You are currently viewing a snapshot of taken on April 21, 2008. Most of this content is highly out of date (some pages haven't been updated since the project began in 1998) and exists for historical purposes only. If there are any pages on this archive site that you think should be added back to, please file a bug.

Localization & Leveraging Tools

newsgroup discussion / mailing list
Mozilla Localization Project Staff

MLP [Localization project home] | [Localization tools]


This page collects info and links of tools useful for the localizers. These are grouped under the following categories:

  • Localization and leveraging tools. Tools for the work organization and maintenance.
  • Text editors. Plain -or not so plain- text editors able to work with the encodings Mozilla and international users require.
  • Other tools. Everything else a localizer might need (e.g. archive management utils, text encoding converters..).

Localization & Leveraging Tools

The following table summarizes Localization/Leveraging tools contributed:

Tool Name Main developer Description
MozExpTool Jordi Mas

The source code is available from the Mozilla CVS.

See also the notes from the author.

MozillaTranslator Henrik Lynggaard

From the Sourceforge web site are available source code, bytecode Java binaries, and instructions.

The site also hosts the discussion board for developers, but is down for the moment.

MozPOTools David Fraser and Dwayne Bailey

From the website the source code is either available from a public CVS repository and a web interface.

MozPOTools are a collection of scripts to convert Mozilla resources in gettext .po format and back. This allows to move the localization work inside Linux programs like KBabel.

L10NZilla Dewi Jones and Eduardo Trápani

L10NZilla is a tool based on on MySQL, Java and PHP. It allows to do the localization work using a browser based interface, and it offers the possibility to have a centralized maintenace of your translated resources.

about MozillaTranslator

MozillaTranslator is a GUI-based Localization and Leveraging tool written in Java.

The program is available on the official Mozilla Translator web site, as an executable Java ARchive. See the bundled Open Office user guide for its usage. The author ask to send a postcard as registration.

In the Mozilla Translator site, contributors can freely register and upload their localizations about related projects.

Francis S. Lin has made available on his web site a text file with a quick start guide for the use of MozillaTranslator version 4.36.

Xose Puente has made available a step by step tutorial about the translation of the Mozilla user interface using MozillaTranslator 4.36 on his web site. This tutorial is available also as a printer friendly version on pdf.

about MozExpTool

MozExpTool is a VisualC++ based project. It is designed to address the localization and leveraging need of languages in single-byte charsets. Both source code and win32 binary are available. More detailed technical spec can be found here,  MozExpTool 0.94.

MozExpTool allows you to create text files (we call them glossaries) from dtd/xul files that you can give them to translators then they do not have to mess around with dtd/xul files. When the translators have finished their translations you can reimport them into the dtd/xul files. MozExpTool does not currently handle Java style properties files used by Mozilla.

A part of helping the simplifying the translator's work, MozExpTool allows to leverage (recover previous translations). You can easily create a glossary file from the old version, and then reimport it to the set of dtd/xul files. When leveraging, we take in account the context of the translation, that is, the file that is coming from and the name of the entity.

MozExpTool 0.95

fixes a couple of small problems in DTD parser. It has been used successfully with builds M13, M14, and the beta candidates.

MozExpTool 0.94

This new version has been used successfully to leverage the strings to build 13, and I has been used for a couple of weeks without any problem.

What's new in version 0.94?

  • Line feeds, return lines and tabs within entities definitions are handled properly. We use now the standard \n, \r, and \t to refer to them.
  • If there are comments in the DTD files they are included in the glossaries when they are exported. This helps to the translators that work with the glossary files.
  • The parser code has been move to a class.
  • Small bug fixes.

Text Editors

Free Unicode text editors.

Mozilla Composer

The HTML editor bundled in the Mozilla internet suite. Overall good international support as encodings and input methods. It's able to load plain text documents and understand a large number of encodings. It allows to export the edited document as a plain text file under one of the supported encodings (Save as Charset).

Tip: If you're willing to edit in Composer a file with an encoding different from the default one (set in Edit | Preferences | Mail & Newsgroups | Composition | Character Coding) or an encoding not available within the ones accessible from the user interface, include your text inside a HTML document as follows:

<meta HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Type" CONTENT="text/html; charset=Charset_Code">

Insert your text here


You can specify the characters encoding you wish for the document with the Charset_Code. See some of the many codes recognized by Mozilla in the 'nsconv' section below.

Remember to substitute each occurrence of character '&' (0x26) and '<' (0x3C) with &amp; and &lt; respectively, add an .html extension to the file name, and then open the file in Composer as an HTML one.

After the file has been edited, you'll need to remove the text lines added in the example above (with a conventional text editor, or renaming the file extension in .txt and reopening the file in Composer), and substitute back each occurrence of &amp; and &lt; with the characters & and <.


A pure Java simple text editor, able to import from and output to a large number of different encodings. See also 'KMap IME' in the tools section below.


An Unicode text editor running under X Window on many Unix systems. It's also reported to compile under Win32.


An Unicode text editor for Win32.

Other tools


A customizable keyboard Input Method editor (IME) for Java text editors, like Simredo or Yudit. Can create mapping schemes between Unicode symbols and keystrokes.


A free project to create libraries and tools for the compression and decompression of PKZip compatible zip archives. Useful for archive and de-archive Mozilla resource bundles (.jar files) or installable packages (.xpi archives).


Command line utility for text encoding conversions, bundled with Solaris OS and Sun's Java Development Kit (JDK). Converts text files from popular encodings to \u#### escaped Unicode ASCII files used in JavaScript files.


Command line utility for text encoding conversions, bundled with Mozilla (usually available on optimized releases or installer builds). Can convert between all the encodings supported by Mozilla.

Usage: nsconv.exe -f source_encoding -t target_encoding source_file target_file

where source_encoding and target_encoding are the encoding of source_file and target_file respectively.

Here's a quick list of interesting encodings:
ISO-8859-1: used by MS Windows Notepad in many Occidental versions
UTF-8: used by DTD and XML files
UTF-16LE: used by Notepad for MS Windows NT/2k/XP as Unicode text
x-u-escaped: used by Properties and JavaScript files