Wesley de Groot's Blog
Localizing In Xcode


Localizing In Xcode

Localizing and Varying Text with a String Catalog

Your app's success hinges on delivering an exceptional experience to users across different locales. Localization is more than just translating text; it involves handling plurals, adapting content for specific devices, and ensuring your app speaks the user's language. In this blog post, we'll explore how to achieve this using string catalogs in Xcode.

What Is a String Catalog?

A string catalog is a powerful tool that allows you to:

  • Localize all your app's text.
  • Translate strings visually within Xcode.
  • Handle plurals for nouns and units.
  • Vary text based on specific devices.

Making Text Localizable

Before translation, you need to make your text localizable. Here's how:

  1. Wrap User-Facing Strings:

    • In SwiftUI, string literals within a view are automatically localizable:
      // SwiftUI localizable text
    • For non SwiftUI, use the String(localized:) initializer:
      // General localizable text
      String(localized: "Buy a book")
  2. Add Context Comments:

    • Assist localizers by providing context:

      // Localizable text with comments
      Text("Explore", comment: "The title of the tab bar item that navigates to the Explore screen.")
      String(localized: "Get Started", comment: "The label on the Get Started button that appears after sign-in.")

Adding a String Catalog to Your Project

  1. Create a String Catalog:

    • Choose File > New > File in Xcode.
    • Select the platform, enter "string" into the filter field, and choose String Catalog.
    • Name it (e.g., "Localizable").
    • Xcode will automatically track localizable strings from your code.
  2. Multiple String Catalogs:

    • If your catalog grows, create multiple string catalog files within the same project.

    • Pass the catalog name to localization APIs:

      // SwiftUI pointing to a specific string catalog
      Text("Explore", tableName: "Navigation")
      // General text pointing to a specific string catalog
      String(localized: "Get Started", table: "MainScreen")
  3. Adding Languages:

    • To support multiple languages, add additional languages to your project.
    • Xcode keeps your string catalog and app in sync during builds.


String catalogs simplify localization, streamline translations, and enhance the user experience.


x-twitter mastodon github linkedin discord threads instagram whatsapp bluesky square-rss sitemap