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8.3.6 Fuzzy Entries

Each PO file entry may have a set of attributes, which are qualities given a name and explicitly associated with the translation, using a special system comment. One of these attributes has the name fuzzy, and entries having this attribute are said to have a fuzzy translation. They are called fuzzy entries, for short.

Fuzzy entries, even if they account for translated entries for most other purposes, usually call for revision by the translator. Those may be produced by applying the program msgmerge to update an older translated PO files according to a new PO template file, when this tool hypothesises that some new msgid has been modified only slightly out of an older one, and chooses to pair what it thinks to be the old translation for the new modified entry. The slight alteration in the original string (the msgid string) should often be reflected in the translated string, and this requires the intervention of the translator. For this reason, msgmerge might mark some entries as being fuzzy.

Also, the translator may decide herself to mark an entry as fuzzy for her own convenience, when she wants to remember that the entry has to be later revisited. So, some commands are more specifically related to fuzzy entry processing.


Find the next fuzzy entry (po-next-fuzzy-entry).


Find the previous fuzzy entry (po-previous-fuzzy-entry).


Remove the fuzzy attribute of the current entry (po-unfuzzy).

The commands f (po-next-fuzzy-entry) and F (po-previous-fuzzy-entry) move forwards or backwards, chasing for a fuzzy entry. If none is found, the search is extended and wraps around in the PO file buffer.

The command TAB (po-unfuzzy) removes the fuzzy attribute associated with an entry, usually leaving it translated. Further, if the variable po-auto-select-on-unfuzzy has not the nil value, the TAB command will automatically chase for another interesting entry to work on. The initial value of po-auto-select-on-unfuzzy is nil.

The initial value of po-auto-fuzzy-on-edit is nil. However, if the variable po-auto-fuzzy-on-edit is set to t, any entry edited through the RET command is marked fuzzy, as a way to ensure some kind of double check, later. In this case, the usual paradigm is that an entry becomes fuzzy (if not already) whenever the translator modifies it. If she is satisfied with the translation, she then uses TAB to pick another entry to work on, clearing the fuzzy attribute on the same blow. If she is not satisfied yet, she merely uses SPC to chase another entry, leaving the entry fuzzy.

The translator may also use the DEL command (po-fade-out-entry) over any translated entry to mark it as being fuzzy, when she wants to easily leave a trace she wants to later return working at this entry.

Also, when time comes to quit working on a PO file buffer with the q command, the translator is asked for confirmation, if fuzzy string still exists.

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