Localizability: Cluttered dialog boxes

In Windows, there are thousands of dialog boxes where the controls do not resize automatically. Us localizers therefore spend quite a bit of time adjusting layout and sizing of controls so that the dialog box still looks neat after the text has been translated.

Sometimes I come across dialog boxes that are built to cover multiple application states. It's often pretty straight forward - maybe a property page that contains the normal controls, but that are alos overlaid by a label explaining "These settings are controlled by a group policy and may not be changed" (or similar). Even though this label may be smack bang on top of some other controls, it's still easy enough for me to imagine what may happen at runtime and resize correctly.

However, sometimes we get stuck with things like this (screen shot taken straight from my loc tool):
A really cluttered dialog box

There are roughly a hundred controls in this dialog box. I have no idea which ones might actually be shown together at at runtime, so there's now way I can adjust sizing and layout correctly, or assign hotkeys smartly for that matter. I bet that this will be clipped pretty bad in quite a few languages. I bet that we'll spend way too much time finding and fixing bugs in this dialog box.

If you're a developer, please try not to do things like this to me - or to yourself, for that matter. How much work will it be for you to add another option?

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