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Formatting & Translating Product Descriptions

To format your product description and add additional languages, go to Products and Settings > Products and Pages > (Product) > Description and Image > Edit.  Locate the field called Description.


Basic HTML tags are supported for formatting the presentation of your text. Some common examples you may want to use:

<p>Paragraph</p><b>Bold</b><i>Italic</i><span style="color:red;">Red Text</span><br/><br/><br/>Line Breaks<a href="" target="_blank">Link which opens in a new window</a>

Sometimes you will run into a problem where the HTML tags show up literally on the page itself. The problem here is almost always that the HTML is not properly formed. All tags need to be closed <tag>xxx</tag> or <tag/>.

In HTML, there are certain characters or letters that need to be replaced with a special code or the formatting of the page won't work properly. Some common common problems with the codes to replace them:

&  &#38;$  &#36;™  &#8482;<  &#60;>  &#62;©  &#169;®  &#174;»  &#187;

More can be found here.

Multi-Language Product Description

To enter product descriptions in multiple languages, begin with a <message> tag and end with a closing </message> tag.  Use <??> and </??> to wrap the translated or localized text, where ?? represents the 2 letter ISO 639-1 code associated with the language.

The first <??> group will define the default content that will be displayed in case no content is found for the customer's selected language, or the language is not supported. This is typically entered in English.

If you provide HTML markup, each block-level element (e.g. a paragraph tag) should include its own opening and closing <message> tags.

Example with No HTML:


Default / English

German translation

Spanish translation

Language assocated with ?? translation


Example with HTML Markup:

    <en>This is the English translation of the text.</en>
    <es>This translation will be displayed when the buyer's language is Spanish.</es>

    <en>This is the second paragraph, in English.</en>
    <es>This is the second paragraph for use when the buyer's language is Spanish.</es>

Note:  In the example above, if the buyer's language is French, the default language will be used instead because no translations have been provided in French. Since English is the first language specified, that would be used for the default and displayed to customers whose language is French.