Generate iOS InfoPlist.strings Translations from Google Sheets

In my previous article Generating ResX translations from Google Sheets, I wrote about using Google Sheets as a translation tool by using the GOOGLETRANSLATE built in function to generate translation files for a Xamarin.Forms solution. For this post, I will demonstrate something very similar, but instead of ResX files I’ll generate InfoPlist.strings files in iOS for localizing the permission request prompts for accessing things like Camera, Location, Photo Gallery, etc. For the sake of this article I created this sample Google Sheets

For a quick recap, we will use a tool called csvtrans written by my colleague and good friend, Ricky Kaare Engelharth. The tool is built with .NET Core and can be installed using this command

dotnet tool install -g csvtrans

Using the tool is also straight forward and it also comes with some quick start instructions

USAGE: csvtrans [--help] [--sheet <document id> <sheet name>]
                [--csv <url or path>] [--format <apple|android|resx>]
                [--outputdir <directory path>] [--name <string>]
                [--convert-placeholders <regex pattern>]

OPTIONS:

    --sheet, -s <document id> <sheet name>
                          specify a Google Sheet as input.
    --csv, -c <url or path>
                          specify a online or local cvs file as input.
    --format, -f <apple|android|resx>
                          specify the output format.
    --outputdir, -o <directory path>
                          specify the output directory.
    --name, -n <string>   specify an optional name for the output.
    --convert-placeholders, -p <regex pattern>
                          convert placeholders to match the output format.
    --help                display this list of options.

Here’s an example usage of the tool

csvtrans --sheet 125id155PUq-6Odwg8Nf9fmkgBsKahTGbJYaYBD2rpSg iOS --format apple --outputdir .\Resources --name InfoPlist

The first argument –-sheet is the Google Sheet document ID followed by the Sheet Name, the next argument –-format specifies the output file format, the argument –-outputdir specifies the output folder, and the last argument --name specifies the output filename.

You can get the Document ID from the URL of the Google Sheet

Here’s an example output

Now I can just bring these files into my project and use them directly. Well, almost! There’s one little problem, and that is that by default the Xamarin.iOS csproj tooling explicitly adds each InfoPlist.strings file as a BundleResource. Oddly enough, the csproj format allows to specify wild card folders, so if we want to enable dynamic generation of InfoPlist.strings translations then we need to manually edit the csproj.

This is actually very easy to do. We just need to replace the lines like

with

This opens up for dynamic translations at build time using your CI/CD build tools of choice