A translator-friendly RESX file editor

A newer version of ResxEditor is now available, see my lastest blog post on this matter.

In a previous post, I was giving some details on the RESX format from a translator-friendly viewpoint. Actually, after proof-testing the XML concept with a few translators, I came up with the conclusion

The most brilliant Uzbek-Azeri translators do not speak XML. Do not seek any explanation, it’s just a fact.

XML has a logic which is totally alien to the average translator. The answer to the question Why can’t I freely insert < and > characters? simply does not match the average translator skills. Therefore, I have decided to come up with a more simple and elegant solution.

I have published a simple Resx Editor utility that comes as a stand-alone exe file. This application is free (yet not open-source, although I am considering the option) and will remain free.

Available features

The ResxEditor is a simple quasi-wysiwyg editor; at least the raw XML is kept hidden from the translator view. The features are limited to the bare minimum Open, Save and Save As, plus a text size adjustment option.

Features not available (also they should)

I have not included a Print feature (yet). Whether it is a must-have feature will depend on the feedback that I get. Actually, one of my objective is to keep this editor as simple and small as possible.

If there are features that you would really want to see in Resx Editor (or bugs that you really would not), feel free to post a comment.


Reader Comments (21)

Great idea! In general, I find that the sort of person who tends to gravitate towards translation will be a free-spirit, a free-form gabber. That is exactly the opposite of the orderly minds that use XML (or even passwords. Have you any idea how hard it is to explain the concept of passwords to translators, who focus on the MEANING, not the form?) As a hybrid translator/technerd, I’ll be watching your product… March 14, 2006 | Dena Shunra


This only works for ASP.NET applications? I would like to get it also working for .net applications, is this possible? April 24, 2006 | flax


No problem, it’s the same RESX format that is used both for .Net application and ASP.Net websites. I have actually used ResxEditor to edit it’s own resource file in order to translate it in French (see http://www.peoplewords.com/download/ResxEditor.aspx?lang=fr). Hope it helps. April 24, 2006 | joannes


Well done man! very usefull tool. just a question: is it intended not to show the key (or name) of the entries to be translated? although it souldn’t be so, sometimes the key is more clear than the comments when explaining the text to be translated….maybe you could add an option unter the view menu. however, thanx! September 4, 2006 | Johnny


Actually, I do not display the Key name on purpose because it only confuse the average (i.e. non-geek) professional translator. But it would be clearly, as you point out, a nice option to have to enable the Key display. I will keep this idea on the feature stack for the next version. Joannes September 5, 2006 | joannes


Would be great to have a possibility to filter resources type in order to show only specific elements for translation. It is necessary when translation of custom controls or winform applications is required and you need to translate only text values, leaving all keys, names, ids, icons and images untouched. For example, current version fails to load resources files containing big icons imagelists. September 14, 2006 | Alex


Indeed, the current version of ResxEditor is only supporting text-only resource files. Let’s say that I will add “full RESX support” in a later version of ResxEditor. Thanks for your comment. Joannès September 15, 2006 | joannes


Great tool, but I have noticed a bug, and i also have a feature request: The Bug - If you don’t change focus from a field after editing it, any changes you made to the field don’t get saved. For example if you edit a value and the cursor stays in that field, then go and click file… save… (save as…), the change won’t be made. You have to move the cursor out of the field to ensure that change is saved. Does that make sense? The feature request - It would be great if the application opened any file that was passed in on the command line. That way you could right click on the the file in Explorer and use “Open With…” to launch the file. Thanks again! Adam October 6, 2006 | Adam C


Yes, the bug you’re talking about is making a lot of sense. It’s one of the major issue of RESX Editor 1.0. The second issue is also must-have idea. I will try to include it in the next release. Joannès October 6, 2006 | joannes


Hi there, I like the tool - just what is needed. I have some ideas: 1) Why not open source it so we can help you add features (it can only be a few classes right?). Sourceforge is a good place to start. 2) We tend to use the English (default) .resx files as the basis to start translation. Could the editor show the default file content in one column and current localised file (e.g. ca-fr) content in another column. Then translators can fill in the blanks using the default (rather than the developer comments - which tend to be useless/non existent). 3) Add option to create new localised files based on translating the current one. - chris March 30, 2007 | Chris


Thank you for your feedback. I have initiated the creation of a new open source project on sourceforge to disclose the Resx Editor source code. Stay tuned. Joannès March 30, 2007 | joannes


[…] Due to popular demand, I have finally open-sourced my RESX utilities. All the content (source code as well as binaries) is now available at resx.sourceforge.net, released under the GPL open-source license. […] July 28, 2007 | Joannes Vermorel’s blog


Dude, it crashed on my first try. I have a resource file with only 4 labels. May 27, 2008 | Ronald


Ronald, the code has been open-sourced. You can get it at http://resx.sourceforge.net/ Hope it helps, Joannès May 27, 2008 | joannes


Hi guys… I reviewed this tool and its very useful. We have setup a free online translation service for RESX files called at www.RESXTranslate.com. You can upload your zip file of localization files and it will translate all RESX files to and from selected languages. Let me know what you guys think! -Chad December 21, 2009 | Chad Nash


Hi guys, Sorry I can’t get the source, just the exe app. Maybe I don’t do it well … Thanks April 20, 2010 | Sunny


You can get the code at svn co https://resx.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/resx resx April 20, 2010 | Joannes Vermorel


It’s very good it would have been interesting to have a view with html editor, for non developer. Sunny May 6, 2010 | Sunny


Last question I was wondering if there is a way to update it online straight away when the website is compiled? or is it too complicate.??? thanks a lot, and the last post about html editor, i did a mistake in my mail. so was wondering how we can show content withtout html tag… thanks a lot May 6, 2010 | Sunny


RESX Editor was a very modest project of mine. At present date, Dario Solera has started a much more ambitious and valuable project to deal with RESX files, check amanuens.com. May 7, 2010 | Joannes Vermorel


Hello! Very good tool, I really appreciate the work on this. There is still an feature that I think many people would want: How about making the tool able to open a folder in which there are only resource files? List after that the resource files in a listview or a treeview and the user should edit the item selected in the list? Cheers and thank you for a job well done! August 26, 2011 | Alex B