Loco 3: Exporting strings

Loco is a translation management tool with a staggering array of features, and a very reasonable free plan. This series of guides will cover the basics of using Loco, continuing with Part 3: Exporting strings in a variety of formats.

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To export strings, a user needs to have the “Access developer tools” permission. The following options and formats are available

Options (help)


  1. Locale selection: Locale selection allows you to either export a single, multiple or all locales. If multiple are selected, a zip file will be provided with each file inside a folder structure suited for the export format (4).
  2. Locale fallback: Specifying a default locale allows missing strings to be provided with a default translation, this can be useful when a translation has not been completed yet, but all strings are required to build the project.
  3. Tag filter: Multiple tags can be used to ensure only the relevant strings are exported. For example, a “Password Reset” module of an app may only need the strings tagged “Password Reset”. More info on tags.
  4. File format: The format of the exported data. This will be covered fully in the next section.
  5. Index: This specifies what ID should be used for the text. Usually this will be the string name (“Asset ID”), but for some use cases it may be useful to use a different locale’s full string.
  6. Order: By default, strings are ordered by date added, this options provides the ability to order by a string’s Asset ID instead.
  7. Status: Similar to the Tag Filter, this allows only exporting strings that have a specific status / flag, for example only exporting translated strings.
  8. API Endpoint: The URL to call to export strings at the current settings, this will be covered in more detail in Part 4 of this series.


The full list of basic export formats is reproduced below:

  • .pot .po .mo: Gettext PO, POT and binary MO
  • .tmx: Translation Memory eXchange
  • .xlf .xliff: Localization Interchange File Format
  • .csv: Comma separated values
  • .sql: MySQL INSERT statements
  • .resx: ResX for .NET framework
  • .html: HTML table
  • .strings: iOS Localizable strings
  • .stringsdict: iOS plural rules
  • .plist .bplist: Apple property list XML and binary formats
  • .properties: Java properties file
  • .ts: An XML format for Qt Framework

Additionally, the following formats have multiple options available:

  • .json: Available in Chrome, Jed, or i18next language pack formats.
  • .php: Available in a variety of framework formats, specifically Zend, Symfony (array or INI), Code Igniter, or as constant definitions.
  • .xml: Available in Java properties or Tizen format.
  • .yml: Available in Simple YAML, Symfony YAML, Ruby on Rails YAML, or a generic nested format.


In many agile projects, string management may be ongoing through the product’s development, particularly if multiple locales are being used. Exporting a full set of Loco data before each new build ensures any updated translations are automatically included, meaning updating all string is just a couple of clicks away instead of manually editing files!

In the next chapter, the automation of string exporting will be covered, improving the efficiency of the release workflow even more.

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