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Manual Reference Pages  -  MSGMERGE (1)


msgmerge - merge message catalog and template




msgmerge [OPTION] def.po ref.pot


Merges two Uniforum style .po files together. The def.po file is an existing PO file with translations which will be taken over to the newly created file as long as they still match; comments will be preserved, but extracted comments and file positions will be discarded. The ref.pot file is the last created PO file with up-to-date source references but old translations, or a PO Template file (generally created by xgettext); any translations or comments in the file will be discarded, however dot comments and file positions will be preserved. Where an exact match cannot be found, fuzzy matching is used to produce better results.

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

    Input file location:

def.po translations referring to old sources
  references to new sources
-D, --directory=DIRECTORY
  add DIRECTORY to list for input files search
-C, --compendium=FILE
  additional library of message translations, may be specified more than once

    Operation mode:

-U, --update
  update def.po, do nothing if def.po already up to date

    Output file location:

-o, --output-file=FILE
  write output to specified file
The results are written to standard output if no output file is specified or if it is -.
Output file location in update mode: The result is written back to def.po.
  make a backup of def.po
  override the usual backup suffix
The version control method may be selected via the --backup option or through the VERSION_CONTROL environment variable. Here are the values:
none, off
  never make backups (even if --backup is given)
numbered, t
  make numbered backups
existing, nil
  numbered if numbered backups exist, simple otherwise
simple, never
  always make simple backups
The backup suffix is ’~’, unless set with --suffix or the SIMPLE_BACKUP_SUFFIX environment variable.

    Operation modifiers:

-m, --multi-domain
  apply ref.pot to each of the domains in def.po
-N, --no-fuzzy-matching
  do not use fuzzy matching
  keep previous msgids of translated messages

    Input file syntax:

-P, --properties-input
  input files are in Java .properties syntax
  input files are in NeXTstep/GNUstep .strings syntax

    Output details:

  set ’Language’ field in the header entry
--color use colors and other text attributes always
  use colors and other text attributes if WHEN. WHEN may be ’always’, ’never’, ’auto’, or ’html’.
  specify CSS style rule file for --color
-e, --no-escape
  do not use C escapes in output (default)
-E, --escape
  use C escapes in output, no extended chars
  write PO file even if empty
-i, --indent
  indented output style
  suppress ’#: filename:line’ lines
-n, --add-location
  preserve ’#: filename:line’ lines (default)
  strict Uniforum output style
-p, --properties-output
  write out a Java .properties file
  write out a NeXTstep/GNUstep .strings file
-w, --width=NUMBER
  set output page width
--no-wrap do not break long message lines, longer than the output page width, into several lines
-s, --sort-output
  generate sorted output
-F, --sort-by-file
  sort output by file location

    Informative output:

-h, --help display this help and exit
-V, --version
  output version information and exit
-v, --verbose
  increase verbosity level
-q, --quiet, --silent
  suppress progress indicators


Written by Peter Miller.


Report bugs to <>.


Copyright © 1995-1998, 2000-2010 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <>
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.


The full documentation for msgmerge is maintained as a Texinfo manual. If the info and msgmerge programs are properly installed at your site, the command
info msgmerge
should give you access to the complete manual.
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GNU gettext-tools 0.19.7 MSGMERGE (1) December 2015

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