Knowledge Base

Documentation to help you use the POEditor localization platform effectively

Context vs Comments

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POEditor is a cross-platform localization management tool, which was originally designed to localize .po files, but now supports many other localization formats.


For some file formats, POEditor stores particular data in the Context field:

  • the msgctxt for .po and .pot files
  • the meaning attribute for XTB and XMB files
  • the path of the keys, with each key in the path wrapped in quotes for Key-Value JSON files and YAML files
  • the original attribute of the parent <file> tag for iOS XLIFF files, XLIFF 1.2 files and Articulate Rise XLIFF
  • the <note from="meaning"> for Angular XLIFF
  • the <context> name and the <comment> for QT TS files
  • the section name for INI files
  • the information in column C for CSV and Excel files

The localization file formats which don't support Context are Android XML, iOS .strings, Flutter ARB, Java Properties and .NET Resources. For this reason, we don't recommend using the Context field in POEditor when working with these formats, because it will not be exported, and you might end up with duplicates when making a new terms import.

Being a file-specific attribute, the Context of a term usually reaches your POEditor localization project via import (but it can also be added manually in Terms).

We don't recommend using it to add screenshots or to make comments on a string. This is because the Context attribute of a terms is what makes it unique in POEditor, and there's a good chance of ending up with duplicate terms.


If you have some observations that you wish to share with your translators (including screenshots), the best practice would be to add them in the Comment section.

A string with Context and Comment - POEditor localization tool

The first comment will be preserved during export/import and will not create any duplicates.

For some formats, POEditor stores particular data in the comment section, if no other comments already exist in the project for a given term:

For all the other formats that support comments, these are imported as well in the comment section, if no other comment is specified for a term.

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