Key editor and key actions

Learn how to manage your translation keys in the editor, link keys to platforms and screenshots, modify their names and other attributes.

Ilya Krukowski avatar
Written by Ilya Krukowski
Updated over a week ago

If you are not familiar with Lokalise projects, it's really recommended to check out the Project article. Specifically, we'd advise skimming through the Learn how platforms, keys, and files are organized section to understand how exactly your data is hosted and represented on Lokalise.

Once you open a project for editing, you will see a project editor. It contains a list of translation keys with their translations, screenshots, and other attributes.

In this article we'll talk about creating and modifying translation keys, and cover all the actions that can be applied to the keys. Please note that some of these actions can be performed only by project admins.

Key actions

Please note that some actions might not be available in certain project types or due to lack of permissions.

Buttons under the key name allow you to perform key-related actions with a single click.

Let's discuss what these buttons do:

Comments: team work usually involves discussions on particular keys. You can leave comments for keys as well as individual translations, notify contributors, and start threads. You can learn more in the corresponding article.

Clipboard (key details): open a modal with advanced keys details: key name, Lokalise key ID, direct link to the key inside the editor, and the reference key placeholder. Knowing an ID is usually needed when you are working with a key via the API or CLI.

Screenshots: link one or multiple screenshots to this key. Check the Screenshot manager section to learn more.

Duplicate this key: create a copy of the current key.

Google-translate empty values: click to populate all empty values of the current key with machine translations provided by the Google translation engine. This may take a few moments depending on the job's volume. If you would like to apply machine translation for multiple keys, consider creating a new translation order.

Hide from contributors: hide the target key from all other contributors/translators.

Delete key: remove the key and all related translations. Please note that this action cannot be undone therefore you might want to create a project snapshot beforehand.

This feature is available only in the Web and mobile projects.

As mentioned in the Keys and platforms article, Lokalise supports four platforms: iOS, Android, Web, and Other. Assigning a key to one or multiple platforms actually means that the key will only be associated with the platform-specific file formats when you export the localization files. For example, assigning a key to the iOS platform means it will be included with the Apple Strings and Apple XLIFF file exports, and will be excluded from the JSON export (as JSON belongs to the Web platform).

Each key can be attributed to a single filename per platform. You can set the attribution using the key editor: click the key name in the editor, then navigate to the Advanced tab and adjust the Assigned to a file setting.

Assigning tags

Learn more about tags in the corresponding article.

Use the built-in tagging of the editor to logically group your keys. Click the tag icon and either enter a new tag, or select from a list of tags you have already added.

Key editor

This feature is available only in the Web and mobile projects.

Key editor can be used to modify key name, description, make it plural, assign it to filenames, and tweak other attributes. To access the Key editor, click on the key name itself:

Please note that only project admins can access the key editor and it can be globally deactivated in the project settings by adjusting the Allow key editing option and setting it to Disabled.

You can also open the key editor by clicking the Add key button or pressing Ctrl+K on your keyboard. In this case, the key editor will contain the default setting values and you will be able to create the new key from scratch. Alternatively, you can copy existing keys by using the Duplicate key icon next to the key name, and then adjust only the required fields.

After you have finished editing, click the Save button in the bottom left corner of the floating box, or hit Ctrl+Enter on your keyboard.

General options

  1. Key name — enter your key name here. You cannot create multiple keys with similar names. However, it is possible to have keys with similar names but different contexts (context is set under the Advanced options, see below). You can also enable the Per-platform key names option to assign different names on a per-platform basis as explained in the following article.

  2. Base language value — translation value for the base language. This value can be empty.

  3. Run automations when saving this key — enable automations during key creation.

  4. Platforms to be associated with the key. Different platforms have different file export formats, and each key can be assigned to one or multiple platforms. 

  5. Description — provide additional key details. Description is visible to project contributors.

  6. Tags — add existing key tags or create new ones to facilitate filtering and exporting.

  7. Add another key — turn this setting on to keep the dialog window open after you click the Create button. This may be useful when adding/editing multiple keys in a row.

  8. Once you are ready, click the Create button or press Ctrl+Enter to apply the changes.

Advanced options

  1. This key requires plural forms — tick this option if the target key should have plural forms. Lokalise will automatically add the necessary plural forms for each language but you can further adjust it as explained in the Language settings article.

  2. Assigned to file — assign the key to a file on a per-platform basis. In the example above the key is assigned to a %LANG_ISO%.yaml file on Web platform. Learn more in the Project and Filenames articles.

  3. Hide from contributors — turn on to hide this key from non-admin contributors (it will still be visible to project admins).

  4. Context is used with some file formats (e.g. .po). Leave this field empty unless the key context is actually used in the source code. Also note that providing context enables you to create multiple keys with similar names.

  5. Character limit — by default, translations have unlimited length but you can introduce a limit by entering a number in this field. If a limit is set, translators will not be able to save longer strings. Please note that this setting will not affect the existing translations (in other words, if the key already contains a translation, it won't be trimmed to keep it within limits). Learn more in the corresponding article.

Custom attributes

You can use custom attributes to define format-specific options for the target key. For example: Android Resources (XML) files can have a translatable attribute set to false.

Screenshots manager

Check the Screenshots and Filter by screenshots articles to learn more about this feature.

To access the screenshot manager, simply click on the Screenshots button under the key name:

You'll be presented with the dialog where you can manage screenshots for the current key:

Please note that this option is only available to project admins with the Manage screenshots permission.

Linked screenshots

In this tab, you will find all the screenshots that are linked to the key. When a screenshot is linked to a key, it will be displayed under the key name in the project editor as shown in the example above.

As you can see from the example above, each screenshot contains a name, a list of tags, a preview image, and three action buttons:

  • Open in screenshot editor — you will be navigated to the editor to adjust the screenshot settings.

  • Preview — open the image in full size. The image will contain a highlighted portion of the text that was provided when linking the screenshot.

  • Unlink — remove connection between the screenshot and the current key. The corresponding screenshot will not be deleted. You can also unlink multiple screenshots by clicking on their previews and pressing Unlink selected as shown in the example above.

Here, you can link the current key to screenshots uploaded earlier.

  • Use the Filter dropdown to filter screenshots by their tags and linked keys (by default, all screenshots are displayed).

  • Use the Search box to find a screenshot by its name.

  • For each screenshot, you can see its name, tags, preview, how many keys it is linked to, and three actions:

    • Open in screenshot editor — you will be navigated to the editor to adjust the screenshot settings.

    • Preview — open the image in full size. The image will contain a highlighted portion of the text that was provided when linking the screenshot.

    • Link — establish a link between the screenshot and the current key. Alternatively, you can tick multiple screenshots by clicking on their preview and pressing Link selected.

Upload screenshot

The screenshots you upload here will be automatically linked to the current key. You can drag and drop screenshots to the designated area or manually select a file from your computer.

Select the Try to detect keys automatically option to enable automatic key detection on the uploaded images. In other words, Lokalise will try to find the key's base translation value on the uploaded image and highlight it showing its exact position. This highlighting will be visible when you open a screenshot by clicking on its preview under the key name:

This blue outline in the example above highlights the translation value shown on the image. Please note that Lokalise might fail to detect text on low-quality screenshots. You can highlight texts on the screenshots manually. Please check the Screenshots article to learn more.

Translation controls

Each translation value has several buttons next to it: these provide translation-related functionalities and notifications.

Spelling/grammar error

Lokalise automatically checks spelling and grammar in the editor as you upload or update the translation strings. If a spelling or grammatical error is found, a small orange icon will appear to the right of the translation field. Click on this notification to learn about the detected issue.

QA issue

Enable quality assurance checks in the project settings. When a QA check is violated, you'll see a red icon next to the translation. Click on this icon to learn more about the detected issue.


Pressing the "bubble speech" icon will open a comments widget that you can use to write translation-level comments.

Custom translation statuses

Custom translation statuses (CTS) feature can be turned on in the project settings. When this feature is enabled, you'll be able to assign any custom statuses to your translations by clicking on the CTS icon. Later you can filter translations by their custom statuses.

Mark as reviewed

Users with the reviewer role can mark translations as reviewed in the editor and approve any translations added by other contributors by clicking on the "glasses" icon. Please note that Reviewing has to be enabled in the project settings in order to use this feature.

Mark as unverified

Use the Unverified flag to mark a translation you do not consider to be 100% correct. Later you can use the Filter dropdown to show only the unverified strings.

Translation history

Translation history keeps all versions of each translation update you have ever made and allows you to revert to a particular version.

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