Creating Localizable App Builds (OS X)

Certain app localizers (inc. Applingua) allow you to send entire app builds in order to see the inner workings of an app and to make sure all text, images and supporting html files are discovered and translated. In the case of OS X apps, it also allows localizers to translate and test on the fly.


Creating a build with unflattened XIBs

By default, compiled OS X and iOS applications ship with compressed, or “flattened”, NIB files. Simply edit the build settings within Xcode to change this.

  1. Open your Xcode project and select your target
  2. Choose the Build Settings tab
  3. Search for “flatten”
  4. Change key ‘Flatten Compiled XIB Files’ to No
Don't Flatten Compiled XIB Files in Xcode - Creating localizable app builds (OS X)
When you now create a build of your app, localizers can now extract strings using IBTOOL or a string extraction tool themselves. On OS X, they can also reimport the strings using IBTOOL again and run the app in their native language for testing.



This also works for the NIBs within an iOS application bundle. Unfortunately the more important Localizable.strings file is compressed on build so it is not possible for a localizer to extract all the necessary text this way. The best thing is to send the raw XIBs and .strings files from your Xcode project manually and send a build of the app to the localizer for testing.



If a localizer translates a NIB file, then these NIBs have to be imported into your Xcode project. Since Xcode 3 the default format has been XIB. Although this will have no effect on the operation of your app, some developers might not like to have two different interface builder formats within their project.

In these cases, you will need to send the raw XIBs from your Xcode project, then build the app for yourself in order for the translator to test their localization.

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One Response to “Creating Localizable App Builds (OS X)”

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