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9.6 Invoking the msgcomm Program

msgcomm [option] [inputfile]...

The msgcomm program finds 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 extracted comments will be preserved, but only from the first PO file to define them. File positions from all PO files will be cumulated.

9.6.1 Input file location


Input files.

-f file

Read the names of the input files from file instead of getting them from the command line.

-D directory

Add directory to the list of directories. Source files are searched relative to this list of directories. The resulting .po file will be written relative to the current directory, though.

If inputfile is ‘-’, standard input is read.

9.6.2 Output file location

-o file

Write output to specified file.

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

9.6.3 Message selection

-< number

Print messages with less than number definitions, defaults to infinite if not set.

-> number

Print messages with more than number definitions, defaults to 1 if not set.


Shorthand for ‘--less-than=2’. Requests that only unique messages be printed.

9.6.4 Input file syntax


Assume the input files are Java ResourceBundles in Java .properties syntax, not in PO file syntax.


Assume the input files are NeXTstep/GNUstep localized resource files in .strings syntax, not in PO file syntax.

9.6.5 Output details


Specify whether or when to use colors and other text attributes. See The --color option for details.


Specify the CSS style rule file to use for --color. See The --style option for details.


Always write an output file even if it contains no message.


Write the .po file using indented style.


Do not write ‘#: filename:line’ lines.


Generate ‘#: filename:line’ lines (default).

The optional type can be either ‘full’, ‘file’, or ‘never’. If it is not given or ‘full’, it generates the lines with both file name and line number. If it is ‘file’, the line number part is omitted. If it is ‘never’, it completely suppresses the lines (same as --no-location).


Write out a strict Uniforum conforming PO file. Note that this Uniforum format should be avoided because it doesn’t support the GNU extensions.


Write out a Java ResourceBundle in Java .properties syntax. Note that this file format doesn’t support plural forms and silently drops obsolete messages.


Write out a NeXTstep/GNUstep localized resource file in .strings syntax. Note that this file format doesn’t support plural forms.

-w number

Set the output page width. Long strings in the output files will be split across multiple lines in order to ensure that each line’s width (= number of screen columns) is less or equal to the given number.


Do not break long message lines. Message lines whose width exceeds the output page width will not be split into several lines. Only file reference lines which are wider than the output page width will be split.


Generate sorted output. Note that using this option makes it much harder for the translator to understand each message’s context.


Sort output by file location.


Don’t write header with ‘msgid ""’ entry.

9.6.6 Informative output


Display this help and exit.


Output version information and exit.

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