How to create a pot file for your theme or plugin

April 10, 2016

So you got a new theme that is already localized, or want to submit a free theme to How do you go about creating the .pot file?

POT stands for Portable Object Template and is a template file that contains references to all parts of your theme or plugin that need translating.

In this article we will explain how to create a .pot file using the WordPress i18n tools, this means that these tools use code from WordPress core and it is the best way to generate a .pot file as it makes also text like theme name or description in style.css file translation ready.

I will be using the Terminal in a Mac for doing this, but in PC should be the same. Open your Terminal and first we need to do an SVN checkout of

svn co wpdev

you could do this with an SVN client as well, but the above is pretty easy.

After that change the directory to i18n tools directory

cd wpdev/tools/i18n/

Next you need to run makepot.php file over your theme’s directory

php makepot.php wp-theme /path/to/your/theme themename.pot

The new .pot file is created and be found inside the i18n directory. Just copy and paste it inside the languages folder of your theme.

To create a .pot file for your plugin, just change the above code like this

php makepot.php wp-plugin /path/to/your/theme pluginname.pot

Most of our themes are localized and .pot file is provided, check them out.

One comment

  1. Thanks for the references, it worked as expected.

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