Game localization tools: tiny and free apps that will save your day

Simple, useful and free tools for translators and localizers that we always keep on our drives and saved us countless hours. Enjoy!



Client quote: “Kindly check all names, terminology and dates during translation”

Likely cause: They decided to pad the game with some encyclopedic texts, but they were too rushed to fact-check them

Solution: Configure Intelliwebsearch to scan Wikipedia directly from your translation.

Links: website, download


Client quote: “Please use our online system for this project. Press CTRL+F5+x to open a string, SHIFT+F9+z to…”

Likely cause: Programmers are incredibly skilled in many areas. Interface design usually isn’t one of them.

Solution: Extract the text and translate it with your usual tools, then automate the copy/paste/confirm process with TinyTask

Links: website, download


Foxit Reader Portable

Client quote: “Why can’t you highlight and comment our PDF?! Here it works perfectly!”

Likely cause: They have Adobe Acrobat, you have plain Adobe reader. They also locked the file for editing

Solution: Use Foxit Reader Portable for adding comments and highlights, keep Adobe for your daily life

Links: website, download



Team member quote: “I should click what?!”

Likely cause: A picture is worth one thousand words

Solution: Grab a quick screenshot with MwSnap.

Links: website, download


Team member quote: “I should click what?!”

Likely cause: A video is worth 60 images (per second)

Solution: Grab a quick video with audio with, directly from your browser.

Links: website

TeamViewer Portable

Team member quote: “I should click what?!”

Likely cause: *SIGH*

Solution: Take remote control of their system using TeamViewer.

Links: website, download




Client quote: “We have made some changes to the source, please check and redeliver ASAP”

Likely cause: They proofread after sending out the text for translation.

Solution: Save the two versions as .txt files and quickly compare them with ExamDiff.

Links: website, download



Client quote: “Hi! When do you plan to send your translation?”

Likely cause: You lost the file. Maybe you overwrote it, maybe you had a crash, maybe you’re overworked, but it’s gone.

Solution: Stop any other activity and start Recuva. It will scan your hard disk, searching for deleted files that it’s still possible to resurrect. Cross you fingers.

Links: website, download

Screen calipers

Client quote: “Please match the length of the source! Each line cannot be longer than 12 capital M letters”

Likely cause: Japanese games mostly use monospace fonts, where each character takes the same width. During localization, these are often replaced by proportional ones, where the width can change from big (M) to small (l). This allows to squeeze in more text per line and looks better on screen. Little problem: proportional fonts make it impossible to know in advance how many characters per line can fit. You need a bit of code to do that and usually there is no time / resources / memory space to add it in the game.

Solution: Use a common, non-serif font like Arial and set it big. Then measure the maximum width of the original text lines and match it on your translation (and err on the side of caution).

Links: website, download



Asap utilities

Client quote: “We found some trailing spaces at the end of your translation. There are some double spaces too. Could you please remove them all?”

Likely cause: The trailing spaces were in the source and Trados matched them. Either that or you did some odd copy and pasting stuff.

Solution: Install the Asap utilities under Excel, fix the issue then spend the rest of the afternoon playing with the other million options

Links: website, download



Client quote: “Here are the 127 source files. Please remember to translate all tabs from 1 to 300.”

Likely cause: They sent you the same files designers and testers use. It makes sense for them to see the strings of each menu grouped like that,but  it’s a tad unpractical for you.

Solution: Install the RDBMerge macro under Excel. It will allow you to join any number of files and tabs into a single, spell-checkable, proof-readable, translation tool grindable file. Enjoy!

Links: website, download



Client quote: “What you mean ‘I can’t access the website’ ?! It works perfectly here”

Likely cause: The client is US based and the website is region-locked for Europe.

Solution: Launch the free Ultrasurf application which will “mask” your connection as if originating from the US. No installation required.


Links: website, download



Client quote: “Could you check how the program looks like in French?”

Likely cause: Their program sets the interface language according to the Windows locale. Also, you have Windows 7/Vista in a version that doesn’t let you change it

Solution:  use Vistalizator in order to change the display language.


Links: website, download


For more tiny, well-made applications, visit

Alain is the founder of team GLOC. Want to read more stuff by him? You should probably try this blog’s Best of, which has a few dozen of his best articles ready to read. Or you could head over to IGDA – Localization SIG on Facebook, where he shares new stuff almost every week.

Image Credits: Dead End Thrills


  1. Thanks for those tools. They seem pretty useful. I just hace one question: how do you revert back that 1 file that the program transformed onto from those 127 source files? Because if the same program can transform and revert back, then you made my day! I am fed up of having to work with so many files you don’t even remember which one you have already done. Plus, how many times dont’ we find strings repeated and yet we still have to “translate” them? (by “translate”, I mean, Trados proofread).

    Anyway, I will keep your blog on my lisst of blogs to follow, as you seem to be a localiser with loads of resources 🙂

    • Hi Curri, I’m afraid the only way is pasting them back by hand 🙁
      Not great, but still better than nothing. Actually, the combination of RDBMerge, the VALIGN function and Xbench is what kept the team running for the first years!
      I say “kept” because we switched to memoQ about six months ago and it’s really really good. (Has a great “glue” function for this specific problem too). I will try and write an article about it soon (without sounding too much of a fanboy) just waiting for the new version (5.0).
      Thank you for following our little blog and for linking it on Twitter!

  2. After tiring of manually making double-space text single space, I searched and discovered this plugin for NOTEPAD++ that I find very useful.

    Capitalize the first letter of every word
    Capitalize the first letter of a sentence
    Line up lines by their commas or equal signs
    Insert/delete line numbers
    and of course, Delete Blank Lines

    and more.

    I dare say, TEXT FX is to notepad as “Asap Utilities” is to excel.

    Check it out if you haven’t already

  3. cristianguerramaya

    February 14, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    Cool tools! Kudoz!

  4. Man, this is invaluable! Any chance of an updated version?

    • It is constantly updated 🙂 Vistalizator was added just one month ago but a list of tools that are tiny, free and useful for translators is bound to be pretty static…

  5. Thank you for this list! I just downloaded ASAP Utilities and look forward to trying all its different functions 🙂

    The “website” link you gave for ASAP Utilities actually links to the ExamDiff website. I think the URL should be

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