16 Mar 2015

Some app localizers has an option to see the inner work of an app to ensure that all the texts, images and html files are translated. What concerns the OS X apps, they also can be localized and and tested on the fly.

Creating a build with unflattened XIBs

By default, compiled OS X and iOS apps ship with compressed NIB files. To change this, you should change the build settings within Xcode.

  1. Open the Xcode project and choose the target
  2. Select the Build Settings tab
  3. Find “flatten”
  4. Change the key ‘Flatten Compiled XIB Files’ to No


So, when you create a build of the app, localizers will be able to extract strings with IBTOOL or a string extraction tool themselves. They can also reimport the strings and run the app in the native language to test it.


It also works for iOS apps. But unfortunately the important Localizable.strings file is compressed on build and localizers can’t extract the text using this method. But you can send the raw XIBs and .strings files from your Xcode project manually and send the build to the localizer for testing.


If a localizer translates a NIB file, then these NIBs should be imported into your Xcode project. Since Xcode 3 the default format has been XIB. Although it won’t effect operation of the app, some developers might not like two different interface builder formats in one project.

In these case, you’ll have to send the raw XIBs from your Xcode project, then build the app yourself in order the translator could test the localization.