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In RTL language regions, people read and write from right-to-left (RTL). This means that most interface elements should be flipped in order to be displayed correctly.

Here’s an example of Facebook’s left-to-right (LTR) design vs RTL:



Note how in the following schematic the LTR design is mirrored:



When a User Interface is mirrored, these changes occur:

  • Text fields icons are displayed on the opposite side of a field.
  • Navigation buttons are displayed in reverse order.
  • Icons that communicate direction, like arrows, paging are mirrored.
  • Text (if it is translated to an RTL language) is aligned to the right.

These items are not mirrored:

  • Icons or Images that don’t communicate direction, such as a camera.
  • Numbers, such as those on a clock and phone numbers.
  • Charts and graphs (X and Y axes always appear in the same orientation).
  • Video controls and timeline indicators (already discussed).
  • Clocks.
  • Music notes and sheet music.

Native Mobile

When using Native Mobile Generator this is automatically done by the platform. The GeneXus application will notice it is using a RTL language so the mirroring will happen when needed.


Web applications using Design System Object (DSO) with the Base CSS property set to "None" are generated with the "dir" attribute to match the language direction of the application. However, it is important to make sure that the applied styles follow the corresponding guidelines for proper display in each case.

Theme to Design System Object

If you already have a RTL Theme follow these steps to convert it to Design System Object (DSO):

  • Save the RTL Theme as a DSO object. 
  • Select the value None in the Base CSS property to change it dynamically. If you select a value other than None in Base CSS property, continue using the SetTheme function to change it dynamically.

When using Web applications that use Theme Objects with a value other than None in the Base CSS property, you need two Theme Objects. One to be used with standard LTR interfaces and a second one to mirror your default. You need to apply the correct configuration on different controls and your Theme classes. 

How to create your Theme to RTL?

  • Compare the Themes on the IDE and look for changes on directions, custom properties and apply them to your RTL Themes. A few of them are float, direction, TextAlign. Depending on your design you may need to change margins, paddings and so on.
  • Use an external site such as to generate RTL CSS directly and then import it back to GeneXus.

How to create your RTL DSO object?

  • Create a new empty DSO and change the Base CSS property to use Bootstrap v3 RTL.
  • Adjust classes needed or create new ones as detailed previously.

See Also

HowTo: Add RTL styles
GeneXus Application Localization

Last update: February 2024 | © GeneXus. All rights reserved. GeneXus Powered by Globant