Global features in Windows SharePoint Foundation 2010

The Wizard

Tips and Tricks by The Wizard

Global features in Windows SharePoint Foundation 2010

Hello My Apprentice,

I am very pleased to see you back here for MORE tips and tricks of the Office global features.  This time I shall share the magic of the Windows SharePoint Foundation 2010.  Now a days, people work and collaborate with each other from all corners of the world with the help of servers.  SharePoint Foundation 2010 is designed to facilitate just that!  The features that I will cover today are: SharePoint Regional Settings, Alternate Calendar and Bi-Directional Layout. Let’s get right to it, shall we?


SharePoint Regional Settings

The regional settings page is used to configure culture-specific information such as locale, sort order, time zone, calendar type etc. There are two types of regional settings: User Regional Settings and Site Regional Settings.

#1. User Regional Settings

These settings only affect your own account. Individual users can either use the default regional settings that are set on a specific site or set their own regional settings. This ability makes it easier for users who are in different countries or regions to collaborate on documents that are in the same SharePoint site, regardless of what region an user is working from.  Here are the steps to set your regional settings:

1. Open web browser, navigate to SharePoint site, click on dropdown of your account and click the “My Settings” menu as shown in the figure below

    My Settings 

2. On the “User Information” page, click the link “My Regional Settings

   My Regional Settings

3. The user regional settings page will be opened as shown in the figure below. In order to enable your own regional settings. Un-check the “Always follow web settings” checkbox.

   uncheck Always follow web settings

Note: Sort order can only be set at site level, all other settings can be set for individual users.

You can access Regional settings directly from the URL, just type

in the web browser’s address bar.

#2. Site Regional Settings

These settings affect the current site or site collection. Here are the steps to set the site regional settings:

1. Open a web browser such as Internet explorer, navigate to a SharePoint site, click on “Site Actions” and then select “Site Settings

   Site Actions _ Site Settings

2. Site Settings will open as shown in the figure below then. Click “Regional settings” under “Site Administration”.

 Regional settings under Site Administration    

3. The regional settings is shown in the figure below. You can then set or change any of these settings.

   Regional Settings

You can access Regional settings directly from the URL, just type

in the web browser’s address bar.


Alternate Calendar

There are many calendar types in the world besides the Gregorian calendar. What if you want to know the date in another calendar type? Alternate Calendar gives the option of displaying two calendar types in one view! You can enable Alternate Calendar in SharePoint by navigating to the regional settings (Site Actions > Site Settings > Regional Settings) and set Alternate Calendar to the desired calendar type.

For Example in the figure below, Calendar type is Gregorian and Alternate Calendar type will be set to Hijri

Calendar type 

Navigate to the Calendar view of the Calendar list. As you see below, with Hijri selected as the Alternate Calendar, the date display shows the Hijri date on the right on each day in ().

Hijri calendar 

NOTE:  The alternate calendar appears only in the Calendar view.


Bi-Directional Layout

There are four areas in SharePoint Foundation 2010 that enable the right-to-left reading order or alignment for users of bi-directional languages such as Arabic and Hebrew. These features are List Direction, Column Direction, Web Part Direction and Direction in Multiple Lines of Text Column. For full capability of Right to left, you can install Language Pack or Full version of Arabic or Hebrew.


#1. List Direction

This allows users to set the layout or reading order of list in SharePoint Foundation 2010. In order to enable this feature in English or non Bi-directional version, you need to set Locale in Regional Settings to a bi-directional locale such as an Arabic or Hebrew locales. After that when you navigate to the General Settings of List Settings. A new section called ‘Direction' will be available in the General Settings of List Settings (Click List in Ribbon menu > List Settings > Title, description and navigation) as shown the figure below.

List direction 

List will now be displayed in the Right-to-Left reading order.

Right-to-Left reading order 

#2. Column Direction

This allows users to set reading order of a column in SharePoint. In order to enable this feature in English or non Bi-directional version, you need to set the Locale in the Regional Settings to a locale with Bi-directionality, such as Arabic or Hebrew. After that when you create new column. You will get Direction settings in Additional Column Settings section of column (Click List in Ribbon menu > List Settings > click your column) as shown the figure below

Column direction 

The column will have right-to-left reading order, as shown the figure below.

Right-to-Left column direction 

NOTE: The Locale in the User Regional Settings doesn’t apply to List and Column direction options.

#3. Web Part Direction

This allows users to set layout of the Web part to left-to-right or right-to-left. The default value is None, which indicates that the layout of the Web part will inherit from the site (Language of the site). To access the direction option of the Web Part, click Site Actions > Edit Page, click down arrow of the Web part and select Edit Web Part.

Web part direction 

The Web Part property dialog will show up. Expand the Layout section, there is a Direction dropdown which user can set to None, Left-to-right and Right-to-left. Click Apply. For example: The figure below, the Web part layout is set to Right-to-left. The Title of the Web Part is moved to the right side.

Web part direction details 

#4. Direction in Multiple Lines of Text Column

Page direction allows users to set the reading order of the content within Multiple lines of text column which is using Rich Text Edit (RTE) control (Set “Specify the type of text to allow:” option to either Rich text or Enhanced rich text). The default page direction will follow the main page layout, based on the display language of the site. The RTE control has the reading order icons which are shown in the figure (A) and (B)

(ADirection in Multiple Lines of Text Column

(BDirection in Multiple Lines of Text Column

NOTE: Web Part Direction and Rich Text Edit Page Direction feature do not depend on the locale of the site.

Wow, that is a lot of ground that we’ve covered today.  Practice this well, and next time, I shall show you more tips and tricks.

If you have questions, leave a note below and I shall respond.


The Wizard

Oh, I must give credit to one of my apprentices, Wirote Petchdenlarp for assisting me in gathering this information for you. Wirote is originally from Thailand.  He is a Software Developer Engineer in Test in the Office Global Experience (GXP) team, which focuses on improving the Office products ‘world-readiness’.  Assisting Wirote with this article is Todd Mathison.


The example companies, organizations, products, domain names, email addresses, logos, people and events depicted herein are fictitious. No association with any real company, organization, product, domain name, e-mail address, logo, person, or event is intended or should be inferred.


Comments (6)
  1. Anonymous says:

    The date/time display follows the user's regional settings. If the poster's time zone is set to EST in the his User Regional Settings, then he will see his post as having been posted at 2 PM. Other users will see the date/time based on their own regional settings – for example, someone in CST (central time zone) will see the post as having been posted at noon.

    Also, the user's regional settings match the site's regional settings, unless the user changes it.  This means that the above story will only hold true when both those users are authenticated SharePoint users (not anonymous users), and both of them have set their time zone correctly in their regional settings.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Which feature are you asking? It should automatically support it.

  3. Roy says:

    Great article, Thanks a lot!

    I have one question,

    I’m creating a multilingual site that will support Right to left as well as left to right in SharePoint 2010. I’m counting on loading resources according to user locale, so my UI will show right strings. what I’m not sure of is the layout,

    In my site I have my custom aspx pages and web parts,

    Should I create them in a certain way so they will be supported nicely as explained above, or should I not worry about it and SharePoint will do its magic?

    Glad to get any help or useful links

    Thanks in advance


  4. xankur says:

    I am wondering if a user from EST posts a blog on a website with regional settings set to PST at 2PM EST, what time would it show on the website. How is the user's regional setting significant in this case? Please enlighten!

  5. Mehdi says:

    the persian calendar is not supported in sharepoint, how can i use .netframework persianclass to add persiandate to sharepoint?

  6. Mahdokht says:


Comments are closed.

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