Finding Non-localized Strings in xcode

If you have ever done some localization in xcode, you might already know how hard is it to track the non-localized strings used in the code and in storyboard. From xcode 7, there is an easy way to do that. Let me show you that.

3 min readJul 25, 2017

I am not going to explain how to do localization in iOS in this article.

Rushing through the basics, we can do localize the string in two ways.

  • In code by using NSLocalizedString("someStringToLocalize", tableName: nil, bundle: Bundle.main, value: "", comment: "") .
  • Use storyboard localizations.

It’s common that we add the NSLocalizedString(: method in the code and to forget to add it in the Localizable.strings file. Also, we might localize the storyboard file and will add a new label later on in the UI which you will forget to add in the localized storyboard strings file.

To track these kind of silly mistakes, xcode 7 and above provides an option.

In the scheme editor take a look at the Options tab. In the following screenshot I have “Show non-localized strings” enabled .

Edit scheme
scheme editor

Show non-localized strings checkbox needs to be checked and we can select the application language as required. Then compile and run the app.

I have added a string as a label’s text (calculatorDisplay is a UILabel):

calculatorDisplay.text = NSLocalizedString(“Some localized string”, comment: “”)

Also, the string “Some localized string” is not added in the Localizable.strings file. In this scenario, it will throw an error in the debugger.

Localizable strings in storyboard:

Storyboard strings file

For the localizable strings in storyboard which are not added in the <YOUR_STORYBOARD_NAME>.strings(YOUR_LANGUAGE) file, the debugger will throw error like:

error for storyboard objects

Let’s check the first error:

  • Copy GsZ-Y5–7R1 mentioned in the error and search for it throughout the project.
searching storyboard object

It appears to be a UIButton’s Object ID and the localizable text is the UIButtons title . Click on the search result and it may highlight the object in storyboard.

The storyboard strings file normally looks like this:

storyboard strings file

Where , GsZ-Y5–7R1 is the objectid of a UIButton. Now copy the GsZ-Y5–7R1.normalTitle and add it to the strings file.

“GsZ-Y5–7R1.normalTitle" = "Localized title for button";



How to localize the strings file and localizing the storyboard files are not covered in this article. This process is pretty easy. I am planning to create an article on localization and internationlization in the near future.

Hope you learned something new today.

Note: Fabrizio Bernasconi mentioned a website to generate the localizable strings file. Just give it a try.

Generate Localizable.strings from XCode project:


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