the XLIFF and PO editor for Mac OSX

LocFactoryEditor, or LFE for short ;) is a reasonable recent entry to the translation arena. Originally intended for the professional translation market, it has been extended to handle PO files, and is in fact available free as a dedicated PO editor.

Mike of Triplespin has worked closely with at least one open-source translator (me ;) ) to provide a really solid and indispensable translation tool, not only for volunteer translators, but for any translator using Mac OSX.

His aim is to create a full toolset for Mac OSX translators, firmly based on the current standards.

I’ve spent a lot of time testing and using his software, and I recommend it strongly. I’m impressed with a lot of things: the standards support, the built-in XLIFF/PO conversion, the TMX/Compendium translation memory, etc., but the one central thing that grabs me when I work in LFE is the interface.

It’s intuitive. Nothing crowds the eye, and everything you need is right there, plus keyboard shortcuts if you prefer (and, of course, in OSX you can assign your own as well ;) ).

Smart folders mean simply one click to show only the untranslated or fuzzy strings, and counters at the top of the page alert you if spaces or symbols aren’t consistent between original and translated string.

The Notes facility makes sense of the stodge of PO headers, and allows you to set your own Notes, input them with shortcuts, and edit them directly. Everything converted neatly back into PO format in the output file.

We have plurals support, of course, can show or hide obsolete strings, and LFE maintains a backup file automatically (to protect you from yourself ;) ).

If you also translate Mac applications via AppleGlot, LFE handles the entire process, from first pass to final test, work glossaries and .loc files.

Try it. The PO-only version won’t cost you anything, and it’ll save you a lot of time and hassle. I bought the full version, which is very affordable, and have had my money back in sheer features and convenience many times over.

As a Mac OSX translator, I had several options:

  • emacs — very cluttered interface and (to me) non-intuitive operation: drove me around the bend
  • kbabel — finally installed it via fink after months of struggling with error messages and forums/mailing lists, and X11 for Mac OSX won’t input Vietnamese … !!
  • gtranslator — wasn’t able to install it, despite many tries

I also use Pootle online, but in general and most heart-feltedly, I give thanks daily for LFE!

Clytie Siddall

Vietnamese translator for open-source projects