Use Slint’s translation infrastructure to make your application available in different languages.

Complete the following steps to translate your application:

  1. Identify all user visible strings that need to be translated and annotate them with the @tr() macro.

  2. Extract annotated strings using the slint-tr-extractor tool and generate .pot files.

  3. Use a third-party tool to translate the strings into a target language, as .po files.

  4. Use gettext’s msgfmt tool to convert .po files into run-time loadable .mo files.

  5. Use Slint’s API select and load .mo files at run-time, based on the user’s locale settings. At this point, all strings marked for translation will automatically be rendered in the target language.

Annotating Translatable Strings#

Use the @tr macro in .slint files to mark that a string is meant to be translated. This macro will take care of both the translation and the formatting, by replacing {} placeholders.

The first argument must be a plain string literal, followed by the arguments:

export component Example {
    property <string> name;
    Text {
        text: @tr("Hello, {}", name);


The @tr macro replaces each {} placeholder in the string marked for translation with the corresponding argument. It’s also possible to re-order the arguments using {0}, {1}, and so on. Translators can use ordered placeholders even if the original string did not.

The literal characters { and } may be included in a string by preceding them with the same character. For example, the { character is escaped with {{ and the } character is escaped with }}.


Use plural formatting when the translation of text involving a variable number of elements should change depending on whether there is a single element or multiple.

Given count and an expression that represents the count of something, form the plural with the | and % symbols like so:

@tr("I have {n} item" | "I have {n} items" % count).

Use {n} in the format string to access the expression after the %.

export component Example inherits Text {
    in property <int> score;
    in property <int> name;
    text: @tr("Hello {0}, you have one point" | "Hello {0}, you have {n} point" % score, name);


Disambiguate translations for strings with the same source text but different contextual meanings by adding a context to the @tr(...) macro using the "..." => syntax.

Use the context to provide additional context information to translators, ensuring accurate and contextually appropriate translations.

The context must be a plain string literal and it appears as msgctx in the .pot files. If not specified, the context defaults to the name of the surrounding component.

export component MenuItem {
    property <string> name : @tr("Name" => "Default Name"); // Default: `MenuItem` will be the context.
    property <string> tooltip : @tr("ToolTip" => "ToolTip for {}", name); // Specified: The context will be `ToolTip`.

Extract Translatable Strings#

Use the slint-tr-extractor tool to generate a .pot file from .slint files. You can run it like so:

find -name \*.slint | xargs slint-tr-extractor -o MY_PROJECT.pot

This will create a file called MY_PROJECT.pot. Replace MY_PROJECT with your actual project name. To learn how the project name affects the lookup of translations, see the sections below.

.pot files are Gettext template files.

Translate the Strings#

Start a new translation by creating a .po file from a .pot file. Both file formats are identical. You can either copy the file manually or use a tool like Gettext’s msginit to start a new .po file.

The .po file will contain the strings in a target language.

.po and .pot files are plain text files, that you can edit with a text editor. We recommend using a dedicated translation tool for working with them, such as the following:

Convert .po Files to .mo Files#

The human readable .po files need to be converted into machine-friendly .mo files, a binary representation that is very efficient to read.

Use Gettext’s msgfmt command line tool to convert .po files to .mo files:

msgfmt translation.po -o

Select and Load .mo Files at Run-Time#

Slint uses the Gettext library to load translations at run-time. Gettext locates the translation file in the following location: Gettext expects translation files - called message catalogs - to be placed in following directory hierarchy:

  • dir_name: the base directory that you can choose freely.

  • locale: The name of the user’s locale for a given target language, such as fr for French, or de for German. The locale is typically determined using environment variables that your operating system sets.

  • domain_name: Selected based on the programming language you’re using Slint with.

For more info, see the Gettext documentation.

Select and Load Translations with Rust#

First, enable the gettext feature of the slint create to gain access to the translations API and activate run-time translation support.

Next, use the slint::init_translations! to specify the base location of your .mo files. This is the dir_name in the scheme of the previous section. The .mo files are expected to be in the corresponding sub-directories and their file name - domain_name - must match the package name in your Cargo.toml. This is often the same as the crate name.

For example:

slint::init_translations!(concat!(env!("CARGO_MANIFEST_DIR"), "/lang/"));

Suppose your Cargo.toml contains the following lines and the user’s locale is fr:

name = "gallery"

With these settings, Slint will look for in the lang/fr/LC_MESSAGES/

Select and Load Translations with C++#

First, enable the SLINT_FEATURE_GETTEXT cmake option when compiling Slint, to gain access to the translations API and activate run-time translation support.

In C++ applications using cmake, the domain_name is the CMake target name.

Next, bind the text domain to a path using the standard gettext library.

To do so, add this in your CMakeLists.txt

    target_compile_definitions(gallery PRIVATE HAVE_GETTEXT SRC_DIR="${CMAKE_CURRENT_SOURCE_DIR}")
    target_link_libraries(gallery PRIVATE Intl::Intl)

You can then setup the locale and the text domain

#    include <locale>
#    include <libintl.h>

int main()
    bindtextdomain("my_application", SRC_DIR "/lang/");

Suppose you’re using the above and the user’s locale is set to fr, Slint will look for in the lang/fr/LC_MESSAGES/

Previewing Translations with slint-viewer#

Use slint-viewer to preview translations when previewing .slint files:

  1. Enable the gettext feature when compiling slint-viewer.

  2. Use the --translation-domain and translation-dir command line options to load translations and display them based on the current locale.