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We use Tridion (2009) for our different country sites that have left to right languages such as French, English, and Chinese. We now need to modify our existing templates for Hebrew and Arabic, essentially creating a mirror image of the whole site (reversing all navigation, forms, blocks, etc.) What is considered the best way to go about this? Would you recommend localizing all templates, or adding additional templates to our Design publication? Are there any other recommendations or resources that you can point me to? Thank you.

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Here's a few tips, hope it helps you. It obviously helps if the sites are designed to be multi-cultural from the ground up, but that's not always the case...

Anyway, assuming that most of your changes are limited to adding dir="rtl" to your templates, I would do something like this:

  1. Add metadata to you publication that specifies if the content is Right-To-Left
  2. Add a simple c# TBB that runs at the beginning of the templates and checks this metadata value - if yes, add a variable to the package named "rtlcontent"
  3. Wherever applicable in your layout templates, add a check for this, something along these lines for DWT
<div<!-- TemplateBeginIf cond="rtlcontent"> dir="rtl"<!--TemplateEndIf -->>@@ContentGoesHere@@</div>

I would certainly not recommend localizing templates - this will just make redesigns very hard to achieve in the future.

You then should take care of making sure all your output works fine with UTF-8.

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