Variations in SharePoint 2013

SharePoint 2013 is packed with many outstanding features. Variations, which were introduced way back in SharePoint 2007, still find its existence in SharePoint 2013.

The upgraded or the new feature in SharePoint 2013 is the ability to translate via Microsoft Translator.

For this particular context, we will learn how to make use of variations in your site.


A SharePoint 2013 site with publishing feature

Machine Translation Service already activated.

Instructions on how to activate the Variations

When it comes to activating the variations, we will achieve our purpose by following steps:

  • Create a source site, which will be in English
  • Create a target site, which will be derived from Source site, which is in English.
  • For the purpose of the document, we are having target site in Hindi.
Verify the Variations Settings

Go to Site Settings.
Under Site Collection Administration, click Variations Settings.


Variations Settings Page will show up.

Do the settings as per your need. For example, if you want to update the content on target site manually, you can set the options on this page accordingly.

Create the source variation

From the Site Collection Administration, click on Variation Labels

Following screen will be presented.


We will start with Adding a label.

Click New Label.

Now, we are in process of creating a source variation from where the content will be derived. To do so, select the locale as English (United States). This will act as our default source language.


Give any site location from where you want the source variation to be created. As already described on the page, you can also specify a top-level site by typing / in Variations home field.


You can specify a label name and description for this particular label if needed.


When the source variation is created, one can receive an e-mail notification (if configured) via the Label Contact field. You can enter any site member name here to direct the notification to the person.


Click OK

One thing I liked more about SharePoint 2013, it makes the user comfortable from each of its notifications!! 🙂

You will be comforted with following screen.


The creation of the source variation will depend on the timer job settings. You can modify them under the Central Administration -> Monitoring -> Review Job Definitions

As a result, your source variation will be created.


Creating target variations

Again, under Site Collection Administration, click on Variation Labels

Click New Label, you will be presented with following screen.


In my case, I am going for a Hindi target variation. So, I’ve selected the same in Locale.

Click Continue.

Enter Label Name, description and display name, if needed.

Click Continue.


It gives you an option to go for human translation, where you can create a XLIFF file and do the translation on the target site.

Click continue


On this particular page, you can go for the page update settings as per your requirement.

Click continue

Review the label settings and click finish.

As a result, as soon as your timer job completes, you will be able to see the following screen.


On the left pane, you are clearly able to see the two variations created.

For testing purpose, we will create a page on Source Site (English) and see if it is generated on Target Site (Hindi).

For the same, create a page on source site via the Gear menu.


Check in and publish the page.

Go to Variation labels from Site Collection Administration.

Click on Create hierarchies.

From the ribbon menu,

Click Publish, under which click Update all targets.


You will be able to see the above message.

As a result, you will be able to see a page in the target variation.


That’s all! 🙂

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