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Localizing Looker

Localizing Looker means displaying text and data in Looker in different ways for different users. Looker admins can set Looker to display certain user interface text in different languages, as well as set different default number formats. Data within Looker can be localized by localizing the data models.

Localizing the Looker User Interface

Certain Looker user interface text can be displayed in the following languages:

Language Locale Code and Strings File Name
English en
German de_DE
Spanish es_ES
French fr_FR
Italian it_IT
Japanese ja_JP
Korean ko_KR
Dutch nl_NL
Polish pl_PL
Brazilian Portuguese pt_BR
Portuguese pt_PT
Russian ru_RU
Swedish sv_SE
Turkish tr_TR
Simplified Chinese zh_CN
Traditional Chinese zh_TW

To enable localization, set the locale for users, user groups, or instances through one of the following methods:

For users with no Locale set, Looker uses the locale chosen on the Localization page of the Admin panel as the default locale, and if no locale is set there, Looker defaults to en.

Localizing Data Models

While localizing the Looker user interface translates various menus and screen text within Looker, in order to see translations inside data tables and visualizations, your data models must be localized.

Models can be localized into any language for which .strings files can be created; model localization is not constrained to the languages supported by user interface localization.

To localize both data models and the Looker user interface, the models’ .strings files must be named with the same locale code used for the user interface. Then, setting the Locale field or the locale user attribute to the appropriate code will localize the models and the user interface.

Localizing Number Formatting

The default number format setting in Looker is 1,234.56. The number format for numbers that appear in data tables and visualizations can be set to any of the following:

Setting Number Formats for Users

You can set a number format through one of the following methods:

The default number format in Looker looks like this:

If you change the number format to 1.234,56, it looks like this:

The Number Format Setting with Other Methods of Number Formatting

If you use the LookML parameters value_format_name or value_format to format fields in your models, the number format selected in the Number format setting or number_format user attribute is applied on top of the format given in the LookML parameters. For example:

Similarly, if you use the Value Format field in a visualization’s Edit menu, the number format set in the Number format setting or number_format user attribute will be applied on top of the format selected in the Value Format field:

You cannot use LookML parameters or the Value Format field in a visualization’s Edit menu to set formatting to 1.234,56 or 1 234,56. To set those formats, you must use the Number format setting or the number_format user attribute. value_format, value_format_name, and the Value Format field use Excel-style formatting strings.

Overriding the Number Format Setting with strict_value_format

Typically, the number formatting set in the Number format setting or number_format user attribute is applied on top of formats applied by LookML parameters.

However, if you wish to create a number format that is not affected by the Number format setting or number_format user attribute, you can use the named_value_format model parameter to create a number format and set its strict_number_format subparameter to yes. That format can then be applied to fields using the value_format_name parameter, and those fields will not be affected by Number format setting or number_format.

For example, first create a custom format in your model file and set the strict_value_format subparameter to yes:

named_value_format: dollar_formatting { value_format: "$#,###.00" strict_value_format: yes }

Then apply that formatting to a field or fields in your view file:

measure: average_sale_price { type: average value_format_name: dollar_formatting sql: ${sale_price} ;; }

This results in a Look like this: