Convert Gettext PO files to a TMX translation memory file. TMX is the Translation Memory eXchange format developed by OSCAR.


OSCAR (Open Standards for Container/Content Allowing Re-use), a special interest group of the now defunct LISA (Localization Industry Standards Association). The Gala LISA OSCAR Standards page has more details on the possible future for the standards.

If you are interested in po2tmx, you might also be interested in posegment that can be used to perform some automated segmentation on sentence level.


po2tmx [options] --language <target> <po> <tmx>



is a PO file


is a TMX file



show program’s version number and exit

-h, --help

show this help message and exit


output a manpage based on the help


show progress as: dots, none, bar, names, verbose


show errorlevel as: none, message, exception, traceback

-i INPUT, --input=INPUT

read from INPUT in po, pot formats

-x EXCLUDE, --exclude=EXCLUDE

exclude names matching EXCLUDE from input paths

-o OUTPUT, --output=OUTPUT

write to OUTPUT in tmx format

-S, --timestamp

skip conversion if the output file has newer timestamp

-l LANG, --language=LANG

set target language code (e.g. af-ZA) [required]


set source language code (default: en)


set default comment import: none, source, type or others (default: none)


po2tmx -l xh browser.po browser.tmx

Use the Xhosa (xh) translations in the PO file browser.po to create a TMX file called browser.tmx

Bugs and issues

Markup stripping

po2tmx conforms to TMX v1.4 without stripping markup. See the TMX conformance page for more details.

It has not been widely tested so your mileage may vary.

TMX and PO in OmegaT

In some tools, like OmegaT, PO files are parsed without expanding escaped sequences, even though such tools use TMX for translation memory. Keep this in mind when using po2tmx, because po2tmx converts \n and \t to newlines and tabs in the TMX file. If such a TMX file is used while translating PO files in OmegaT, matching will be less than 100%.

In other tools, such as Swordfish, the PO comment “no-wrap” is interpreted in the same way as the equivalent function in XML, which may also lead to mismatches if TMXes from po2tmx are used.

There is nothing wrong with po2tmx, but if used in conjunction with tools that handle PO files differently, it may lead to less than perfect matching.


TMX with only unique segments

To create a TMX with no duplicates (in other words, only unique strings), use msgcat to first create a large PO file with non-uniques removed.