Translate Toolkit & Pootle

Tools to help you make your software local

User Tools

Pootle: how to use it

This page describes what Pootle is and how you can start using it in five minutes.

About Pootle

Pootle is a web portal that allows you to translate more easily. The name stands for PO-based Online Translation / Localization Engine, but you may need to read this. Pootle is GPL licensed Free Software, and you can download it and run your own copy if you like.

You can also help participate in the development in many ways (you don't have to be able to program).

The Pootle project itself is hosted at where you can find details about source code, mailing lists, etc.


While everybody can view the files, only registered users can edit them and receive credit for their effort, so unless your server uses LDAP authentication, the first thing you should do in order to translate, is to register.

You can register in the register page (accessible by clicking Register in the menubar) following two simple steps, providing you have a current e-mail address.

  1. Fill in your desired user name, a valid e-mail account, and enter your password twice for verification. Then choose Register and an you will receive a message with an activation link in the e-mail address you have provided.
  2. When you receive the activation message by e-mail, just click on the activation link and your account will be activated.

Login and user settings setup

Now that you are a registered user, you can login to Pootle by following the Login link on the top menubar and filling in your credentials.

Once you have logged in, your account's dashboard will be shown, which includes links to your selected languages and projects.

The first time you log in, no links will be shown since you haven't chosen any before. You can click on the link provided to change your settings and select your preferred languages and projects. You can set more settings within the same page as well.

Browsing the files tree

Now that your dashboard is set up, you can reach the desired files for translation directly through the links in it.

Another way to find the file you wish to translate is through the main page.
The main page displays two categories - Languages and Projects. Choosing a language will give you the list of projects available for translation into this language; choosing a project will give you the list of languages to which it can be translated.

Once you have chosen both the project and the language, you'll be presented with the files and directories available for translation.

Online translating with Pootle

If you click on a filename it will start showing all the entries on the file, independently whether the entries are translated or not. This is also known as Translate All.

Alternatively, if the translation for a file is not complete, you can click on the summary text (eg, 27 words need attention), which will give you through all the untranslated or fuzzy entries on the file. This mode is also named as Quick Translate.

In both cases you'll be presented with a two-column table, with the strings to be translated on the left, and the current translation on the right.

The current edited entry will appear as a text box with the options Skip and Suggest or Submit below it. Naturally you can enter text in the text box and submit it or skip to the next entry.

You can also directly access any of the other entries presented by clicking on the numbers on the left-hand side.

Other aids from Pootle

Pootle's editor also helps translators by displaying terminology related to the entry currently being edited.

Another helpful feature is the alternative source language, which displays how the current entry has been translated into other languages. In order for this to work, you must select your desired alternative source languages in you account's settings.

In addition to the above, you can also download the translation file, work offline with your favourite editor and upload the file. For multi-file projects, you can download a ZIP file with all the files for a directory and upload the ZIP file with the translated files.