For the More Curious: ibtool


Just an observation, the –generate command is not documented in the ManPages that come with Xcode. Indeed looking at the ManPage on the developer site at Apple also shows no sign of the command although in both instances it is referred to in another command.

For those that are interested, I did find it at but the syntax is slightly different than what Adam (or Aaron) present in the text.


I think the command line options are changed with the new version of ibtool (my is 1878/4.2.1).
The new switch is –export-strings-file instead of the old –generate-strings-file - maybe the old one still works, I did not try it.

But there is another issue on page 239 the old option was misspelled –generate-stringsfile the “-” is missing.

Happy New Year! :mrgreen:


It appears that “–export-strings-file” is equivalent to “–generate-strings-file” (now noted in the errata). Thanks for the pointer on the typo, Vertex.


@Adam: you can also have ‘stringsfile’ as one word i.e. below my example from a copy/paste from terminal:

as per copying from terminal:

Adrians-MacBook-Pro:RaiseMan heyadrian$ cd en.lproj/
Adrians-MacBook-Pro:en.lproj heyadrian$ ibtool --generate-stringsfile test.strings RMDocument.xib 
Adrians-MacBook-Pro:en.lproj heyadrian$ 

This also works with export-stringsfile as well as breaking each word up with a dash. Nice to know Apple are making efforts to accommodate syntax’s :smiley:


If I already had a xib for a foreign language, and wanted to update it using ibtool, it seems that I had to do a “clean” after using ibtool before my next “build”, else the new xib would not be picked up in the build. Just FYI.


My thanks to the authors for including information about ibtool in this chapter of the book.

It was a real life saver in my real-life localization project.