“Help! I can’t change my field’s name!” – How to modify your label translations in 3 steps

One of my clients had a problem lately. He wasn’t able to change the name of one of the fields on the account form. To give a bit more background to his story, you should now that the base language of the system is English and the users are Dutch.

Personal options

On the one hand we have the account form in Dutch, we’ll see that the label of the field is e.g. “Adres 1: Straat 1”, which is a translation of the English fields.

Account form 1.gif

On the other hand, if we take a closer look at the field in the English language settings, we’ll see that this field has an other label e.g. “Adres”.

Account form 2

Keeping the field properties in mind, we’ll see that the label is also called “Adres”.

Field properties

I won’t go into detail concerning the display name and the name of the field.

Field properties 2

In other words, the field label “Adres 1: straat 1” is a translation from the English label. Translations cannot be changed in a quick way. It takes 3 steps to do this:

1. Export translations

Go to the customization area, choose “customize the system”: Customize 1

Next, you’ll see “import translations” and “export translations”, pick “export translations”. This will make an .xml export of the base language and its translations in the languages you enable.

Export translations

After clicking “export translations”, you’ll receive an announcement, telling you to exercise some patience before you can start and modify CRM’s translations.


When the export is finished, you’ll receive a new notification in your Internet browser (I’m using Internet Explorer 11 here) asking if you want to save or open the file. Choose to save the file on your client. If anything would go wrong, you’ll want to have a backup or the original translations file.

Announcement 2

So save the .zip file and unzip it. Name of the file will be CrmTranslations_Default_1_0.zip.

Zip file 1

After unzipping the file, you’ll see that it contains two other files. We’ll use CrmTranslations.xml to work with.

Zip file 2

2. Modify the translations

If you open this file (after unzipping it), it will be opened in Excel. If not, you’ll have to change your standard program settings for .xml files.

CrmTranslations 1

Next, go to the Excel tab “localized labels”. On line 303 you’ll find “Adres 1: straat 1”, which is the translation of “Adres”.

CrmTranslations 2

Change this translation to “Straat” (For English people, this just means “street”). CrmTranslations 3

After modifying, save your file and click “yes” if you receive another announcement (to say you’ll loose functions if you save it in this format).


Zip both files [Content_Types].xml en CrmTranslations.xml to one. You’ll then have two zipped files, your original downloaded file, I called it “ORIGINAL CrmTranslations_Default_1_0.zip” and your modified file, which I called “MODIFIED CrmTranslations_Default_1_0.zip”.

CrmTranslations 3

3. Import translations

Now that we have modified the file and make it ready for import by zipping it, we need to go back to our “settings” – “customize the system” and choose “import translations”.

Import translations

Next, select the file you just created and zipped “MODIFIED CrmTranslations_Default_1_0.zip”.

Import 1

And click “import”.

Import 2

If everything goes well, you’ll get a message telling you the import was successful.

Import 3

Don’t forget to publish the customization’s you just did. Yes, modifying your translations is a customization.

Publish all

Enjoy the fruits of your labor

Set your language back to Dutch and check your account form to see if your changes went well and the label has been modified.

Account final

Finally, best practice is to export your translations, modify them all and the re-import them. Don’t just do the whole process for the sake of doing it or for one field. Unless you’re writing a blog post in which you’ll want to demonstrate how somebody should do it…


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