Translating Purple Pen

Thank you for being interested in translating Purple Pen into a new language. By translating Purple Pen, you open up its use to a vast number of people who would be unable or unwilling to use it in English.

There are two separate kinds of translations for Purple Pen, which are handled in different ways.


Translating textual control descriptions

First, translations can be entered for all of the symbols used on a control description sheet, so that textual control descriptions can be automatically generated. This requires that translations be entered for each of the control description symbols, such as "hill", "reentrant", "rocky", "N side of", etc. Once this is complete, textual control descriptions can be generated for that language. This is a job that one person with good knowledge of orienteering terminology in their chosen language can do in a few hours. Detailed instructions for doing this are here.

In order to prevent duplicate work, please email if you plan to translate textual control descriptions. I will note languages that are completed or in progress on this page. Current languages:

Translating the program user interface

Second, the user interface for the program can be translated. This involves translating all the text in the menus, windows, reports, and so forth (currently around 600 different pieces of text). Because this is a big task, and because new text is being added as new features appear, this can be done incrementally and collaboratively. You can do just a few pieces of text or many, or review and correct what other people have done. Detailed instructions for doing this are here.


Completed translations will be incorporated into future releases of Purple Pen.

Please feel free to email me at if you have any questions as to how to proceed with the translation. It can be confusing at times, so please don't hesitate to ask questions.