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Translating ALShow XML Skins

The following includes a some information that may be very basic for some people, but is never-the-less included for those that may not be familiar with some things like XML. There is a fast explanation for those with more experience, followed by a detailed explanation that includes how to quickly find all the text for translation with several free text editors, and finally how to package an ALShow skin. The About XML and ALShow Skins page has some helpful information on XML and how it relates to ALShow skins. Make sure to check out the page on free text editors.

The Super-fast 4-Step Explanation

  1. Unzip the skin *.ask file intp a new subdirectory in the "skins" directory
  2. Translate all "tooltip" attributes in XML files
  3. Translate text for graphics in the Main.xml file top comments
  4. Zip all files & rename file extension from ZIP to ASK

The Detailed Explanation & Extra Tips

Although it may look a bit tough at first, translating ALShow skins is actually extremely easy once you know a couple things and follow a simple method designed to make translating them as fast and easy as possible.

There are only 2 areas that need to be done:

1) "tooltip" attributes
2) Graphics (the actual graphic work will be done by a designer here at ESTsoft)

Both of those are done in the skin XML files that reside in the "skin.ask" file. To get to the files, use ALZip to extract the skin ASK file to a new folder exactly as you would for any ZIP file. Please be sure to read the About XML and ALShow Skins page as it has some useful information on XML and how it relates to ALShow skins.

Step 1: Translating "tooltips"

There are exactly 53 text items that need to be translated in all of the XML skin files (total). By file:

Main.xml = 17
Control.xml = 10
Playlist.xml = 22
TopControl.xml = 5

(Please note that some skins may vary slightly from the above. e.g. In "Orange Soda", the TopControl.xml file only has 4 items.)

All text that needs to be translated looks like the following line:

<item name="ButtonMute" type="Toggle" tooltip="Mute On/Off (Ctrl+M)">

Only the quoted tooltip text needs to be translated. i.e. In the example above, only "Mute On/Off (Ctrl+M)" needs to be translated.

The easiest way to do this is to load all 4 XML skin files into a text editor, use the "Find in files" function, then use the results to navigate to the text that needs to be translated. Please see below for more information on free text editors and how to use the "Find in files" function for maximum ease and speed.

Step 2: Translating Graphics

Instead of translating inside the graphics themselves, please translate directly inside the Main.xml file. A designer will make the necessary changes before the skin is uploaded or packaged with the installer.

There are exactly 22 pieces of text in graphics that need to be translated, with 6 of them being optional. (Some are not used in every skin and 1 is only available in Korea at the moment.) A graphic designer at ESTsoft will change the graphics with your translation from the Main.xml file top comments.

The following are the English equivalents with descriptions where it is not clear. The ampersand (&) is used to indicate an underlined character as is traditionally used in programming for keyboard navigation. Some buttons are very small and can only accomodate a small amount of text.

The right side of the equals sign (=) has a brief description and the left side has the translation.

Please translate the left side as you believe it would sound best in your language, or as you believe it would most easily be understood. e.g. "R" for reset makes sense in English, but you may need to use something else.

The following is a complete list of the text contained in graphics:




Playlist Tab=Playlist
Bookmarks Tab=Bookmarks
Add Item=Add
Delete Item=Del
Sort Items=Sort
Open Save Playlist=List
Edit Bookmark=Edit
** Note that the reset buttons are very small and can only accomodate a single character.


** Note: These are not used in most skins and are optional. See "Orange Soda" for an example where they are used.


** Note: The playlist toggle button is very small an can only accomodate up to 2 characters.
Playlist Toggle=PL
** Note: The ALShow Internet Theater is not available outside of Korea.
ALShow Internet Theater=Movie Zone

Using the "Find in files" function

The "Find in files" function in a text editor will allow you to find every reference in a number of files then display the results. You can then click the results to go to that file and that line. This makes working with large files very fast and easy as only what you want is then displayed.

Each of the text editors mentioned on the free text editor page have their own methods, so the following shows how to find all the "tooltip" references that need to be translated as quickly as possible. For all of them you should load all 4 of the XML files into the editor first.


  1. Click the "Search and/or replace in files" toolbar button (Or click Search > Search and/or replace in files...)
  2. Type in "tooltip" for "Text to Find"
  3. Under "Search Scope", check the "Open Files" radio button
  4. Click OK

That will return something like this:

PSPad Find in Files

In the lower part you can just click those entries to navigate to them one-by-one. It's very fast & easy then. You can expand and collapse the results by file by clicking the +/- symbols.


NotePadd++ uses a modeless search dialog with the search results that will stay open while you use it and edit files. To use it, do this:

  1. Click the Find icon on the toolbar (Or click Search > Find) (** Note that the "Find in files" function really means "files on disk" in Notepad++)
  2. Enter the search term "tooltips"
  3. Click the "Find all in all opened documents" button
  4. Click the results in the find dialog to navigate

Here's a screen shot of the Notepad++ dialog:

Notepad++ find in files

You'll instantly be taken to the right file and the right line like shown here:

Notepad++ Find in files editor shot

A nice thing to notice is the +/- symbols by the line numbers. You can click those to expand or collapse the XML nodes. This is a very nice feature for a code editor to have and makes managing long files much easier.


There's no real right or wrong editor - just the one that you feel most comfortable with. Although EditPlus is commercial software (not free), it has an unlimited trial period with nag screens when you start. You may find that this program suits your personal preferences.

  1. Click the "Find in Files" icon on the toolbar
  2. Enter "tooltip" under "Find what:" and check the "All open files" checkbox
  3. Navigate the search results in the lower pane

Here's a screen shot of the results & editor window:

Editplus - Find in Files

One strong advantage for EditPlus is the very strong syntax highlighting that it has. There are also many user-defined syntax files that you can download from the web site.

Packaging an ALShow Skin

To package an ALShow skin when you are finished, just zip the files with ALZip and change the file extension from *.zip to *.ask. Make sure to place the file in the skins directory so that ALShow can see it.

More Information

More information can always be obtained by emailing us or posting in the ALTools forums.


Your ALTools Admin