Documentation translation

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Tutorial Translation

Inkscape's tutorial sources are in Docbook XML format, with illustrations in SVG.

The translations of the tutorials however are in the well-know PO format. If you want to help, download them here:

  • Each tutorial is in its own subdirectory. You need the <LANG>.po file, for example basic/fr.po. Please coordinate with the previous translator listed in that file!
  • If there is none of these files, get the <tutorial>.pot file, rename it to <LANG>.po and start translating.

Once you are satisfied with what you have done, submit it to the Launchpad bug tracker. Open a new bug with name translation to <your language>, upload the po-file there as attachment. You need to create an account on ubuntu launchpad if you have no account there, yet.


When adding a new tutorial SVG to the bazaar repository(to the tutorial directory), it's recommended to also perform the following steps:

  • Add the filename of the tutorial SVG (and any additional files it needs, like PNG images referenced from the SVG) to share/tutorials/ in the main inkscape trunk.
  • If the SVG refers to a PNG, then that PNG should exist in the SVG's directory -- make sure to also commit that PNG.
  • Modify the translation of the tutorial filename in the main PO file so as to make Inkscape display the localized tutorial instead of the default (English) one. An example: if the "tutorial-basic.svg" string is translated the following way in po/fr.po
msgid "tutorial-basic.svg"
msgstr ""
then whenever the locale is French, Inkscape will display the French (and not the default English) basic tutorial for users.

You may also check the tutorials with the script. See the comments inside the script for more information.


To create up-to-date tutorials (the tutorial-*.svg files), you'll need to build them from the tutorial PO files. Here's how to do it:

  1. Install Saxon 6.5.x (Saxon is a tool that converts XML to SVG using XSLT, see if it's not already installed. You can install it with your package manager or by downloading the appropriate file from the Saxon homepage and unzipping it into a suitable directory. You need to install version 6.5.x -- the build process doesn't work with newer versions. E.g. under openSUSE, install saxon-6.5.5 or a similarly named package -- NOT saxon8 or similar. The build scripts need to find saxon.jar in your Java classpath -- you may want to check your classpath in case of a Java problem.
  2. Install Java SDK (JRE is not enough) if it's not already installed. Under openSUSE, the package name should be java-1_6_0-sun-devel or something similar. You can check your installation with
    type java
    from the command line -- check that java actually points to the SDK's java executable that you installed.
  3. Update your local copy of the inkscape-docs trunk and the main inkscape trunk from BZR.
  4. cd javaclasses/org/inkscape/xslt; javac
    (this rebuilds files.class, which is a Java class file)
  5. cd tutorials/
  6. make svg
    (this creates all tutorial SVGs for all languages -- can take long)
  7. Check the newly created tutorial SVGs (which you'll find in their specific tutorial directories: advanced/, basic/, ...) for overlapping text (often caused by font settings) and other problems. It's recommended to perform the check under a different operating system. If the SVGs have overlapping text, check the default fonts on your computer.
  8. If you want to commit the newly created tutorial SVGs, then copy the new tutorial-*.svg files to the share/tutorials/ directory of your local copy of the main inkscape trunk and commit them to the main inkscape trunk.

For more information, see tutorials/README (Web version here) and tutorials/Makefile.targets (Web version here).

Keyboard and mouse translation

  • TBD

User Manual

  • See also Embedded Help
  • First download the user manual xml document from SVN
  • edit the trunk/xml/inkscapeUTF.xml file. All languages are inside.
  • Just read the file, choose the language reference you want to use (en, fr...) and translate by duplicating the node and changing lang attribute to yours.
  • when finishing editing, if necessary edit the Makefile and add your language to the Makefile. In every case test your file with some tools (xmllint...) or just type again "make your_language" : syntax errors will be displayed : please correct them.
  • submit your work as a patch in the patch tracker and warn Cédric Gemy (cedric at by email.

Manual pages (man)

  • first download inkscape.pod from SVN
  • rename it to inkscape.xx.pod, where xx is the code for your language
  • open inkscape.xx.pod in your favourite text editor (pay attention to encoding which must be UTF8), and directly translate in the file.
  • you can take a look at a first example of translation with
  • finally, submit your work in the patch tracker and drop a mail to the inkscape devel mailing list.

Translation information

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