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xgettext.pl - Man Page

Extract translatable strings from source


version 1.00


xgettext.pl [OPTION] [INPUTFILE]...


This program extracts translatable strings from given input files, or from STDIN if none are given.

Please see Locale::Maketext::Extract for a list of supported input file formats.


Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too. Similarly for optional arguments.

Input file location


Files to extract messages from.  If not specified, STDIN is assumed.

-f, --files-from=FILE

Get list of input files from FILE.

-D, --directory=DIRECTORY

Add DIRECTORY to list for input files search.

Input file format

-u,  --use-gettext-style

Specifies that the source programs uses the Gettext style (e.g. %1) instead of the Maketext style (e.g. [_1]) in its localization calls.

Output file location

-d,  --default-domain=NAME

Use NAME.po for output, instead of messages.po.

-o,  --output=FILE

PO file name to be written or incrementally updated; - means writing to STDOUT.

-p,  --output-dir=DIR

Output files will be placed in directory DIR.

Output details

-g,  --gnu-gettext

Enables GNU gettext interoperability by printing #, perl-maketext-format before each entry that has % variables.

-W,  --wrap

If wrap is enabled, then, for entries with multiple file locations, each location is listed on a separate line. The default is to put them all on a single line.

Other comments are not affected.


By default, all builtin parser plugins are enabled for all file types, with warnings turned off.

If any plugin is specified on the command line, then warnings are turned on by default - you can turn them off with -now

-P|--plugin pluginname
    Use the specified plugin for the default file types recognised by that
-P|--plugin 'pluginname=*'
    Use the specified plugin for all file types.
-P|--plugin pluginname=ext,ext2
    Use the specified plugin for any files ending in C<.ext> or C<.ext2>
-P|--plugin My::Module::Name='*'
    Use your custom plugin module for all file types

Multiple plugins can be specified on the command line.

Available plugins:

perl    : Locale::Maketext::Extract::Plugin::Perl

For a slightly more accurate but much slower Perl parser, you can use the PPI plugin. This does not have a short name, but must be specified in full, eg:

    xgettext.pl -P Locale::Maketext::Extract::Plugin::PPI

tt2     : Locale::Maketext::Extract::Plugin::TT2

yaml    : Locale::Maketext::Extract::Plugin::YAML

formfu  : Locale::Maketext::Extract::Plugin::FormFu

mason   : Locale::Maketext::Extract::Plugin::Mason

text    : Locale::Maketext::Extract::Plugin::TextTemplate

generic : Locale::Maketext::Extract::Plugin::Generic


If a parser plugin encounters a syntax error while parsing, it will abort parsing and hand over to the next parser plugin.  If warnings are turned on then the error will be echoed to STDERR.

Off by default, unless any plugin has been specified on the command line.




If you would like to see which files have been processed, which plugins were used, and which strings were extracted, then enable verbose. If no acceptable plugin was found, or no strings were extracted, then the file is not listed:


Lists processed files.

-v -v|--verbose --verbose :

Lists processed files and which plugins managed to extract strings.

-v -v|--verbose --verbose :

Lists processed files, which plugins managed to extract strings, and the extracted strings, the line where they were found, and any variables.

See Also













Audrey Tang <cpan@audreyt.org>



2024-01-25 perl v5.38.2 User Contributed Perl Documentation