In-place live editor of internationalization locale strings for Rails
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This in-place editor takes all of the hassle out of managing internationalized text. Just click on internationalized text where it usually appears on your live site and edit it right there, with no need to know the translation key, working in only one window. Right-click on text to see its translation key. Right-click on any HTML node to edit its internationalized attributes (like tooltips). Right-click on links and other clickable objects to edit their text.


Warning: If you have comments in your locale files, they will be erased as those files are edited.

Invoke your rails project this way:

I18N_EDIT=1 rails s

Just click on internationalzed text and edit it, right where it appears. Text is written to your locale file when you change the focus to another element, or go to another page. Right-click on any internationalized text or any HTML node with internationalized attributes to see a menu which allows you to edit them.

A browser that implements contenteditable and Javascript ES6 is required. Any recent version of Chrome or Firefox should do.

The javascript console will tell you what key you're editing and when the data is written. But you don't really have to look at that to use this tool. Just click on the text where it usually appears, and edit!


Add the gem 'i18n-edit' to your Gemfile and run "bundle install".

Add this line to your routes in config/routes:


In app/views/layouts, add this line within the head of your layout (or more than one layout, depending on your project), to include the required Javascript file. Versions for the Slim and ERB template languages are shown:

Slim version:

= i18n_edit_assets

ERB version:

<%= i18n_edit_assets %>

How It Works

If I18N_EDIT is not set in the environment, this gem does nothing and should not harm your application or its security. When it's set, the magic happens.

I18n.translate() is patched to emit a html-safe span containing the editable translation text, with the contenteditable attribute set. This works for internationalized texts. It would not work for internationalized attributes of HTML nodes, because spans in attributes don't parse. So our javascript catches all of the internationalized attributes of HTML nodes containing our special span, removes the span from the attribute (leaving the text), and places a special span around the HTML node which contains the attribute instead. Javascript is used to catch events on our special spans, which allow in-place editing and context menus. Our javascript posts requests to Rails to update the locale text that you have edited. A controller and routes are added to your Rails project to handle those requests.

Only locale files under the root of your rails project (rather than ones in gems, etc.) will be edited. Locale files are replaced using the link-create-write-fsync-rename algorithm, which assures that there will always be valid data in your locale files, even across a system crash.


Anyone who can access your pages can edit your locale data! So don't run with I18N_EDIT=1 set if anyone outside can access your pages. A CSRF token is used, so only someone who can read the page will be able to write the locale data. The i18n_edit controller will reject everything if I18N_EDIT is not set in the environment when you start your rails project.


Write to


This software is copyright (C) 2017 Equipment Unit LLC, All rights reserved.


You may combine this software with your own software, for the purpose of your testing and development of that software. This grant does not apply to other purposes, for example the integration of this software into a larger product which is distributed to others or performed to others as a service.

If this grant is insufficient for your needs, you may alternatively apply the terms of the GNU AFFERO GPL 3, or you may purchase a commercial license from Equipment Unit LLC. Write to .

WARNING: Dynamic linking does not insulate your work from the obligations of either license. This was confirmed by the decision on APIs and derivative works by the appeals court in Oracle v. Google.