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A internationalization helper that highlights translated strings

Project description

Provides a simple way to visualize translated strings in Django templates by wrapping translated content with custom HTML and CSS. Therefore and most important, helps you to visualize untraslated strings too.

How does it work

Django i18n helper is a common Django app that overriddes Django core functions on load to provide the desired behavior.

The application will automatically detect when tests are being run and won’t override any methods in such a case to preserve tests integrity.


Get it

pip install django-i18n-helper

After, all you need to do is add “i18n_helper” to your installed apps and activate the internationalization debug. In your, make sure to have:

…, ‘i18n_helper’ )



django-i18n-helper provides a default behavior that consists in wrapping the translated content with an HTML div with the following properties:

<div class=’i18n-helper’ style=’display: inline; background-color: #FAF9A7;’>Translated text</div>

This provides a soft highlight for translated strings, but this behavior can be modified within


Some configuration variables are provided in order to customize how you want the translated strings to be wrapped.


Defines a whole HTML block for wrapping the translations. This string will be formatted ( with the translated text. Thus every occurrence of “{0}” will be replaced with the translation.

I18N_HELPER_HTML = “<span class=’highlight’>{0}</span>”

If I18N_HELPER_HTML is not set, the code used will be

<div class=’i18n-helper’ style=’display: inline; background-color: #FAF9A7;’>{0}</div>


Defines the class to use for the HTML div if I18N_HELPER_HTML is not used. Defaults to “i18n-helper”.

I18N_HELPER_CLASS = “my-custom-class”


Defines the inline CSS for the HTML div if no I18N_HELPER_HTML or I18N_HELPER_CLASS have been set (case in which it’s assumed that the css for the class provides the desired style). Defaults to “display: inline; background-color: #FAF9A7;”.

I18N_HELPER_CLASS = “font-weight: bold; background-color: yellow;”


Graphical examples are sometimes the better way to understand how does something works or looks like. So here go two examples of how completely translated templates would look like, and two of how partially translated templates would.

Fully translated templates

<img src=’’/>

<img src=’’/>

Partially translated templates. Note that it’s also possible to see from the admin site which model fields haven’t set the _verbose_name_ attribute to translate the field name.

<img src=’’/>

<img src=’’/>

Disclaimer notes

The application should only be used when “debugging” code translations, since it overrides the default Django HTML scaping mechanism and thus outputs unescaped (possibly undesired) code. Besides, there are some warnings you should be aware of:

  • You will see weird HTML within you buttons or inputs if you have things like &lt;input type=”text” value=”{% trans “Search” %}” …&gt; Then the wrapping HTML of your translations will be shown _within_ the inputs or buttons. This will happen for sure in the admin site.
  • Set I18N_HELPER_DEBUG to False before syncing your database, otherwise you might see errors like “value too long for type character varying(50)”.
  • Set I18N_HELPER_DEBUG to False before running your migrations, otherwise you might see errors like “value too long for type character varying(50)”.
  • From version 0.1.1 this helper will only be enabled when running the runserver command, so you shouldn’t need to worry about turning it off for doing syncdb, migrations, or anything.
  • Some capitalization might be lost

Tested with

  • Django 1.3 / 1.4
  • Python 2.6.1 / 2.7.2


Author: Santiago Gabriel Romero


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