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8.3.1 Completing GNU gettext Installation

Once you have received, unpacked, configured and compiled the GNU gettext distribution, the ‘make install’ command puts in place the programs xgettext, msgfmt, gettext, and msgmerge, as well as their available message catalogs. To top off a comfortable installation, you might also want to make the PO mode available to your Emacs users.

During the installation of the PO mode, you might want to modify your file .emacs, once and for all, so it contains a few lines looking like:

     (setq auto-mode-alist
           (cons '("\\.po\\'\\|\\.po\\." . po-mode) auto-mode-alist))
     (autoload 'po-mode "po-mode" "Major mode for translators to edit PO files" t)

Later, whenever you edit some .po file, or any file having the string ‘.po.’ within its name, Emacs loads po-mode.elc (or po-mode.el) as needed, and automatically activates PO mode commands for the associated buffer. The string PO appears in the mode line for any buffer for which PO mode is active. Many PO files may be active at once in a single Emacs session.

If you are using Emacs version 20 or newer, and have already installed the appropriate international fonts on your system, you may also tell Emacs how to determine automatically the coding system of every PO file. This will often (but not always) cause the necessary fonts to be loaded and used for displaying the translations on your Emacs screen. For this to happen, add the lines:

     (modify-coding-system-alist 'file "\\.po\\'\\|\\.po\\."
                                 'po-find-file-coding-system)
     (autoload 'po-find-file-coding-system "po-mode")

to your .emacs file. If, with this, you still see boxes instead of international characters, try a different font set (via Shift Mouse button 1).