msgcat - combines several message catalogs


msgcat [OPTION] [INPUTFILE]...


Concatenates and merges the specified PO files. Find messages which are common to two or more of the specified PO files. By using the --more-than option, greater commonality may be requested before messages are printed. Conversely, the --less-than option may be used to specify less commonality before messages are printed (i.e. --less-than=2 will only print the unique messages). Translations, comments and extract comments will be cumulated, except that if --use-first is specified, they will be taken from the first PO file to define them. File positions from all PO files will be cumulated.

Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too.

3.1. Input file location:

        input files
  • -f, --files-from=FILE
        get list of input files from FILE
  • -D, --directory=DIRECTORY
        add DIRECTORY to list for input files search

If input file is -, standard input is read.

3.2. Output file location:

  • -o, --output-file=FILE
        write output to specified file

The results are written to standard output if no output file is specified or if it is -.

3.3. Message selection:

  • -<, --less-than=NUMBER
        print messages with less than this many definitions, defaults to infinite if not set
  • ->, --more-than=NUMBER
        print messages with more than this many definitions, defaults to 0 if not set
  • -u, --unique
        shorthand for --less-than=2, requests that only unique messages be printed

3.4. Input file syntax:

  • -P, --properties-input
        input files are in Java .properties syntax
  • --stringtable-input
        input files are in NeXTstep/GNUstep .strings syntax

3.5. Output details:

  • -t, --to-code=NAME
        encoding for output
  • --use-first
        use first available translation for each message, don't merge several translations
  • --lang=CATALOGNAME
        set 'Language' field in the header entry
  • --color
        use colors and other text attributes always
  • --color=WHEN
        use colors and other text attributes if WHEN. WHEN may be 'always', 'never', 'auto', or 'html'.
  • --style=STYLEFILE
        specify CSS style rule file for --color
  • -e, --no-escape
        do not use C escapes in output (default)
  • -E, --escape
        use C escapes in output, no extended chars
  • --force-po
        write PO file even if empty
  • -i, --indent
        write the .po file using indented style
  • --no-location
        do not write '#: filename:line' lines
  • -n, --add-location
        generate '#: filename:line' lines (default)
  • --strict
        write out strict Uniforum conforming .po file
  • -p, --properties-output
        write out a Java .properties file
  • --stringtable-output
        write out a NeXTstep/GNUstep .strings file
  • -w, --width=NUMBER
        set output page width
  • --no-wrap
        do not break long message lines, longer than the output page width, into several lines
  • -s, --sort-output
        generate sorted output
  • -F, --sort-by-file
        sort output by file location

3.6. Informative output:

  • -h, --help
        display this help and exit
  • -V, --version
        output version information and exit


Written by Bruno Haible.


Report bugs to <>.


Copyright © 2001-2010 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <http://gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html>
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.


The full documentation for

msgcat is maintained as a Texinfo manual. If the

info and

msgcat programs are properly installed at your site, the command

info msgcat

should give you access to the complete manual.