Traduzione di un ambiente di lavoro esterno

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In the following notes, "context" should be your addon's or workbench's name, for example, "MySuperAddon" or "DraftPlus", or whatever. This context makes it so that all translation of your code will be gathered under the same name, to be more easily identified by translators. That is, they will know exactly to which addon or workbench a particular string belongs.

Note: Here is an all-in-one script that automates the complete procedure mentioned below (you are still advised to read the procedure to know what the script should do, though):

Preparing the sources


  • Add a translations/ folder. You can name it to something else, but this will be easier as it is the same throughout FreeCAD. In this folder, you will place the .ts files (the "source" translation files) and .qm files (compiled translation files).
  • Only the text that is shown to the user in the FreeCAD UI should be translated. Text that is only shown in the Python console should not be translated.
  • Text that prints to the FreeCAD.Console is shown in the "Report view", and therefore should be translated. The "Report view" is different from the Python console.

In every Python .py file

  • In every file where you need to translate text, you need a translate() function defined. An easy way is to use the one from the Draft Workbench:
from DraftTools import translate

From FreeCAD 0.19, the FreeCAD module also defines a translate() function, it's best to use that one:

from FreeCAD.Qt import translate
  • All text that must be translated must be passed through the translate() function.
print("My text")


print(translate("context", "My text"))

This can be used anywhere: in print(), in FreeCAD.Console.PrintMessage(), in Qt dialogs, etc. The FreeCAD.Console functions do not automatically add the newline character (\n), so this must be added at the end if desired. This character doesn't need translation either, so it can be outside the translating function:

FreeCAD.Console.PrintMessage(translate("context", "My text") + "\n")
  • If you are using .ui files made with QtDesigner, nothing special needs to be done with them.
  • When creating new objects, do not translate the object's "Name". Rather, translate object's "Label". The difference is that a "Name" is unique; it stays the same throughout the life of the object; on the other hand, a "Label" can be changed by the user as desired.
  • When creating properties for your objects, don’t translate the property name. But place the description inside QT_TRANSLATE_NOOP:
obj.addProperty("App::PropertyBool", "MyProperty", "PropertyGroup", QT_TRANSLATE_NOOP("App::Property", "This is what My Property does"))

Don't use your own "context" in this specific case. Keep "App::Property".

  • Do not translate the text of document transactions made with Document.openTransaction()


  • Add the following line, close to the top of the file:
def QT_TRANSLATE_NOOP(scope, text):
    return text
  • To translate menu names:
self.appendMenu(QT_TRANSLATE_NOOP("context", "My menu"), [list of commands, ...])
  • The QT_TRANSLATE_NOOP macro doesn’t do anything, but it marks texts to be picked up by the lupdate utility later on. Since it doesn't actually do anything, we only use it in special cases where FreeCAD itself takes care of everything.
  • Add the path to your translations/ folder in the Initialized function:

The file has no file attribute, so it is not easy to find the translations folder’s relative location. An easy way to work around this is to make it import another file from the same folder, and in that file, do

FreeCADGui.addLanguagePath(os.path.join(os.path.dirname(__file__), "translations"))

Inside each FreeCAD command class

  • Add the following line, close to the top of the file:
def QT_TRANSLATE_NOOP(context, text):
    return text
  • Translate the 'MenuText' and 'Tooltip' of the command like this:
def GetResources(self):
    return {'Pixmap'  : "path/to/icon.svg"),
            'MenuText': QT_TRANSLATE_NOOP("CommandName", "My Command"),
            'ToolTip' : QT_TRANSLATE_NOOP("CommandName", "Describes what the command does"),
            'Accel'   : "Shift+A"

where "CommandName" is the name of the command, defined by

FreeCADGui.addCommand('CommandName', My_Command_Class())

Gather all the strings from your module

  • You will need the lupdate, lconvert, lrelease and pylupdate tools installed on your system. In Linux distributions they usually come in packages named pyside-tools or pyside2-tools. On some systems lupdate is named lupdate4 or lupdate5 or lupdate-qt4 or similar. Same for the other tools. You may use the Qt4 or Qt5 version at your choice.
  • If you have .ui files, you need to run lupdate first:
lupdate *.ui -ts translations/uifiles.ts

This is recursive and will find .ui files inside all your directory structure

  • If you have .py files, you need to run pylupdate too:
pylupdate *.py -ts translations/pyfiles.ts
  • If you ran both operations, you now need to unify these two files into one:
lconvert -i translations/uifiles.ts translations/pyfiles.ts -o translations/MyModule.ts
  • Check the contents of the three .ts files to make sure that they contain the strings, then you can delete both pyfiles.ts and uifiles.ts.
  • You can do it all in one bash script like this:
lupdate *.ui -ts translations/uifiles.ts
pylupdate *.py -ts translations/pyfiles.ts
lconvert -i translations/uifiles.ts translations/pyfiles.ts -o translations/MyModule.ts
rm translations/pyfiles.ts
rm translations/uifiles.ts

Send the .ts file to a translation platform

It is time to have your .ts file translated. You can choose to set up an account on a public translation platform such as Crowdin or Transifex, or you can benefit from our existing FreeCAD-addons account at Crowdin, which has many users already, and therefore more chance to have your file translated quickly and by people who know FreeCAD.

If you wish to host your file on the FreeCAD Crowdin account, get in touch with Yorik on the FreeCAD forum.

Note: some platforms like Crowdin can integrate with GitHub and do all the process from points 2, 3 and 4 automatically. For that, you can’t use the FreeCAD Crowdin account; you will need to set up your own account.

Merge the translations

Once your .ts file has been translated, even if partially, you can download the translations from the site:

  • You will usually download a .zip file containing one .ts per language
  • Place all the translated .ts files, together with your base .ts file, in the translations/ folder

Compile the translations

Now run the lrelease program on each file that you have.

lrelease "translations/Draft_de.ts"
lrelease "translations/Draft_fr.ts"
lrelease "translations/Draft_pt-BR.ts"

You can automate the process

for f in translations/*_*.ts
    lrelease "translations/$f"

You should find one .qm file for each translated .ts file. The .qm files is what will be used by Qt and FreeCAD at runtime.

That's all you need. Note that certain parts of your workbench cannot be translated on-the-fly if you decide to switch languages. If this is the case, you will need to restart FreeCAD for the new language to take effect.

Testing translations

  1. Switch FreeCAD to a language you have translated (ex. German)
  2. Load translation into FreeCAD, ex. FreeCADGui.addTranslationPath("/path/to/the/folder/containing/qmfile")
  3. Test something, ex. FreeCAD.Qt.translate("your context","some string")

Result: This should give you the German translation. If this works ok, then the basic setup is OK. Then we can look at something else. For ex, command names should always use a special context that is the name of the command as registered to FreeCAD.

Important notes

  • Make sure you are using a *context* and *string* that actually are in the ts/qm file of course.

Convenience script

Yorik maintains a convenience script for the BIM workbench, that can gather, upload and download ts files. You can just copy and adapt that script for your workbench:

Important references

  • Why and how to translate openCommand() functions (forum thread)

Pagine correlate