msgattrib — attribute matching and manipulation on message catalog


msgattrib [OPTION] [INPUTFILE]


Filters the messages of a translation catalog according to their attributes, and manipulates the attributes.

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

Input file location


input PO file

-D, --directory=DIRECTORY

add DIRECTORY to list for input files search

If no input file is given or if it is -, standard input is read.

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 -.

Message selection


keep translated, remove untranslated messages


keep untranslated, remove translated messages


remove 'fuzzy' marked messages


keep 'fuzzy' marked messages


remove obsolete #~ messages


keep obsolete #~ messages

Attribute manipulation


set all messages 'fuzzy'


set all messages non-'fuzzy'


set all messages obsolete


set all messages non-obsolete


when setting 'fuzzy', keep previous msgids of translated messages.


remove the "previous msgid" from all messages


when removing 'fuzzy', also set msgstr empty


manipulate only entries listed in FILE.po


manipulate only entries not listed in FILE.po


synonym for --only-fuzzy --clear-fuzzy


synonym for --only-obsolete --clear-obsolete

Input file syntax

-P, --properties-input

input file is in Java .properties syntax


input file is in NeXTstep/GNUstep .strings syntax

Output details


use colors and other text attributes always


use colors and other text attributes if WHEN. WHEN may be 'always', 'never', 'auto', or 'html'.


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


write PO file even if empty

-i, --indent

write the .po file using indented style


do not write '#: filename:line' lines

-n, --add-location

generate '#: filename:line' lines (default)


write out strict Uniforum conforming .po file

-p, --properties-output

write out a Java .properties file


write out a NeXTstep/GNUstep .strings file

-w, --width=NUMBER

set output page width


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

Informative output

-h, --help

display this help and exit

-V, --version

output version information and exit


Written by Bruno Haible.

Reporting Bugs

Report bugs in the bug tracker at <> or by email to <>.

See Also

The full documentation for msgattrib is maintained as a Texinfo manual.  If the info and msgattrib programs are properly installed at your site, the command

info msgattrib

should give you access to the complete manual.

Referenced By


May 2019 GNU gettext-tools 20190512