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User interface text: Phrases#

All the user interface text in XenForo is stored in predefined text snippets called Phrases.

When XenForo needs to place some text on a page, rather than calling the text directly, it calls for the appropriate phrase that contains the desired text.

For the most part, phrases are named according to their content, so a phrase whose content is Please click the 'Save' button would most likely be stored in a phrase called please_click_the_save_button.

Sometimes, when the text in a phrase is too long to be reasonably used as the phrase name, or if the phrase must serve a specific programmatic task, the phrase may have a name that describes its content, rather than directly reflecting its content. For example, the text that explains the use of the Background size parameter in the Smilie editor is named background_size_explain.

When a phrase needs to include an important variable, like the name of a piece of content it is describing, the variable will be represented in the phrase name with a letter, like x or y. For example, your_thread_x_has_been_updated.

Within the phrase, the variable is represented as a word in curly braces:

Your thread, {name} has been updated.

XenForo template syntax will take care of inserting the correct value into the {name} variable.

Phrase editor#

The phrase editor is your primary tool to edit the content of phrases in any language. It can be found in the Appearance > Languages & phrases > Phrases section of the Admin Control Panel.

Upon opening the phrase editor and selecting the appropriate language from the drop-down menu, you will see a list of phrases you can edit. You may filter or search the list by typing into the filter box at the top of the list. Note that this is a special filter box, which not only filters the list of phrases currently shown on screen, but also searches all other pages for matches to your filter text.

Click on a phrase to edit it and you will find yourself on a page that shows not only the editable text, but also a copy of the Master value for your reference.

When you are finished editing the text, hit the Save button to save the text but remain within the editor for further edits, or Save and exit to save your work and return to the phrase list.

The results of your changes will be visible as soon as a page displaying them is refreshed.

Mass-edit phrases#

You may also edit multiple phrases at the same time on the same page.

To do so, click the Refine and translate control at the top of the phrase list, enter any filters you need and then set the Phrase status options to Unmodified only - leave the other options unchecked.

Click the Translate button and you will be presented with a page showing editable versions of all the phrases that match your filter.

You may translate any of these phrases and click their Save button without having to leave the page, which can make for very rapid progress.

At the bottom of the page is a More button, to load the next batch of matching phrases.

Phrase inheritance#

As properties of languages, phrases inherit their content from parent languages unless they have been customized in the current language.

Upgrading with customized phrases#

Unlike templates, phrases can only contain simple data, so it is highly unlikely that customizing or translating a phrase will result in broken functionality after a XenForo upgrade, provided that all {variable} variables that existed in the original version of the phrase remain in your customized or translated version.