The pogrep tool extracts messages that match a regular expression into a new set of PO files that can be examined, edited and corrected. These corrections can then be merged using pomerge.


pogrep [options] <in> <out>



In and out are either directories or files. Out will contain PO/XLIFF files with only those messages that match the regular expression that was you searched for.



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 gmo, mo, po, pot, tmx, xlf, xlff, xliff formats

-x EXCLUDE, --exclude=EXCLUDE

exclude names matching EXCLUDE from input paths

-o OUTPUT, --output=OUTPUT

write to OUTPUT in gmo, mo, po, pot, tmx, xlf, xlff, xliff formats


searches the given parts (source, target, notes, locations)

-I, --ignore-case

ignore case distinctions

-e, --regexp

use regular expression matching

-v, --invert-match

select non-matching lines


ignores the given accelerator characters when matching

-k, --keep-translations

always extract units with translations


pogrep --accelerator="_" --search msgid -I -e "software|hardware" only-zu only-zu-check

Search for the words “software” or “hardware” in the msgid field. Ignore case (-I) and treat the underscore (_) character as an accelerator key. Search through all PO files in the directory “only-zu” and place any matches in PO files in the directory “only-zu-check”. This would be useful to run if you know that the word for software and hardware has been changed during the course of translation and you want to check and correct all these instances.

pogrep --search=msgid -e '^\w+(\s+\w+){0,3}$' -i templates -o short-words

Find all messages in the templates directory that have between 1 and 4 words and place them in short-words. Use this if you want to see quick results by translating messages that are most likely menu entries or dialogue labels.

pogrep --search=msgstr -I -e "Ifayile" zu zu-check

Search all translations for the occurrence of Ifayile. You would use this to check if words have been used correctly. Useful if you find problematic use of the same word for different concepts. You can use pocompendium to find these conflicts.


Unicode normalization

pogrep will normalize Unicode strings. This allows you to search for strings that contain the same character but that are using precomposed Unicode characters or which are composed using another composition recipe. While an individual user will in all likelihood only compose characters in one way, normalization ensures that data created in a team setting can be shared.

Further reading

Here is a blog post explaining how pogrep can be used to do more targeted localisation of GNOME: http://translate.org.za/blogs/friedel/en/content/better-lies-about-gnome-localisation