form editing capability for this currently set interface.

There is a best practice that you should follow when you want to do this. When you turn this option on, there is extra database interaction that occurs. This may affect performance on the software, so you may want to do this during non-peak hours. You’ll want to turn this on, make your changes and then turn it off right away again. You don’t want to leave it turned on, and start doing your regular day-to-day business functions.

If your team is already using Project Insight and you start to make these kind of changes, you will want to incorporate some change management and training as well.

Click Save.

You may have noticed that your display changed on this form.

Some of your labels, not all, but most now have a three bullet point icon next to them.

You click this icon to edit the label that it is next to.

The best place to see this work is on your project add/edit form.

Expand out the left navigation.

Click on the Folders section to expand it out.

Click on the Projects folders.

Hover on the Add icon and select Project.

Collapse your left navigation.

You can now change the terminology associated with any label on your project add/edit form.

If you need more detail about any of the data on this form, attend our Build Your First Project training session.

For example, you have the Sponsor label, for internal, organizational projects, specifying who the sponsor of a project is, is a common process. However, for client facing projects, you probably may not have a sponsor, but you may have an account manager.

In that case, you could change the label to be account manager.

Click on the edit label icon next to the Sponsor label.

The label edit layer appears.

The System Default column shows you what the default label is.

This will never change. That way you can always see what the label was originally.

The Currently Displayed column, is what it is set to currently.

In this case, since no changes have yet been made, it just shows the same information as the defaults because that is what it is currently set to.

Finally, the first column is where you make the changes for the Customer Billable Project interface.

In the Name, type in Account Manager.

So instead of displaying the label Sponsor, display the label Account Manager.

Another best practice to follow is to make sure that even though you are changing the label, you are still using the field in the way it was originally intended and you aren’t changing the meaning of the field to something it wasn’t intended to do.

For example, the Sponsor is used to record the person who makes the ultimate decisions about the project. If this is a client facing project, the same definition could be applied to an Account Manager. It will also be used the same in either scenario. You are going to reference that information to know who to talk to when there are issues and you may also want to run portfolio level reports based on that.

So in that case, it makes sense to change the label.

You wouldn’t want to do something like try and use it to record a date, or dollar values or some other unrelated meaning. If you require fields like that, then set them up as custom fields instead. Attend our Creating Custom Fields training session for more information on that.

The next option, tool tip, is where you enter in context sensitive help that will appear when you click on the label.

Type in, Enter the Account Manager associated to the project.

Click Save to see those changes and see those changes immediately on the form.

You can see that now, instead of sponsor, the label says Account Manager.

If you click on the Account Manager label, it shows you the new help text that you entered as well.

Finally, you will also see that the change label icon now has a red line.

That is a visual indicator to you that this label was changed.

You can see how useful being able to make label changes right on the form is. You can see immediately what the effects are and what your project managers and others will see.

Using Different Labels

If you attended some of our other training sessions on customization, such as Using Custom Items and Forms, you will know that different forms are used for different purposes. For example, this is the project add/edit form.

There is also a project display form and forms that are used for lists or reports.

You can have the same label used on those three different forms or you can have different labels on each.

Click on the Edit label icon for Account Manager.

The name is the default label and that is normally just used on all the different types of forms, but you could over-ride that on the different forms if you want.

For example, there is the input form name, the Display Form Name and the Column Name.

You can enter a name for each different type of form if you require.

The Input and Display Form Name are not that commonly used and if they aren’t filled in, then just the default name is used.

The Column Name is more commonly changed.

This is the column header used for reports and lists, so you may want this shortened to save space.

For example, Enter Acct Mgr.

Changing Business Rules

You can also change the business rules associated with the data, using this same function.

Setting a Field to be Required

For example, by default the Account Manager field is not required.

Your project managers don’t have to enter it, but what if you always needed the account manager set on the project because they are the ones that submit the invoice to the customer when the work is completed, so you always have to know who they are.

To make that a required field, click on the drop down for Required.

Change it to yes.

Now the project manager will have to enter it before they can save the data.

You could also put your own message that will appear if they fail to enter it. That’s the Required Failed Msg.

Just leave it blank to use the default message which will incorporate your new terminology anyway.

Click Save.

Now the Account Manager has a red asterisk that indicates that it is required.

Hiding Fields on a Form

One last interface change you may want to make, that will really streamline your data entry process and reduce confusion, is to hide any fields that you don’t use.

Use caution when doing this, because you do not want to hide a field that you may use in the future. However, you can always turn it back on, which you will see how to do in a moment.

To see a common place where hiding of a field is done, click on the Time, Expense & Billing Information tab.

In here there is a lot of data that is used when you do external client facing projects,

but there is also data that is more applicable to internal, organizational projects such as Groups and Departments.

If you don’t use those for your customer billable projects, click the label edit icon for Groups.

Click on the drop down for Hidden.

Click Yes.

This hides it on both the input and display forms.

Click on the drop down for Hidden From Columns.

Click Yes.

This hides it on the reports and lists views.

Click Save.

You can see right away that the groups data is gone.

Do the same for Department.

Click the label edit icon for Department.

Click on the drop down for Hidden.

Click Yes.

Click on the drop down for Hidden From Columns.

Click Yes.

You will notice that some of the options such as Required and Hidden have the word beta beside them.

The reason for this is that in some cases, a field cannot be changed to ‘not required’ or it can’t be hidden because it is used as an inherent part of the system functionality. This is a standard form that is used for changing labels, so you will still see the options. It just won’t be used no matter what you set it to for some fields. That’s what the beta message indicates.

Click Save.

Now the Department is also gone.

Now your project managers won’t get confused by those data columns and wonder what they are for or if they should fill them out. Only the data that is important to client facing projects is visible.

You could also do things like make the customer field required for customer facing projects, the same way as did with the Account Manager field.

Turning Off Editing Labels on Forms

You’ve made your interface changes, now you want to immediately turn off the editing of the labels on forms function so you don’t affect the performance of the system.

Expand the left navigation.

Click on the arrow next to Customization.

Click Culture & Interface Labels.

Click Current Settings & Editing Options.

Click the checkbox for Enable Editing Directly on Forms.

Click Save.

Refreshing Your Display

You will see once you’re done that there is a refresh required message.

Once you have completed your changes, Project Insight needs to push those changes out. You don’t want to do this until you are sure you have completed all your changes because it does add overhead to the performance for a short period of time.

When you’re done all your changes, click Refresh Required.

You will get a system message that all your changes will be made within the next 3 minutes. If anyone was already using that interface and you made changes, they may not see those changes right away.

Click Ok.

The message now changes to Refreshing.

When it is complete, it will say Refreshed.

Seeing Label Changes

To see some of your label changes, click on Reports.

Click on Project reports.

Click Create Project Report.

Click on Column Selection Options to expand that section out.

You see the Acct Mgr column showing in the available columns.

It is using that shortened label for the column on reports because you set a specific Column Name for it.

Also, any fields that you hid, such as the Department or Group, will not show up as Available columns to print on the report. Because, three minutes has passed and not all the changes may have yet been applied, they may still be visible for a few more minutes but then they will be done.

Customize Language and Culture Settings Function

That is one way to change labels, business rules and visibility for built-in data elements right from the form.

The second way is through a specific function designed for this.

Click on Culture Interface Labels to set back to that form.

Click the name of your Interface.

Collapse the left navigation.

You have various tabs and options available.

The General tab is where you can change the name of the interface and where it is inheriting its settings from.

You can also over-ride settings for Currency, Number and Date/Time with another Culture.

Although that is not commonly done.

Items, Entities and Objects

Click on Items, Entities and Objects.

This is where you can also change your labels, set help text, set business rules and control visibility. This functionality is collectively also referred to as Properties.

You can use this functionality to change those properties or you can change the properties directly from the form like you did earlier. In either case, you are accomplishing the same thing and editing the same data, except you are just doing it in a different manner.

In this case, you have a list of all the different Items, Entities, Related Objects etc. that you can change.

For Projects, you can see that you can change 365 properties for a project.

You can also see that 3 properties have already been customized.

That was the customization you did on the project add/edit form. It shows up here as well, and any changes you make here, would show if you were editing the properties directly on the form. The same information can be changed from two different places, so that you can use the one that works best for you.

To see the customizations you made, click on Project.

Click on Fields.

This is a list of all the fields for a project that you can change the property for.

Scroll through them and you can see all the different items.

Now scroll back to the top.

The column headers show you most of the same information that you were able to change on the actual form with one additional item being listed.

The Property Name is the internal name assigned to this field and this can never be changed.

But then you have the Name, the Tool Tip and so on.

Those were the data you saw when you edited the label directly on the form.

The one property you can’t change from here is the required options. That must be set on the form.

To see one of the fields you changed, scroll down until you find the ProjectSponsorString.

You can see there are a lot of items you are able to change.

Highlight the ProjectSponsorString line.

For each field, there is two lines.

Remember when you changed some settings on your interface, it took up to 3 minutes to have those changes be applied to your system.

The top line is where the pending changes are recorded.

The second line is the current settings.

So these will be different until the internal database update has happened, and then they will be the same once the changes are applied.

If you click the edit icon on the line, that’s the line where you put in the pending changes.

For example, add This is required to the Tool Tip description.

Click the Save icon.

If anyone looked at the form right now, it would show the current settings still, which is the data in italics.

Once the changes have been applied everywhere, then the current settings will be updated with these changes and both lines will be the same.

Applying Filters to the List of Fields

This is a pretty long list and as you can see, you had to scroll through a lot to find the fields you customized.

A quicker way to do that is to scroll back to the top and click on Advanced Filter & Editing Options.

Click in the drop down for Customized and click Only Customized.

Click the Update Display icon.

Now, only your customized fields are showing.

You can also set some other filters such as showing only fields that start with a certain letter.

You can enter a keyword that will search in any of the information displayed and show only those fields that match that.

There are also some display options you can toggle on and off.

For example, you may want to click on the Show System Default displayed values row so you can see what the data was originally.

Un-hiding Hidden Fields

The last option: Visible lets you filter by what fields you have set to be hidden.

You can only un-hide fields with this function. You can’t un-hide fields on the editing of the labels directly on the forms because you can’t see the fields on the form any longer to access them.

Click in the drop down for Visible and select Not Visible.

If you select multiple filters, like you now have here, with Only Customized and Not Visible, AND logic is applied, i.e. it is showing only customized fields and those that are not visible.

In this case, it doesn’t really matter that both are set, because when you set the department and group to not visible, it was considered a change from the default setting, so they were also considered automatically to be customized.

Click Update Display.

The two fields that were marked hidden are displayed.

To make them visible again, click the edit icon.

Click in the drop down for Hidden and change it to blank.

The reason you want to set it back to a blank setting, is that then it will use the default setting which is visible and it also turns off the flag that this field is customized. If you had set it to No, it would become visible but the system would still consider it a customized field, which it isn’t.

Click in the drop down for Hidden From Columns and change it to blank.

Click the Save icon.

It will now show again on the Project add/edit form after you refresh.

Edit Labels Directly on Forms

When you change the options either here or on the editing of the labels directly on the forms, it does change it automatically everywhere that field is used. If you use the same field on more than one form, it will be changed on both forms.

If you do see a property that you changed, but the change isn’t getting reflected where you thought it should, then it’s because it’s using a different field to get the properties, not the one you set. In these situations, you may want to edit the label directly on the forms so you ensure you are accessing the correct one.

Changing a Label and Applying it Globally

The process you used for changing the label for the Project Sponsor worked well, you changed it on the form where it was input and that was all you needed.

However, if you were translating the software to another language such as Spanish, you wouldn’t want to have to find commonly used words such as project everywhere it could appear in the system and change it to the Spanish term.

You only want to change it once and have that update automatically apply everywhere the word project is used.

To do that, click on the General tab.

This is where you set the global term for a main item.

You need to enter both the singular form and plural form.

For the singular enter Proyecto.

For the plural enter Proyectos.

Then click Save.

Another way this is used is to adopt organizational terms. For example, some organizations may refer to a project as a Job.

To incorporate that, enter Job as the singular and Jobs as the plural.

Then instead of referring to projects, you would refer to jobs.

Reverting a Changed Label

To revert a field back to its original settings, both here and on the Fields option and when editing a label on a form, just erase the data in the label fields and click Save.

Click OK to the confirmation prompt.

Expand the left navigation and click on the Culture Interface Labels.

Make sure you refresh your cache to have these changes applied.

Changing Other Terminology

Click on Custom Billable Projects again.

You’ve seen information about the General tab and the Items, Entities & Objects tab.

Click on the Systems Lists tab.

This is data that is displayed in drop downs or combo boxes.

Click on Approval Status.

You can see all the predefined terms for the approval life cycle.

You can change those by clicking the Edit icon and entering the Customized Value.

Click the Back Icon.

Click on Miscellaneous Text.

This paragraph here on this form is considered miscellaneous text.

It is general text that is on a form that is not related to a data item. It may be instructional text.

Click the Edit Miscellaneous Text option to see all the miscellaneous text and change it.

It is not common to change these, so just click the Back Icon.

Changing Terminology and Formats

Click on Notification Templates.

This is one that is more commonly used.

When you get an email from Project Insight, the email is a template that had some data variables in it.

You can change the email to incorporate your cultural settings. This can be a language translation or maybe you just want it to say something different or have some different formatting.

Project Insight uses HTML to create the emails, so it is recommended that you know some HTML coding in order to set this.

For example, if you want to change the way the nightly report looks, click on it.

It lists first, what data variables are available in this type of email.

Then the body, is where you put your HTML code.

To see the HTML coding for the default way this email is displayed and to help you create your customized email, click the System Default tab.

Highlight all that HTML code and use CTRL-C to copy it.

Click back on the Custom tab.

Click in the Body and CTRL P to paste it.

Now you have a base on which to start making your modifications.

For example, you could make an interface for your customers. Then you could modify the email templates so that they are in the format and with the information you want your customer to see.

There is a lot of flexibility in Project Insight and you can make changes without requiring core code changes.

Click the Back icon.

Import/Export Culture Settings

The last way you can change culture and interface settings is with the Import/Export option.

Click on that.

The import/export option lets you take all the culture and label variables in the system that you’ve been seeing, under items, entities & objects, system lists and so on.

And export them to an Excel spreadsheet and you can then enter all your changes directly on that sheet, instead and then re-import them.

This is often used if you are making a significant amount of changes, such as for a new language.

Click on Export to Excel.

This might take a couple of seconds.

Click on Open to open the Excel spreadsheet that gets created.

Now you can go through all the data elements in the spreadsheet and enter the translation or new terms.

Don’t touch the gray columns. It is the white columns where you want to do your data entry.

The gray columns are the current settings and the reference to what you are changing.

You can see that you can change all the properties for each field that you have already seen.

Make sure you also fill out each tab.

When you are making those translations on all the tabs, save it.

Switch back to Project Insight.

Click the Import from Excel option.

That will automatically import and apply all those changes you put in the Excel spreadsheet.

This makes it simpler and quicker if you are doing vast changes such as changing a language.

Translating the Software

Switch back to your Excel spreadsheet.

You can see there is a lot of data here that you need to translate.

You can use translation software to do that rapidly for you.

There is one caveat on that, translation software only has so much intelligence built in and it will do a literal translation versus a function specific translation so the translations may require review and modifications before you actually input them.

Project Insight also offers services to create translations for you. You can talk to your account manager or our sales team for more information about that.

Online 11/5/2015
Updated on: