Microsoft Multilingual User Interface (MUI) and Visual Studio

Windows Multilingual User Interface (MUI) Packs let you install an English version of Windows, and then install various User Interface Language Packs. User Interface Language Packs provide a localized user interface (UI) for the operating system. For example, you can install a Japanese User Interface Language Pack on top of an English version of Windows and then switch the Windows UI language between Japanese and English. The MUI lets you have multiple language versions of Windows on one computer.

On computers that have the MUI Pack and multiple language versions of Visual Studio installed, changing the Windows display language settings sets both Windows and Visual Studio when matching language packs are installed.

When you install different locale versions of Visual Studio on the same computer, you can only switch languages between matching editions. For example, if you have an English Express Edition installed, a German Express Edition installed, and a Professional Edition installed, you can only switch languages for the Express Editions, not for the Professional Edition.

Support for Code Pages

Some Visual Studio tools do not display text correctly when the text contains characters that are not in the current code page. Instead, question marks appear or the text is corrupted. The following tools or areas are affected:

  • Visual Studio product installation path.

  • Sites deployed by using FTP.

  • Non-ASCII computer names.

  • Command line tools that run outside of Visual Studio.

  • Visual Basic Migration Wizard.

  • ActiveX Control Test Container.

  • OLE/COM Object Viewer.

  • ISAPI Web Debug Tool.

  • MFC application projects that have HTML Help content.

  • Visual SourceSafe / SCCI UI falls back to English when there is an incompatible code page.

  • Visual SourceSafe does not support Unicode file names.

  • End User-Defined Characters (provate use zone) cannot be used as tokens/identifiers.

  • Latin Extended-B characters cannot be displayed in some Visual Studio tool windows when the Windows code page is set to an East Asian language.

  • Text runs that consist of characters from multiple language scripts may have broken font mapping.

  • Copying and pasting complex script strings into common controls may cause character shaping to be lost. Instead, use the corresponding language keyboard to input text.

To correctly display characters that are not included in the current code page

  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then open Regional and Language Options.


    You must be an administrator on the computer to follow these steps.

  2. Click the Advanced tab.

  3. In the Select a language to match the language version of the non-Unicode programs you want to use list, select the language you are currently using.

  4. Click OK.

When you install multiple language versions of Visual Studio on the same computer, the language that is used by Visual Studio (for the UI) defaults to Same as Microsoft Windows. This setting indicates that Visual Studio will display the UI text in the language that is specified as the display language for the operating system.


If Visual Studio is set to use Same as Microsoft Windows, and the matching Visual Studio language pack is not installed, Visual Studio will use the language of the first Visual Studio installation.

To set the language that is used for the UI text in Visual Studio

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.

  2. In the Options dialog box, expand Environment and then click International Settings.

  3. In the Language drop-down list, select the language that the UI text should display in the development environment.

    To have the UI text in the IDE match the operating system display language setting, select Same as Microsoft Windows.

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