Frequently asked questions


PASSOLO is a specialized software localization tool, handle a large number of software specific file formats, including executable programs, resource files and XML based files, Text strings can be translated into numerous languages including Asian languages Unicode, right-to-left scripts like Hebrew, Arabic

What is PASSOLO performing?

PASSOLO is a specialized software localization tool. It directly can handle a large number of software specific file formats, including executable programs, resource files, and XML-based files. Text strings can be translated into numerous languages including Asian languages (Unicode) and right-to-left scripts like Hebrew and Arabic.

PASSOLO is very easy to use and optimizes the software localization process. Users require neither time-consuming and expensive training nor programming experience. Software localization can be done without the access to the source code or the developers and can begin even before the final release of the software is available.

PASSOLO ensures easy compilation, exchange, and processing of translation data. The Pseudo Translation checks the application for localization suitability before actual translation starts.

PASSOLO contains several WYSIWYG editors to adapt the user interface of software. This includes editors for dialogs, menus, bitmaps, icons, and cursors. The user interface can adapt without any danger of accidentally deleting or changing existing elements or structures.

With its internal Translation Memory Technology, PASSOLO can re-use existing translations. Even text from programs, which has not been translated with PASSOLO, can be used for the automatic pre-translation of new projects. The Fuzzy Matching Technology searches similar texts as well as exact matches. It increases the productivity of the translator and can shorten the translation cycle.

Software localization is part of a process, which involves some experts, who all use different tools. PASSOLO can exchange data with all the main Translations Memory Systems and supports commonly used data exchange formats.

A QA feature can check the spelling of the texts and enables automatic recognition of truncated or overlapping text and incorrect allocation of shortcuts, accelerators, and access keys. Many potential errors, which occur during software localization, are avoided or automatically recognized by PASSOLO.

Special PASSOLO Editions for large or distributed projects enables the user to easily exchange data with external translators. The availability of a free Translator Edition reduces license fees and simplifies the workflow with changing translators in foreign countries.

PASSOLO contains a VBA-compatible scripting engine and is OLE automated. Ready-to-use macros, which can be downloaded free of charge, will easily add useful features to PASSOLO. Using the integrated IDE, customers can develop their localization solution, which meets the requirements of the individual software.

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Which PASSOLO edition do you need?

PASSOLO is available in five editions, which differ based on the scope and terms of the individual licensing agreement.

  • PASSOLO Demo This edition only permits 50 text resources for each resource type to be edited. The same restriction applies to the transfer of translated strings to the target file and for import/export operations. Another restriction is that projects cannot be saved with the demo version. The PASSOLO demo version is intended solely for evaluation purposes and may not be employed for commercial projects.
  • PASSOLO Standard Edition The PASSOLO Standard Edition is designed for software developers and translators whose tasks are confined solely to the localization of programs. This edition does not include statistical functions and cannot be expanded by the addition of export/import interfaces to translation memory systems.
  • PASSOLO Professional Edition The PASSOLO Professional Edition is intended for project managers, editors, and translators responsible for not only localizing the software, but also for translating the associated documentation and managing localization projects. The new project view and other project related functions help to manage even large projects. PASSOLO's statistical functions provide a tool to better calculate the scope of localization projects. The optional interfaces to translation memory systems help to increase the consistency and quality of translated documents. The integrated script development environment makes it possible to change or add functions to PASSOLO.
  • PASSOLO Team Edition The PASSOLO Team Edition offers the same functions as the Professional Edition. Additionally, the Team Edition can be used to create and administrate a certain number of translation bundles. These translation bundles can be processed using the free Translator Edition, which includes all the required functions. Thus, with a single software license it is possible to delegate entire projects to external translators, including the task of adapting and testing the dialog layouts. This will simplify the workflow and reduces costs for the localization of large projects involving numerous external translators.
  • PASSOLO Translator Edition The Translator Edition is a free editor for translators. It can be downloaded from our Web site. Only translation bundles created with the Team Edition can be edited with the Translator Edition. Thus, all the members of a project team can make use of PASSOLO's powerful functionality without having to purchase a software license. The Translator Edition cannot parse source files or generate target files, but it offers all the other functions for processing translation bundles. It includes all the editors and test functions required to guarantee top quality translations.

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What are the system requirements for installing PASSOLO?

As a standard configuration, you computer should be equipped as follows:

  • Pentium III processor operating at 500 MHz
  • Parallel or USB port
  • XGA graphics card operating at 1024 x 768
  • At least 40 MB of free space on your hard drive
  • Windows 95 / Windows 98, with 64 MB of RAM Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000 or higher, with 128 MB of RAM.

A multilingual Windows 2000 or Windows XP is recommended for projects with Asian languages.

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Supported file formats in PASSOLO?

PASSOLO was originally developed as a tool for the localization of programs containing Windows standard resources. The Add-In concept makes PASSOLO a secure investment. Add-Ins are already available for the major file formats in all editions. Additional Add-Ins can be purchased or developed and integrated by customers. The following file formats are supported.

Windows 32 bit binaries
All binary files (EXE, DLL, SYS, OCX) that contain standard Windows resources. This includes programs developed with Microsoft Visual C++ or other development environments. This includes programs for Windows CE or Pocket PC.

Windows 16 bit binaries
All binary files (EXE, DLL, SYS,...) that contain standard Windows resources. Thus, allowing the localization of older Windows applications.

Windows RC files
All resource script files (RC, RC2, DLG). ASCII and UNICODE encoding is supported.

Visual BASIC binary files
All binary files developed with Microsoft Visual BASIC 6 or previous versions. PASSOLO includes VBScan, a utility that simplifies the steps required for internationalizing Visual BASIC forms. This utility is based on Microsoft's recommended procedures for the internationalization of Visual BASIC programs.

XML files
With XML it is possible to describe texts that are more like continuous body texts, or data formats based on identifiers. Whereas continuous body text is a domain of translation memory systems, ID based XML documents can be processed extremely well using PASSOLO's XML Add-In. In addition to the extraction of text segments for translation and the integration of the translated text into the target document, the XML Add-In also offers the option of editing metadata. The metadata may include attributes or comments that provide additional information relevant to the localization. Combined with PASSOLO's macro functions, the configuration options for the XML Add-In allow a high level of automation and a tight integration with XML based localization workflows.

XLIFF files
XLIFF (XML Localisation Interchange File Format) is a XML based standard that defines an extensible specification for the interchange of localization information. Find more information about XLIFF on A configuration file, delivered with the XML Add-In enables PASSOLO to edit easily text based XLIFF files.

The Visual XLIFF Component for PASSOLO is a macro-based parser that supports processing of XLIFF files based on the XLIFF 1.1 Specification. In addition, the parser also supports the XLIFF Profile for Windows Resources. This specification describes how standard Windows resources are mapped in XLIFF. XLIFF files that follow this structure can be edited in PASSOLO. In addition to string lists, dialogs can also be displayed and modified.

Text files
Using the configurable text file parser (available from Professional Edition), text strings can be extracted from nearly every text file (e.g. source code files, internet script files, user defined file formats) and translated with PASSOLO. The parser supports different character encoding. Definable rules describing the start and the end of a text string can be entered. Beside simple rules regular expressions are supported. In addition to the text, ids and comments can be read. An interactive preview simplifies the construction of rules for own files formats.

Microsoft Installer Files
Using the parser for MSI files (available from Professional Edition), text strings can be extracted from all tables of a MSI file and translated with PASSOLO.

Optional Add-Ins

Using the optional file parser Add-Ins, it is also possible to process other types of resource files directly in PASSOLO. These Add-Ins enable PASSOLO to localize the following file formats:

Add-In for Microsoft .NET programs
All resources, generated with Microsoft .NET can be localized with this Add-In. This includes binary files (EXE, satellite DLLs und Assemblies) and resource files used for development (RESX und RESOURCE). In addition to the localization of text strings in table form, this Add-In provide WYSIWYG editors for displaying and processing dialogs, menus and bitmaps. Also Custom Properties of control elements can be localized.

Add-In for Borland Delphi/C++ Builder programs
All binary files (EXE, DLL, BPL) for programs generated using Borland Delphi and Borland C++ Builder. PASSOLO supports both the multibyte format used in Delphi 5 and UTF-8 format for Delphi 6. In addition to the localization of text strings in table form, this Add-In provide WYSIWYG editors for displaying and processing dialogs, menus and bitmaps.

Add-In for Java programs
All Java platforms (J2EE, J2SE, and J2ME) are supported. The resource data formats can be processed not only in Java source files, but also in compiled binary files and compressed JAR files.

  • Resource Property files have the file extension PROPERTIES and contain a simple list of IDs and strings.
  • ListResourceBundles are Java classes derived from the base java.util.ListResourceBundle or from another class derived from ListResourceBundle. The Java Add-In can process source files (JAVA) as well as compiled binary files (CLASS).
  • ArrayResourceBundles are Java classes, but their setup is slightly different. ArrayResourceBundles were introduced by Inprise Borland and Oracle. Once again, the Java Add-In can process both the source files and the compiled binary files.
  • JAR files can contain a complete Java application in compressed form, which simplifies the distribution and administration of components. The Java Add-In can extract property files and ResourceBundles from the files contained in a JAR file, and can insert the translations into the JAR file in compliance with the Java conventions.

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Data exchange in PASSOLO?

PASSOLO comes with a selection of import and export filters. Some of these filters are for export only, while others allow the exported data to be reimported following translation. The data can be exported separately for different modules and languages to enable simultaneous translation.

ASCII text Export/Import
Translation lists can be exported in ASCII format and then translated using any standard ASCII editor.

CSV Export/Import
Many programs support CSV file format. Translation lists can be exported in CSV format for processing in Microsoft Access or Microsoft Excel, for example. In this case, the export can be configured so that it is possible to reimport the text resources after external processing.

Glossary Export
The glossary export stores text resources in the format used by PASSOLO for glossary files. These files can then be edited in any standard ASCII or Unicode editor.

Translation Bundle
This format is only available in the Team and Professional Editions. A translation bundle packages all the data required for external editing or processing of part of a project into a single file. A translation bundle can contain any number of translation lists and target languages. In addition, company-specific glossaries, macros for customer specific test functions, or notes for the translator in the form of Word files can be stored in a translation bundle. The translation bundle also contains the data for menus and dialogs.

With this format, the translator also has to use PASSOLO. If a translation bundle was created using the Team Edition, the translator can work with the free Translator Edition of PASSOLO. The use of translation bundles is especially beneficial when the translation work is done by numerous external translators. Only a single file has to be sent to each translator. Using the Team Edition, only one license has to be purchased - the translator can work with the free Translator Edition.

With translation bundles the translator can make full use of PASSOLO's benefits. The text resources are displayed in context, which will improve the translation quality. With the integrated dialog editor, the dialog layout can be adjusted to fit the new text lengths. The test functions can be used to guarantee error-free localization. Custom test functions can be added as macros.

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What is the translation memory compatibility of PASSOLO?

With the add-in for TRADOS Workbench (including Terminology), you can access existing TRADOS translation memories or terminology databases while localizing software in PASSOLO. The add-in offers direct access to multiple translation memories without requiring synchronization (export from TRADOS and import in PASSOLO).
Activate the option Use TM if base languages are equal if you want to use the current translation memory for translations in PASSOLO. This means it is possible to use a translation memory with, for example, Portuguese (Portugal) as the target language when the target language in PASSOLO is Portuguese (Brazil).
Select the Active TM option to use the current translation memory for a translation in PASSOLO. If you do not want to use a translation memory for the translation of a given project, you can simply deactivate this option - you don't need to delete the connection.

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