File Formats

SDL Passolo was originally developed as a tool for the localization of programs containing Windows standard resources. The Add-In concept makes SDL Passolo a secure investment. Add-Ins are already available for the major file formats in all editions. Additional Add-Ins can be purchased or developed and integrated by customers. The following file formats are supported.

Windows 32-bit and 64-bit binaries

All binary files (EXE, DLL, SYS, OCX) that contain standard Windows resources. This includes programs developed with Microsoft Visual C++ or other development environments. This includes programs for Windows CE or Pocket PC or Windows Mobile

Windows 16-bit binaries

 All binary files (EXE, DLL, SYS,...) that contain standard Windows resources. Thus allowing the localization of older Windows applications.

Windows RC files

All resource script files (RC, RC2, DLG). ASCII and UNICODE encoding is supported.

Visual BASIC binary files

All binary files developed with Microsoft Visual BASIC 6 or previous versions. SDL Passolo includes VBScan, a utility that simplifies the steps required for internationalizing Visual BASIC forms. This utility is based on Microsoft's recommended procedures for the internationalization of Visual BASIC programs.

XML files

With XML it is possible to describe texts that are more like continuous body texts, or data formats based on identifiers. Whereas continuous body text is a domain of translation memory systems, ID based XML documents can be processed extremely well using SDL Passolo's XML Add-In. In addition to the extraction of text segments for translation and the integration of the translated text into the target document, the XML Add-In also offers the option of editing metadata. The metadata may include attributes or comments that provide additional information relevant to the localization. Combined with SDL Passolo's macro functions, the configuration options for the XML Add-In allow a high level of automation and a tight integration with XML based localization workflows.

XLIFF files

XLIFF (XML Localisation Interchange File Format) is a XML based standard that defines an extensible specification for the interchange of localization information. Find more information about XLIFF on A configuration file, delivered with the XML Add-In enables SDL Passolo to easily edit text based XLIFF files.

The Visual XLIFF Component for SDL Passolo is a macro-based parser that supports processing of XLIFF files based on the XLIFF 1.1 Specification. In addition, the parser also supports the XLIFF Profile for Windows Resources. This specification describes how standard Windows resources are mapped in XLIFF. XLIFF files that follow this structure can be edited in SDL Passolo. In addition to string lists, dialogs can also be displayed and modified.

HTML files

The Add-In for HTML files enables you to translate the HTML pages for online help or web pages. The text contained in HTML files is segmented according to segmentation rules based on the SRX standard. Embedded tags can be edited during translation in the text entry tables. A WYSIWYG view shows the translated HTML file. 

Text files

Using the configurable text file parser, text strings can be extracted from nearly every text file (e.g. source code files, internet script files, user defined file formats) and translated with SDL Passolo. The parser supports different character encoding. Definable rules describing the start and the end of a text string can be entered. Beside simple rules regular expressions are supported. In addition to the text, ids and comments can be read. An interactive preview simplifies the construction of rules for own files formats.

Microsoft Installer files

Using the parser for MSI files, text strings can be extracted from all tables of an MSI file and translated with SDL Passolo.

Visual BASIC 6 files

Using the parser for Visual BASIC 6 SDL Passolo can extract and localize text strings from single FRM files or from all FRM files referenced in a VBP file. Beside the localization of text strings in table form, this Add-In provide WYSIWYG editors for displaying and processing dialogs, menus and bitmaps. In addition text strings from the code area can be extracted and translated.

Portable Object files

PO files from the Linux/Unix world are containing localizable text strings from software that uses the gettext framework for internationalization. Using the parser for PO files all localizable text strings can be extracted and translated using SDL Passolo. The mechanism of handling different plural form in PO files is supported.

New file support in SDL Passolo 2011

Be 'future-ready' with additional and enhanced support for all the latest file filters including:

  • Microsoft® .NET 4.0
  • Direct localization of Adobe® RoboHelp® source and project files
  • Enhanced Microsoft® WPF support
  • Delphi® 2009
  • Enhanced Java™ support
  • Oracle® 11 databases

Optional Add-Ins

Using the optional file parser Add-Ins, it is also possible to process other types of resource files directly in SDL Passolo. These Add-Ins enable SDL Passolo to localize the following file formats:

Add-In for Microsoft .NET programs

All resources, generated with Microsoft .NET can be localized with this Add-In. This includes binary files (EXE, satellite DLLs und Assemblies) and resource files used for development (RESX und RESOURCE). In addition to the localization of text strings in table form, this Add-In provide WYSIWYG editors for displaying and processing dialogs, menus and bitmaps. Also Custom Properties of control elements can be localized. The dialog editor supports private, public and external inheritance, and is able to visualize third party controls and is able to localize user defined properties.

Add-In for Borland Delphi/C++ Builder programs

All binary files (EXE, DLL, BPL) for programs generated using Borland Delphi and Borland C++ Builder. PASSOLO supports both the multibyte format used in Delphi 5 and UTF-8 format for Delphi 6. In addition to the localization of text strings in table form, this Add-In provide WYSIWYG editors for displaying and processing dialogs, menus and bitmaps.

Add-In for Java programs

All Java platforms (J2EE, J2SE, and J2ME) are supported. The resource data formats can be processed not only in Java source files, but also in compiled binary files and compressed JAR files.

  • Resource Property files have the file extension PROPERTIES and contain a simple list of IDs and strings.
  • ListResourceBundles are Java classes derived from the base java.util.ListResourceBundle or from another class derived from ListResourceBundle. The Java Add-In can process source files (JAVA) as well as compiled binary files (CLASS).
  • ArrayResourceBundles are Java classes, but their setup is slightly different. ArrayResourceBundles were introduced by Inprise Borland and Oracle. Once again, the Java Add-In can process both the source files and the compiled binary files.
  • JAR files can contain a complete Java application in compressed form, which simplifies the distribution and administration of components. The Java Add-In can extract property files and ResourceBundles from the files contained in a JAR file, and can insert the translations into the JAR file in compliance with the Java conventions.

Add-In for OBDC Databases

Using this parser the content of different databases can be translated. Supported are databases, where an appropriate OLE DB Provider is available e.g. MS ACCESS, MS Excel, MS SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL and IBM DB2. The translations can be stored in new records, in different columns or the text can be exchanged.

Add-In for Palm OS Software

Using the parser for Palm OS all localizable text strings from PRC files can be extracted and localized using SDL Passolo. Beside the translation of text strings in table form, this Add-In provide WYSIWYG editors for displaying and processing dialogs, menus and bitmaps.

User-defined data formats

In some projects user defined file formats must be localized that do not follow any common standard and can't be processed with one the configurable SDL Passolo parsers. Highly structured text files or binary files are some examples.

Using SDL Passolo's VBA-compatible scripting language, customers can implement own parsers for these file types. The integrated development environment and numerous examples enables trained users to develop custom parsers for user defined file formats very quickly. For file formats that contain dialog information the integrated SDL Passolo standard dialog editor can be used by these parsers.