msgmerge - merge message catalog and template

NAME  SYNOPSIS  DESCRIPTION  Input file location:  Operation mode:  Output file location:  Operation modifiers:  Input file syntax:  Output details:  Informative output:  AUTHOR  REPORTING BUGS  COPYRIGHT  SEE ALSO 


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:


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


produce output for ’msgfmt’, not for a translator

−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


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


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 in the bug tracker at <> or by email to <bug−[email protected]>.


Copyright © 1995−2023 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.

Updated 2024-01-29 - |