Introduction to Variations in SharePoint 2013

In this article, we will discuss another interesting and unique feature in SharePoint 2013, Variations. As the name implies, this provides multilingual support to your SharePoint site. A site created in a local language can be varied/synced/translated to a Target site in a different foreign language.

Throughout this article, the two languages that are being used are English and French. (Of course I love French for obvious reasons though!)

The following is the technical jargon being introduced by Microsoft for Variation Features:
  1. Source Label
  2. Target Label
  3. Variation Logs
  4. Variation Settings

Both Source and Target Label are grouped together as Variation Labels.

Step 1: Create a Site collection using the Publishing site template.
Step 2: Navigate to Site Settings in the Settings tab.

Settings tab

Step 3: Click on Variation Settings and say Ok.

Variation Settings

Step 4: Create Source Label.

  • The Locale should be English.
  • The Variation home is your root directory.

root directory 

Step 5: Create a Target Label. It has the following steps.
  • Configure Your Target Label
  • Name Your Target Label
  • Translation Options
  • Target Label Behavior
  • Review Label Settings

Step 6: Configure a Target Label by selecting the site template language as France.

selecting site template language
Step 7: In this section, choose values for Hierarchy Creation, Label and Display Name.

Choose values for Hierarchy Creation

Step 8: Select auto update features for the target site.

update features for target site

Step 9: Check if all the settings have been properly provided.


Step 10: Click on Create Hierarchies to run Variation Job. “Hierarchy Is Created” values should be yes for both your source and target site.


Step 11: There are two newly added subsites English and French.

English and French

Step 12: Click on the French Target site and you can see everything in French.


Thus SharePoint generates source and target sites for providing multilinguistic support. In my next article, we will see how the automatic translation happens to the target site

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